French electronic and early-2000’s cult heroes M83 have announced their latest album DSVII, set to release on Sept. 20 via Mute Records.
The follow-up to 2016’s Junk, the band’s forthcoming album serves as the successor to 2007’s largely instrumental Digital Shades Vol. I and draws heavy influence from “early videogame soundtracks, ‘80s sci-fi/fantasy films and analog synth pioneers.”
“At first there was this vivid memory of Dungeons and Dragons, this childhood sensation of living in an imaginary world set in a faraway past or a lost future,” Gonzalez explained on the band’s website. “I wanted to create some music that could be part of this adventure and journey with all of its solitary knights, dreamy landscapes, strange animals, forgotten myths and old spells.”
The album was written during a period of mental and physical exhaustion following founding member Anthony Gonzalez’s compositional work with Cirque du Soleil and the end of the band’s international tour for Junk. To cope, Gonzalez spent the summer of 2017 swimming, watching older films and playing ‘80s videogames in coastal France—where the “simple and imperfect” inklings of the album began to form.
Alongside René Laloux’s Fantastic Planet and John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness, Gonzalez lists Nobuo Uematsu’s score for Final Fantasy, Koji Kondo’s score The Legend of Zelda and Koichi Sugiyama’s work on Dragon Quest as major influences for DSVII.
“I wanted to be surrounded by nature and the past,” Gonzalez continued. “I would only feed myself with older art. It’s almost as if I couldn’t stand living in the present and didn’t find much interest in modern things anymore.”
To capture the essence of the old-school gaming medium, the album was recorded entirely with vintage analog equipment, some of which include the Roland Juno 106, Prophet 6 and Matrix 12 synths.
DSVII will arrive Sept. 20, and you can preorder the album here.
Elsewhere: Gonzalez has kept busy this year by scoring the soundtrack for his brother’s ambitious French slasher flick Knife + Heart. You can revisit one of its cuts here and our 2016 chat with the musician here.
Check out DSVII’s tracklist and artwork below.
01. Hell Riders
02. A Bit of Sweetness
03. Goodbye Captain Lee
05. Meet The Friends
07. A Word of Wisdom
08. Lune De Fiel
09. Jeux D’Enfants
10. A Taste of the Dusk
11. Lunar Son
12. Oh Yes You’re There, Everyday
14. Taifun Glory
15. Temple of Sorrow