M83 (formed 2001)
M83 are an ambient French Electronic five piece band led by Anthony Gonzalez. Characterised by dream-like synthesized reverb effects, the group are best known for their highly popular song Midnight City released as the lead single of their sixth studio album 'Hurry Up, We're Dreaming' back in 2011. The track peaked at number 8 in France, topping the digital French chart as it was used as the closing theme after UEFA Euro 2012 football matches on French Network TF1, and also rose to fame in the UK after its use as the theme song to reality TV show Made in Chelsea and as music for BBC's coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Formation: In 2001 M83 was formed as a duo including Nicolas Fromageau in Antibes, France, but the two separated soon after touring their second album. Now based in Los Angeles, Gonzalez changed M83 to more of a musical project, and often recruits his brother Yann, vocalist and keyboardist Morgan Kibby and drummer Loïc Maurin to create new music and perform live alongside him. 2011 saw the arrival of new member nineteen-year old Jordan Lawlor to the band as a multi-instrumentalist. Jordan had won the audition to join M83 after Gonzalez had posted an open audition on the website earlier that year.
Musical Career: After becoming interested in music while in high school, Gonzalez formed a band with Fromageau. Gonzalez later bought a synth and did some work independently before sending out demos that appealed to record label Gooom Records. 2001's self-titled debut album didn't receive international acclaim until 2005 when it was reissued by Mute Records. M83's second record 'Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts' was launched in spring 2003 and was significantly more popular than M83's debut. Following their third studio album release in January 2005 entitled 'Before the Dawn Heals Us', M83 remixed a series of tracks including 'The Pioneers' by Bloc Party, Placebo's 'Protège-Moi' and Goldfrapp's 'Black Cherry'. In 2006 Gonzalez wrote a series of ambient tracks entitled 'Digital Shades Vol.1' which came out in September of that year.
After the release of 'Saturdays = Youth', M83's fifth studio album, in April 2008, M83 had changed. Under the influence of new members Ken Thomas (worked with Sigur Ros), Ewan Pearson (produced for Tracey Thorn) and organ Kibby (of the Romanovs), the sound of M83 had become more structured and centred on the 1980s, as Gonzalez states: "[it was] also a tribute to my teenage years because the main theme of the album is being a teenager". After supporting acts on tour such as Kings of Leon and The Killers, M83 performed at the Fuji Rock Festival in 2009. 2011 saw the release of Gonzalez's first double album 'Hurry Up We're Dreaming'. He commented on the record, "It's mainly about dreams, how everyone is different, how you dream differently when you're a kid, a teenager, or an adult."
M83 has also written and composed many if not all the songs for several soundtracks over the years, such as French director Gilles Marchand's 2010 film Black Heaven, Joseph Kosinski's 2013 film Oblivion as well as 2014's Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars.
The electronic pioneer is currently working on a brand new album.
A legend in electronic music, Jean-michel Jarre is returning with a new album and has teamed up with fellow France-dweller Anthony Gonzalez from the band M83 in a brand new track entitled 'Glory' - a soaring anthem recorded for a recently released short film.
Jean-Michel Jarre teams up with M83 on new track 'Glory'
Jean-Michel Jarre's 'Glory' is an atmospheric crescendo of a track featuring gorgeous ambient vocals courtesy of Gonzalez, buzzing synths and heavy percussion. It melts together so wonderfully, you could almost describe it as a match made in musical heaven; Jarre's and Gonzalez's similar sensibilities proved exceedingly helpful. 'The demo was really strong right away', said the latter. 'It was very melodic, we both think that melody is the most important thing in music.'
Performing a 6 song set at the Ace Museum in Los Angeles, Frank Ocean told the audience: "So it's officially Grammy weekend, which is probably not a big deal for everyone... But it makes me nervous as f**k." With 6 nominations including for Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Best New Artist Ocean's got nothing to be nervous about. Especially with Channel Orange being such a strong contender.
Esteemed guests to the show included Busy Phillipps, Alan Cummings, Ashley Benson and Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda, and were all equal to the average joes in the audience, as they were treated to renditions of "Crack Rock," "Monks", "American Wedding", "Sierra Leone," "Thinkin' Bout You," and "Pyramids."
A Week In Reviews... It's hard to believe that's it's been well over a year since M83 released their single 'Midnight City' and signalled their long-awaited move up to alternative music's big leagues. Going gold in America on sales, and featuring heavily on hit UK TV shot Made In Chelsea, the song precluded album Hurry Up We're Dreaming reaching the US album charts top 20. Our reviewer found that, with 2012 now drawing to a close, the French group's party was very much still in full swing. "'Midnight City', as expected, gets the biggest cheer of the night before an epic version of 'Couleurs' brings the set to a close, and if your mind wasn't already blown, this unbelievable wall of noise was the final knockout blow" he wrote in gushing praise.
Away from the live arena and back to the studio, former Mercury nominees The Unthanks doled out another uncompromising slab of their ethereal folk. Songs From The Shipyards is the group's third release within a year, and was initially a soundtrack to a film documenting their local North East England's shipbuilding industry history. Andrew Lockwood took this one on, and found a band in the form of their life seven albums into their career: "The album, as you might expect, is full of character and love" he wrote. "The songs are performed with great care and attention and each note stirs the emotions as it recounts a slice of Shipbuilding history. Regardless of whether you have seen the accompanying film this set of songs works wonderfully well and once again shows what a prodigious and prolific talent The Unthanks are."
A Week In Interviews... We managed to grab a chat with stalwart Canadian pop-punkers Billy Talent, a group still fizzing with energy with their 20th anniversary of existence just round the corner in 2013. David Straw chatted to the band formerly known as Pezz (they changed their name after legal issues in 1999) and chatted of tours, new albums and the US general election, finding the group in bullish mood on the eve of a show in Nottingham.
Deja vu: the experience of thinking that a new situation had occurred before.
Going on holiday to the same place every year has always confused me. The same hotel, the same people, the same sights and the same experience year after year. I don't know about you, but as soon as it gets to the point where I'm on first name terms with the receptionist, it's time to leave.
I suppose people like knowing what to expect, and the idea of having a 'home away from home' must be comforting. If only you could pick up your dream hotel and drop it in a different, improved, location.
Continue reading: M83 - Brixton Academy 8th November 2012 Live Review 2012