Last updated: 06/24/2012 12:00:00 PM
M83 is the electronic music project of the French artist Anthony Gonzalez. He and former member Nicolas Fromageau founded the group in 2001 in Antibes, France. M83's style owes a lot to the shoegaze genre, in that there is much emphasis on tonality, extensive use of reverb effects and often softly-spoken lyrics at times submerged in instrumentation. M83 was named after the spiral galaxy "Messier 83".
M83 has released the following albums: M83 in 2001, Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts in 2003, Before The Dawn Heals Us in 2005, Digital Shades Vol. 1 in 2007, Saturdays = Youth in 2008 and Hurry Up, We're Dreaming in 2011.
For the third album released by M83, Before The Dawn Heals Us, Gonzalez decided to part from Fromageau (after an emotionally distressing tour for Dead Cities). Currently Anthony Gonzalez records mainly on his own(Nicolas Fromageau started Team Ghost in 2009), often with the help of his brother Yann Gonzalez, vocalist/keyboardist Morgan Kibby, guitarist/bassist Pierre-Marie Maulini, and drummer Loïc Maurin.
The double album "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming" was released on 17th October 2011, through Naïve, produced by Justin Meldal-Johnson (Beck, NIN, The Mars Volta, Goldfrapp) and including contributions from Zola Jesus, Brad Laner (from 90's band Medicine) on guitar, and 'Saturdays = Youth' vocalist Morgan Kibby. The album was preceded by the track "Midnight City" released in July.
M83's song "Unrecorded" from Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts was used in the trailer for the American release of the Russian movie Night Watch, and the track "Teen Angst", taken from Before The Dawn Heals Us, appeared on the trailer for the film adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel "A Scanner, Darkly", which was released in 2006.
M83 produced the remix of the track "Pioneers" on the British rock group Bloc Party's 2005 album Silent Alarm Remixed. M83 also collaborated with other Gooom Disques artists in a collaborative LP, under the name Purple Confusion.
Just after the Before the Dawn Heals Us US tour, Anthony Gonzalez decided to take M83 in a more ambient direction (as heard on some earlier M83 tracks) and started to write and record a collection of ambient works. The relevance of digital music (from creation to sharing), gave him the idea to call the project Digital Shades Vol. 1, and to make the album part of an ongoing series.
M83's 2008 album Saturdays = Youth, released on Mute, was recorded with the help of Ken Thomas and Ewan Pearson. Four singles were released from the album: "Couleurs" in February 2008, "Graveyard Girl" in April, "Kim & Jessie" in July, and "We Own The Sky" in December.
In December 2008, M83 supported Kings of Leon on its UK tour. In January and February 2009, M83 supported The Killers across USA tour dates and toured with Depeche Mode on its Tour of the Universe in Italy, Germany, and France.
In 2011 Gonzalez started working on a new batch of songs for an album slated release later in the year. He described the tracks as darker and "very, very, very epic". Speaking with Spin, he said of the new album "It's a double album. It's mainly about dreams, how every one is different, how you dream differently when you're a kid, a teenager, or an adult. I'm really proud of it. If you're doing a very long album, all the songs need to be different and I think I've done that with this one." He plans on recording again with Morgan Kibby as well as others, including Medicine's mastermind Brad Laner, Nine Inch Nails bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen and Zola Jesus.
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming is Gonzalez's first double album, which he has dreamed of making ever since he heard The Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, however, it did not come easy. "I wanted to make a very eclectic album but also something not too long. Making a double album was a dream of mine for a long, long time and I felt ready to make this move," he explains. Discussing the sound and process of creating this album, Gonzalez says it was "written like a soundtrack to an imaginary movie with different ambiances, different atmospheres, different tempos, different orchestrations and different instrumentation....When I make an album it's always about nostalgia, melancholy in the past and memories."
On July 19, 2011, "Midnight City", the first single from Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, was released for streaming and free download on the band's official website. Beginning in October, they toured North America and Europe to promote the album; Active Child will support the US leg of the tour.
The album noteably placed 3rd in Pitchfork Media's Top 50 Albums of 2011 list. On 26 January 2012, M83 came in at number 5 on the Triple J Hottest 100 with the single "Midnight City".