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M83 – Digital Shades

M83 – Digital Shades

, M83 – Digital Shades

, M83 – Digital Shades

Ambient music. Hmm. After nearly 25 years on this planet, I’m not entirely convinced. Sure, I own some ambient albums worth mentioning: the excellent Selected Ambient Works vol. 2 by Aphex Twin, Future Sound of London’s Lifeforms is interesting but ultimately inattentive, KLF’s Chillout album is notable for the song titles and seemed aimed at the post-clubbing comedown of yore while Music has the right to Children is ambient-tinged but it has too many amazing beats to be labelled as so. Most stuff in the genre is too wishy-washy or samey for it to stick.

Another obstacle to appreciating the genre depends on when and where I listen to it. The odd timewhile working, I’ll put on something ambient to drown out any day-by-day noise while I’m concentrating on something else. It serves as a distraction to the hum-drum of phones and office machinery and allows me to focus. Occasionally, I’ll put on some ambient music when I have trouble sleeping (Should music that facilititates sleep be considered a good thing?). Ultimately, while I flirt with the genre there is very little I love about it.

Take the recently released Digital Shades vol.1 by M83. Essentially, this not-counted-as-an-official-album release is this: a good M83 album stripped of all the great stuff: the blinding hooks, guitars, drums and vocals all thrown out. Removing elements that made previous album Before the Dawn Heals Us such a powerful, evocative piece of work, leaves the digital sheen underneath. Admittedly, it is occassionally beautiful, soaring and resonant but ultimately confined to expedite me to dreamland.

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Maybe I’m being too harsh on the whole genre? Maybe I’ve been listening to it in the wrong circumstances? So most excellent reader, tell me:

What ambient releases float your boat?

and

See Also
, M83 – Digital Shades

When and where do you listen to them?

MP3

M83 – Colouring the Void

M83 – The Highest Journey

[M83 on Myspace | Digital Shades vol 1 on Amazon ] [Other Digital Shades reviews : Audiversity ]
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