M83 began in the southern French town of Antibes around the turn of the millennium as a duo, Anthony Gonzalez and Nicolas Fromageau. Equally indebted to the 4AD/My Bloody Valentine school of blissed-out, psychedelicized noise and to the chilled atmospheric sides of Paris and Berlin's electronic scenes, M83's self-titled debut and its 2003 follow-up, Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts, captured the tragedy and ascension of the post-9/11 moment. Befitting a group named after a universe, it was not small music, it did not back down from feelings and it could rock a dance floor without mocking rockers or dancers. Fromageau exited ahead of '05's Before the Dawn Heals Us, yet as titles like "Teen Angst" and "Don't Save Us from the Flames" may imply, M83 retained the sound and fury of a sonic battleground, youthful vigor and knowing hopelessness exploding and receding. A limited-edition EP of ambient sculptures called Digital Shades [Vol. 1] saw Gonzalez achieve an ambient calm. And when he re-entered the breach, '08's Saturdays = Youth found him embracing an '80s song form, an almost-pop band forming from the big bang of an electronic freak-out.