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  A Guitar and a Heart  
  Gooom (EMI)  
Release Date:
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Everyone makes a fuss about how M83 are the new thing in electronic music. However, i must say this -- they sure as heck don't sound electronic to me. Not like Aphex Twin, or even like Boards of Canada, rather, M83 sound like a krautrock band. (I hope that they don't take that as an insult, seeing as they are actually French and all.) What i mean is, they sound less like any other electronic artist i have heard and more like Tangerine Dream, or Can, or Amon Duul. Their music is typified by driving beats (that really sound like actual drumming, instead of a machine, at least to my ears), heavy dark keyboards, and thunderous whirling guitars.

This is the first single off of their new album. It came out a few weeks ago, and, by the time this is posted, the actual album, Before the Dawn Heals Us will be out. Both of the tracks on this 12" are featured on the album.

The A Side is called A Guitar and a Heart and a whizzing guitar riff drives this one. In the background, the drummer is pounding away at his kit, while the keyboardist is making spacey chorus sounds, almost simulating a herd of backup singers. The guitarist is just cranking away though, and that really makes this song. It rocks. In all honesty, this moves along like a tight rocker that local band eNTERTAINME.nt would do, only without the vocals. That is, it's kind of dark, rather loud, and has prominent keyboarding. Good stuff really.

The B side is Safe. This is a piano driven ballad with subtle vocals and lots of the keyboard chorus effect. It's not bad at all, for a slow piano-y number.

On the whole i am impressed with this single, as i have been impressed with everything else i have heard from M83. They are a very solid krautrock band, making epic instrumental jams. The thing is, from what i have read there are only really two guys in this act, and they work electronically. This really confuses me. I mean, M83 rocks, and not like a couple of guys with laptops normally rock. I wonder what software they use? More importantly, i wonder why more people are not using the exact same software for simulating drumbeats!

Anyway, one technical note of annoyance. Gooom Records, like so many labels these days, does not see fit to indicate the desired play speed anywhere on the record. I have found that 33 1/3 RPM suits the music best, so that's my recommendation.

After hearing this single, i am looking forward to the new album.

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