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His 'dark' material: Kanye West said to be 'done' recording new album

Kanye West is reportedly “done” recording his sixth studio album, with an eye toward releasing the follow-up to his platinum-selling 2010 LP “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” this summer. Meanwhile, the Twitter firebrand has remained curiously silent of late (save for the occasional concert outburst), leaving industry observers to wonder whether West will unveil some of the new material during his “Saturday Night Live” set May 18.

On-air Monday, DJ Peter Rosenberg of New York’s Hot 97 FM said West’s label Island Def Jam held an office listening session for the album in the Big Apple last week, where his “gritty” musical direction was greeted with excitement.

“Everyone at the label that listened to the album loved it,” Rosenberg said. “I’ve heard it’s dark, but it’s really good.”

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In an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this month, members of Daft Punk revealed that they had reteamed with West -- who used an extended sample of the French duo’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” on his No. 1 single “Stronger” in 2007 -- in Paris. “It was very raw: He was rapping -- kind of screaming primally, actually,” Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter said.

The kilt-wearing performer-turned-wannabe-fashion-mogul has been holed up in the City of Light since Fashion Week in February and has enlisted an eclectic roster of guest contributors, including 2 Chainz, Chief Keef and Azealia Banks for collabos. Frequent West collaborator Pusha-T (who is signed to the rapper-producer's G.O.O.D. Music label) traveled to Paris earlier this spring to record something “super, super dark”) for his solo debut, also laying down vocals for West’s CD. And the tabloid news cycle has made sport of propagating the idea that the Louis Vuitton Don is intent on settling in the French capital with Kim Kardashian after the expected birth of their child in June.

So, why Paris? Why not?

West, after all, has a well-documented habit of heading overseas for extended recording jags, having cut most of “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” and part of his platinum 2008 album “808s & Heartbreak” at Honolulu’s Avex Recording Studio.

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