From their home in Antibes, France, M83 forge modern melancholic synthesizer music equidistant from acknowledged influences Tangerine Dream and Mogwai as well as My Bloody Valentine, who they claim never to have heard until the comparison was made. Formed by French artists Anthony Gonzalez and Nicolas Fromageau, M83 create a music that is momentous and epic enough to suggest otherworldly, ecclesiastic overtones such that naming themselves after a distant galaxy appears apposite. On 2001s self-titled debut album, the duo suggested a narrative via individual track titles that read, as a whole: Last Saturday night, at the party, Kelly sitting facing that violet tree, staring at me. I'm getting closer. She stands up, caresses my face. I'm happy, she said. The follow-up, Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts, was introduced by a computerised voice reciting Sun is shining/Birds are singing/Flowers are growing/Clouds are looming/And I am flying (Birds) but the album, recorded with sound engineer Nicolas Barlet, Morgan Daguenet and vocalist Cyann, did not sustain this sense of rapture and ecstasy. Rather, the album fluctuated between the joyous and the maudlin, the blissful and the numbed. An album sleeve that could equally be interpreted as children creating snow angels or lying dead in a snow covered field accentuated this disparate tone. More than anything, the album suggested a reworking of the late 80s phenomena of dream pop albeit filtered through contemporary production techniques.
M83s Run Into Flowers (Midnight F**k Remix by Jackson) notably appeared on the Michael Mayer -compiled Fabric 13 while Gonzalez and Fromageau gracefully remodelled Goldfrapps Black Cherry for its single release. Fromageau left Gonzalez to carry on M83 on his own shortly afterwards. Gonzalez recruited a number of new musicians to help record his first album without Fromageau. The resultant Before The Dawn was released at the start of 2005.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.