The purpose of dance music is to make people shake their ass, but that doesn’t often happen in the comfort of your own home or on your daily ride to work on the Metro. It happens, or is meant to happen, on the dance floor. Couple that with the simple fact that it really doesn’t take much to get people’s asses moving, and you can maybe see where I’m coming from. For me, dance/electronica is an art form that too often get’s dragged down the seventh circle of synthesized hell where dorm room/Garageband using stoners crank out repetitive rhythm after repetitive rhythm while they stare at the pretty lights bobbing in time to their “creations” and think “Whoa man. Crispy”
On the other hand though, there’s M83.
Words: Roddy Rasti
To say Anthony Gonzales, aka M83,’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming – a double LP allegedly crafted in some ineffable light of Life, Art and Growth; bearing the shadows of Nostalgia, Change and Impermanence; and cast upon the Extraterrestrial Landscapes of the Surrealist Subconscious – is for everybody would no doubt be as ridiculous as it sounds a gross overstatement. But, to call it pretentiously French a beyond-lofty project with a near-inescapable event horizon seems like an apt summation. Try calling it anything else. In fact, try not calling it at all – just turn your back and ignore it; I dare you. You’d do just as well trying to approach it non-critically.
The truth is, any approach is doomed from the very get-go. Resistance is futile. Its gravity, even if of the anti- variety, is palpable for reasons you’ll soon inevitably come to know. So buckle up, because there’s going to be a ride, and whether or not its rock will suffice to match its roll is, by its own design, all that’s left to discuss.
As a fan of M83’s previous work, I’m no stranger to his songwriting style and trademark dramatics. This apparently shy but unmistakably talented arty French producer and songwriter has long had a gift for the evocative, while bordering the overwrought. This is not music for the subtly inclined; this is urgency for the young, hungry, tempestuous and seemingly invincible. His signature sound has been known to marry the effect-drenched lushness of shoegaze, the stormily emotive landscapes and volatile dynamics of post-rock, an acid-washed jean jacket’s worth of Molly-Ringwaldian ‘80s reminiscence, and many manic fistpumps full of slick danceable Euro Disco Electro beats.
Altogether, the result is typically part silent-film score (of the urban time-lapsed variety), part danceable 80s nostalgia, part shoegaze emo psychodrama, part electropop hipsteralia, and part dream-infused space-rock – a combination uniquely well suited for the peaks and valleys of both pubescent love and long-term space voyages to distant galaxies, heralding both triumph and loss yet unmatched in the cumulative history of universe and humanity!!
This is not hyperbole. This is without exaggeration M83’s typical sound on a normal day.