Release Date: Sep 20, 2019
Record label: Mute
Though it's rarely singled out for praise, 2007's Digital Shades Vol. 1 is a Rosetta stone for the two classic M83 albums that followed: Saturdays=Youth and Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. Anthony Gonzalez's love of ambient and shoegaze ran throughout the serene collection of minimal soundscapes like digital waves washing up against a pixelating shoreline.
After spending years creating the grand statements of Junk and the music for Cirque du Soleil's show Volta, M83's Anthony Gonzalez recharged with a pair of more personal projects that arrived in 2019. The first was his equally romantic and unsettling score for Knife + Heart, his brother Yann Gonzalez's late-'70s erotic thriller. The second was DSVII, which appeared more than a decade after his first collection of instrumentals, Digital Shades, Vol.
This far into his career, we've come to expect a variation of what Gonzalez will deliver during his search to perfect his take on expansive, monumental sound. But even while the project of M83 has dipped in and out of relevancy from film score flops, to the near-perfect Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts, and even 2016's problematic Junk, DSVII serves nothing more than a varied collection of B-sides, some of which shine magnificently whereas a majority disappoint. Gonzalez likely never anticipated the fame that would be attached to his name, at least not to the extent in which it occurred.