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M83 announces new project DSVII

Video-game inspired collection comes 12 years after Digital Shades Vol. 1

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M83 Jeremy Searle Digital Shades Vol 2 DSVII New ALbum Ambient stream
M83, photo by Jeremy Searle

    12 years ago, M83’s Anthony Gonzalez released a compendium of otherwise unused ambient tracks he called Digital Shades Vol. 1. Now, he’s once more exploring sounds outside M83’s typical experimental pop leanings with a follow-up collection dubbed DSVII.

    Due out September 20th via Mute, DSVII is a much more deliberate project than Vol. 1. As Gonzaelez explained in a press release, “I wanted to come back with something stronger that featured the depth of a proper studio album without the pressure of providing pop music – faraway from Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming and Junk.” In fact, he’d been left unsatisfied by the fan reaction to 2016’s Junk, and not entirely creatively fulfilled by his involvement in Cique du Soleil’s VOLTA.

    His solution was to abscond to Cap d’Antibes in France for five months in 2017. Spending his time relaxing with some classic pastimes, Gonzalez found the spark he was looking for:

    (Read: Before Dawn, After Midnight: M83 in 10 Songs)

    “I mainly spent my time swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, reading, watching films and playing ‘80s video games. The inspiration behind this record is mainly video game music. It felt so refreshing to play all of these old school games again. There is something so naive and touching about them. It’s simple and imperfect. And this is exactly what I tried to achieve with DSVII.

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    In an accompanying list of references, Gonzalez mentions games like The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Solomon’s Key; music from Brian Eno (Discreet Music), Suzanne Ciani (Seven Waves), and Wendy Carlos (Switched-On Bach); and films like Wolfgang Petersen’s The NeverEnding Story, Don Coscarelli’s Phantasm, and John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness. Sessions took place at his own Los Angeles studio as well as at the Glendale space of his M83 collaborator Justin Meldal-Johnsen, all using analog equipment.

    Pre-orders for the effort are going on now. Find the full DSVII tracklist and album art below, followed by Gonzalez’s complete list of inspirations.

    DSVII Artwork:

    M83 DSVII Album Cover ArtDSVII Tracklist:
    01. Hell Riders
    02. A Bit of Sweetness
    03. Goodbye Captain Lee
    04. Colonies
    05. Meet The Friends
    06. Feelings
    07. A Word of Wisdom
    08. Lune De Fiel
    09. Jeux D’Enfants
    10. A Taste of the Dusk
    11. Lunar Son
    12. Oh Yes You’re There, Everyday
    13. Mirage
    14. Taifun Glory
    15. Temple of Sorrow

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    M83’s DSVII References:
    Video game music:
    The Legend of Zelda / Koji Kondo
    Phantasy Star II / Tokuhiko Uwabo
    Solomon’s Key / Michiharu Hasuya
    Crystalis / Yoko Osaka
    Final Fantasy / Nobuo Uematsu
    Dragon Quest / Koichi Sugiyama
    Faxanadu / Jun Chikuma
    Mother / Hirokazu Tanaka 

    Music:
    Plantasia / Mort Garson
    The Wozard Of Iz / Mort Garson
    Switched-On Bach / Wendy Carlos
    Discreet Music / Brian Eno
    Trilogie de la mort / Eliane Radigue
    Manhattan Research, Inc. / Raymond Scott
    Seven Waves / Suzanne Ciani
    New Age Of Earth / Ash Ra Tempel

    Movies:
    Fantastic Planet / René Laloux
    Gandahar /René Laloux
    Satyricon / Federico Fellini
    Zardoz / John Boorman
    The NeverEnding Story / Wolfgang Petersen
    Phantasm / Don Coscarelli
    Quest / Saul Bass
    In the Mouth of Madness / John Carpenter

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    Main synths used for the recording:
    ARP 2600
    Matrix 12
    Prophet 6
    Roland Jupiter 6 and 8
    Roland Jx 3p
    Roland Juno 106
    Synthi Aks

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