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Digital Shades Vol. 1


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 28, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Caroline
  • ASIN: B001G5ZNIW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,606 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Waves, Waves, Waves
2. Coloring the Void
3. Sister, Pt. 1
4. Strong and Wasted
5. My Own Strange Path
6. Dancing Mountains
7. Sister, Pt. 2
8. By the Kiss
9. Space Fertilizer
10. The Highest Journey

Editorial Reviews

M83 (named for the spiral galaxy Messier 83) is Electronic artist Anthony Gonzalez. M83 's Gonzalez and former member Nicolas Fromageau founded the group in 2001 in Antibes, France. Key to M83's style are attributes often associated with shoegaze which is the emphasis on tonality, extensive use of effects and often softly-spoken lyrics at times submerged in instrumentation. Whether guitar or synthesizer based, M83's parts typify the tone common both to dream Pop and contemporary Electro. All three of M83's albums were well received, in particular Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts, their second album, which allowed them to break through to a larger audience.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
5 star
50%
4 star
7%
3 star
43%
2 star
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See all 14 customer reviews
A gorgeous, sublime album.
John Doe
If you are a fan of ambient/shoegaze, I would recommend it but not with overly hands down gotta have this.
MIO
The title and barely promoted release smacks of a mix album along the lines of "Late Night Tales."
Matthew Comegys

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Manny Hernandez HALL OF FAME on September 11, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Two years after M83 released "Before The Dawn Heals Us", the brainchild of Anthony Gonzalez comes back with an album that takes their sound to a place that is even more heart wrenching than it was before. Picking up the quieter, more ambient moments of the previous album, "Digital Shades Vol. 1" is positioned to become an ambient classic from the get-go.

If you like what you listen, you should go and dig into Raising Your Voice Trying to Stop an Echo by Hammock, The Dead Texan and And Their Refinement of the Decline by Stars of the Lid. If you don't like what you hear... get yourself checked. :)
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lightning Surfer on November 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This time around, Anthony Gonzalez (now the sole member of M83) tries his hand at New Age essentially. Casual fans of the band be warned that this album is largely two-track compositions performed on synthesizer. No drums, no guitar. Unless one is a fan of ambient New Age music, then they should pass on the "Digital Shades" series. That said, the music here is an effective exercise in minimalism, both in melody and arrangement. The fact that Gonzales is able to hold our attention with very little effort for 35 minutes is a testimony to his gifts as a composer. While this album does remind one of the early works of New Age giants like Jean-Michel Jarre & Vangelis, it lacks the depth needed to rise above mediocrity. Still, the hushed sweetness of this work is welcome from an artist known more for his abrasive intensity.

Highlights include the voice-synth magic on "Coloring The Void," the pulsating "My Own Strange Path" which sounds like a reprise of Ennio Morricone's "Gabriel's Oboe," the piano/synth-string lead "Dancing Mountains" & the heavenly finale called "The Highest Journey." For newcomers to M83, start with the band's third album "Before The Dawn Heals Us" as it best represents what Gonzalez's music is all about. He has proven himself to be a master of contrasting the light and dark elements of melody into a symphony of grey.

This is an album for the devoted M83 fan, but Post-Rock music hunters should pass on this effort in favor of the band's first three albums. The final verdict for me is "Digital Shades, Vol. 1" is an interesting work of ambient mood music, which further extends the range of this remarkable Dream-Pop band.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Dudhia on October 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The release of this album was somewhat of a surprise with the unusual rush. This may explain why the length of the album is but only 35 minutes. Although, as the name has it, Digital Shades Vol 2 is only expected to be released in 2011.

That not really being the problem, for many M83 fans who have noticed a progressive change from the Electro outfit that M83 was to an infusion of sound and noise establishment, this album has come at a bit of a surprise.

Given, Anthony Gonzalez has decided to go on a route that was first noticed in his debut album selftitled "M83". But this is still vastly different in that gone are the drums and bass that would fill all voids in previous albums. Instead, a progressive nature is felt through all tracks where as one moves into the song, new chords and organ-type feel music comes into play. It is almost as if as the more you listen to the song, the more of a trance you are getting into. The melodics go very well and is designed to be listened to at low volumes in an ambietic nature apart from "Colouring The Void".

All in all, this should actually have been the debut album for M83 to allow the progression to still continue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Comegys VINE VOICE on October 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I approached this new M83 disc with a little trepidation. The title and barely promoted release smacks of a mix album along the lines of "Late Night Tales." Don't let that dissuade you as "Digital Shades Vol. 1" is in fact a proper album. Additionally, the word that did get out on this album stressed the ambient nature of it. Considering M83 previous sound with dramatic crescendos and pulsing percussion, I worried that this would not play to the group's strengths. Fortunately, this was also an inaccurate assumption.

Truthfully, this isn't really an ambient disc, at least not along the lines of Aphex Twin's or Brian Eno's ambient work. I'd compare this more with early 80's Tangerine Dream albums such as Tangram. Still, M83 carves out its own distinctive niche, and it's a glorious one.

The sweeping grandeur of M83's synths and compositions make this an instant electronic classic. Everything here is strong, which I can even say for the groups previous impressive, but sometimes spotty albums.

In fact, my only complaint is the running time. We end up with about 35 minutes of music, which is pretty odd for an electronic album. Mastermind Gonzales is definitely leaving me salivating for more. Let's hope there's a volume two soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tommy M. on October 8, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I was expecting something along the lines of their previous album, which I continue to enjoy, but Digital Shades is a much different creature. Gone are the drums and guitars, and in its place are ambient instrumental soundscapes. Before the Dawn Heals Us was energetic and soaring, but this one seems perfectly content to pursue a quieter muse that probably won't appeal to previous listeners.

Digital Shades is like the calm after the storm, and it sometimes meanders frustratingly, and songs often end before they get a chance to take off. It's like interludes from a Vangelis album. As much as I admire their artistic prowess and happy ignorance of trends, I can only recommend it to people who are really into M83.

The thing is, if you're reading this, then you are probably in that camp. In which case, I hope you enjoy it more than I did.
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