It's rare in these days of electronic emigration that a group returns from the 1's and 0's to the 2's and 4's but M83's Before The Dawn Heals Us, is just that. Known for their mesmerizing synthetic landscapes and chopped, sporadic rhythms, M83 stands before the world as a full fledged guitar-rocking, rack-mounted drumming, orchestrated outfit for this album. With the absence of Nicolas Fomageau, original co-founder and possibly electronic visionary of M83, this new album, under the direction of multi instrumentalist Anthony Gonzalez, illustrates the dynamics of musical collaboration, and follows a new, as yet uncharted surreal highway. You won't rock the party with this record, it's too drivingly intense and at times too transient; but if you're ready for a haunting visual trip, get out to the pasture, pick some fungus, and lean back. Equipped with massive drum intros, heavenly choirs, a schizophrenic mother-daughter monologue, beautifully haunting melodies, and a fireworks extravaganza, Before The Dawn Heals Us could be the soundtrack to your life. "Don't Save Us From The Flames," the second track, is so harmonically explosive and drum-laden it beckons Steve Reich, John Bonham and Styx to the same dinner table. Throughout, in the undercurrents, the album speaks of modern composers like Phillip Glass and Steve Reich; and, although hard to recognize at first, the compositions are impressively orchestrated, both rhythmically and musically. "Farewell/Goodbye" illustrates the sadness that secretly seeps out of these songs. An ambiguous dialogue between a man and his dead girlfriend/wife, this song shows true heart. If you've got a long commute or an hour to kill, pick up this record and go with it. It's like the old days of acidic squares: you may want to do it alone. I take it to the next level- studio headphones, two-wheels, winter headgear and a labyrinth of NYC streets - it's more like lean forward and chant along with the excited, hypnotic mantra, "Can't Stop" - cabbies watch out! Pressed on double 180g vinyl with free mp3 download.
- music label: Gooom 2005 / Mute 2014
reviewed by Mr. Bunny 05/2009
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