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M83 | Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts (Goom/Labels)
Did Jean Michel Jarre know what he was starting all those years ago when he recorded 'Oxygene'? These days Jarre is an institution - certainly in France, if not the world - and his works have transcended their genre. Being French seems to be of some use when you want to record this type of stuff; washes of synthesizer, other-worldly tunes, etheral ambience etc. M83 have obviously been listening to a lot of Jarre, and possibly Vangelis, and certainly fellow Frenchmen Air. The twelve tracks that make up this CD resonate with echoes of Jarre's work, especially in fourth track, In Church, with its organ fugue. Band members Anthony Gonzalez and Nicolas Fromageau, from Antibes, are certainly looking to the stars, especially since the band is named after a distant galaxy. Very Star Trek. But the more you listen to this stuff, the more you realise that M83 are the natural successor's of the likes of Pink Floyd - this is Set The Control For The Heart Of The Sun territory, all massive, Bruckner-esque chords, cathedrals of sound that evolve over what seems like eons. Imagine blackness, stars and infinity while listening to this and you have the soundtrack to deep space exploration. If old-style space-rock is for you, get ready to blast off

John Stacey
CWAS #13 - Autumn 2003