No, this isn’t the guy who invented the shampoo. French DJ Laurent Garnier is considered to be one of the best in his field ever since he became the toast of the Manchester club the Hacienda, inspiring the likes of the Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays. But the DJ scene, even overseas, is not what it once was. Sure, in the city you’ll hear someone talking about how his friend still `spins’ over at the such and such club, but the entire genre is mostly now talked about in the past tense. What’s a DJ to do?
The answer for Laurent Garnier is to continue to make challenging and experimental music. His latest, The Cloud Making Machine is not a dance record by any means. Just like works by Monet and Picasso are worlds apart, even though they may use the same tools, so Garnier’s latest compositions are different than even his previous works, although they employ breakbeats, samples, and electronic sounds.
As I stated, The Cloud Making Machine is not a dance record. Instead, it is a collection of short art pieces, each one a look into Garnier’s mind, heart, and soul. Some may give you peeks into that world of dance music that he inhabits, but still others will contain dark basslines, cooing babies, and visions of an industrial future. But there is an underlying hope that lies within its tracks. One look at the overly stylized and beautiful album artwork will hint at it, but it is the songs themselves which delve deep within the psyche of a man who has seen it all and who still wants something better. Maybe some of that has to do with the fact that Garnier is now a father.
There are people who like short stories and there are those who don’t, preferring the long sit down feel of a novel. The Cloud Making Machine is like a collection of short stories. There will be some you’ll connect with far more than others. Each one will have different narrative styles, different voices, tones, and imagery. Ultimately, like with short story writers, the people will be waiting for the full length novel. What most people aren’t understanding is that short stories are an art form in and of themselves which aren’t just a springboard for writers from which to graduate. Laurent Garnier’s short stories are works of art to be appreciated by their own merits and not by the fact that they are not one of his famous DJ sets. Try listening to this CD while you’re doing something relaxing, taking a bath, writing a letter, just laying about and doing nothing. You’ll appreciate it much more.
Derrick May- The Innovator
Laurent Garnier- Unreasonable Behavior
DJ Shadow- …Endtroducing