M83 creates irresistable ethereal drama. - Oh My Rockness

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M83 creates irresistable ethereal drama.

April 7, 2005
Some bands are just meant to be seen live -- Explosions in the Sky, Don Caballero and Les Savy Fav are a few of the contemporary bands that immediately come to mind. And after seeing M83 at Bowery last fall on their first ever North American tour, it was clear that this is a band destined to be on this "must see live" list. They simply brought the Ballroom down.

While their recent album, Before the Dawn Heals Us, is surely stunning and has received the same widespread praise as their debut, Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts, M83 has an even more rapturous live sound that needs to be experienced by all of the senses. The only way to truly "get" them is to go to their show -- your Best Buy speakers simply scratch the surface of what these guys can do.

Similar to Mogwai (except that M83 are French and love keyboards instead of guitars), M83 have the rare ability to completely invigorate and transform the audience with their euphoric sounds. This is true ambient music.

For some reason, it has become in vogue to tag a band "ambient" if their music is instrumental and, often, boring. However, the definition of ambient is "surrounding," or more accurately, "completely enveloping." It seems to me that completely enveloping is the antithesis of boring, and M83 agrees. With an incredible ear for melody, as one grand song effortlessly floats into the start of another, you are completely swept away by the electronic ecstasy of their synthetic sounds. Programmed strings and drum loops crescendo to a dramatic climax that leaves you feeling dizzy with elation. M83's sound is so grand it is hard to believe this band is really only one guy (formerly two guys... trouble in paradise?). Five people would have a hard time pulling off what he does.

All signs say that it's M83's time. And perhaps, not to lay the pressure on too thick, they are the sorely needed saviors of ambient music.

Enigmatic Berliner, Ulrich Schnauss, once again opens for M83. He's been known to mix techno/hip-hop beats with everyone's favorite shoe-gazing songs. Schnauss keeps a low pro, so this show is an excellent second opportunity to see the man who may be one of the more uplifting IDM artists.

M83 play with Ulrich Schnauss at the Bowery Ballroom, Wednesday, April 13th & Thursday, April 14th.


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