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Laurent Garnier

A former staffer at the embassy in London, Frenchman Laurent Garnier began DJing in Manchester during the late '80s. By the following decade, he had become one of the best all-around DJs in the world, able to span classic deep house and Detroit techno, the harder side of acid/trance, and surprisingly jazzy tracks as well. He added production work to his schedule in the early '90s, and recorded several brilliant LPs across multiple decades that displayed a similar penchant for diversity. 30 (1997) and Unreasonable Behaviour (2000) contained some of his biggest club hits, while he delved into jazz, dub, downtempo, and other sounds on releases like The Cloud Making Machine (2005) and Tales of a Kleptomaniac (2009). Garnier later focused on soundtrack work, and collaborated with psychedelic group the Limiñanas on the 2021 full-length De Película. He continued releasing club singles all the while, and issued his most dancefloor-oriented album, 33 Tours et Puis S'en Vont, in 2023. One of the first Europeans to begin mixing American house music in Britain, Garnier was one of the prime cogs in the late-'80s Madchester scene. His DJing at Manchester's legendary Haçienda club provided a major inspiration for the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays to begin adding house rhythms to rock music. Garnier shifted his attention back to France in the early '90s, running the Wake Up Club in Paris for three years and gradually moving into recording as well. For the FNAC label, Garnier released French Connection (1991) and the A Bout de Souffle EP (1993). After the label went under, he formed the F Communications label with Eric Morand (a friend who had also worked for FNAC). He had amassed quite a discography by the mid-'90s, including the 13-minute epic "Acid Eiffel" (as part of the project Choice), but his first LP, Shot in the Dark, wasn't launched until 1994. His second, 30, appeared in 1997, followed by the retrospective Early Works. The full-length Unreasonable Behaviour appeared in 2000, with the more jazzy, experimental set The Cloud Making Machine arriving in 2005. Retrospective: 1994-2006 combined major singles like "Crispy Bacon" and "The Man with the Red Face" with standout remixes for the likes of Alex Attias and Carl Craig. The live recording Public Outburst, issued in 2007 and inspired by improvisational jazz, featured material Garnier wrote and performed with Bugge Wesseltoft, Benjamin Rippert, and Philippe Nadaud. A couple years later, Garnier offered the expansive -- even by his standard -- Tales of a Kleptomaniac. Throughout the decade, he also put together a handful of varied mix albums: Excess Luggage, Life: Styles, and The Kings of Techno, the last of which was a two-disc set shared with comrade Craig. The 2010s were slightly less active for Garnier only when it came to traditional studio content. DJing, broadcasting, and operating F Communications kept him occupied, as did making music for dance productions, television, and film. The year 2015 brought La Home Box, a helpful compilation that rounded up then-recent tracks issued on 12" and as digital downloads for an assortment of labels, including Hypercolour, 50 Weapons, and Still Music, as well as some exclusive tracks. Speicher 95: Tribute EP, a contribution to Kompakt's long-running series, appeared in 2017. Garnier composed music for the film soundtracks Paris est à nous (2019) and Le roi bâtard (2020). He was also revealed to be a co-founder of the anonymous COD3 QR label, along with Scan X. Continuing his fixation with cinematic sounds and moods, Garnier collaborated with the Limiñanas for 2021's De Película. His solo film score Entre la vie et la mort was released in 2022. The club-focused album 33 Tours et Puis S'en Vont appeared in 2023, including a collaboration with French hip-hop group 22Carbone and tracks featuring the voices of Alan Watts and Alan Vega.
© John Bush & Paul Simpson /TiVo


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