Madonna Adds a French Twist to Forthcoming "Music"

Material Girl hires Parisian club artist Mirwais to produce next disc

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Two years ago, Madonna kicked her floundering music career back into high-gear by teaming up with underground ambient producer William Orbit on the acclaimed Ray of Light. Now the singer is hoping lightning strikes twice. For Music, her forthcoming disc, she has teamed up with little-known French electronic musician Mirwais Ahmadzai, whose "Disco Science" single is currently a European club hit.

The singer was introduced to the thirty-nine-year-old Afghan-born producer (formerly a member of French art-punk group Taxi Girl) through photographer Stephan Sednaoui. After hearing a four-track demo Mirwais sent to Maverick for signing consideration, Madonna was so impressed she corralled him into the studio right away. Two weeks later, the duo initiated sessions for Music, settled the details of his Maverick contract, and recorded a track called "Paradise (Not for Me)" for Mirwais' forthcoming album, Production.

Madonna has described Music as a collection of personal love songs. In a recent interview with an Austrian reporter, she said she felt Mirwais' compositions set the perfect tone for the forthcoming album. "He does electronic minimalist music -- and that's how my record will sound," she said. "My last record was very busy, had many layers, and was very ethereal. My motto for the new album is 'less is more.' This time, I've removed all the layers -- in Music it will be about naked emotion."

Madonna has not completely severed her relationship with Orbit, who is also signed to Maverick, and whose work on Ray of Light and subsequent singles "Beautiful Stranger" and "American Pie" yielded both critical and commercial raves. Orbit reportedly returned to produce at least three songs on the new album, but wants to stay focused on his own rejuvenated career. His recent Pieces in a Modern Style, an album of electronic interpretations of classical pieces, remains in the Top 40 throughout Europe months after its release.

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