Laurent Garnier, Renaissance man.
A renaissance man of electronic music, Laurent Garnier has been making the planet dance for over 25 years. And, for all this time, his huge energy has seen him grooving behind record decks, bouncing up and down behind studio equipment and leaping around radio studios. He is a multi-faceted artist whose impact on the music scene reaches around the world. But above all, he is a DJ. A true DJ: transformed by music, passionate about the crowd. Aside from his albums, singles, and globe-trotting sets, Laurent Garnier is also a composer for cinema, television and theatre.
1) 1) Mr Garnier, it’s an absolute pleasure to be chatting with you. Please tell us where you are and how’re feeling right now.
I am in bed in a hotel in Toronto… so far, so good!
2) The new release out now on 50 Weapons is entitled ‘GARNER – AF 4302’. Tell us in your words how it came to be and what you were trying to convey to the listener.
I never really intellectualise my music. It’s all a question of the mood & the moment. At the time when I made these tracks I wanted some raw, moody as hell dance-floor tracks. It’s not like a big “peak-time” thing for every dance-floor – but more of an organic feel to the tracks. So I dug out some of my old analog keyboards for something deeper and a bit darker than my last few records. I just felt it!
3) Originally released in 2003, “Electrochoc is a journey through electronic music history via Laurent Garnier’s career, which started in 1987.” Tell us about this amazing project you did with David-Brun-Lambert.
We actually re-released the book last November with 6 new chapters (100 extra pages) covering about the last 10 years so the book is now covering 25 years of the story of techno-life. The book is definitely not a book about me, we tried to tell (the story) in the most accurately way possible, the story of the techno world from it’s birth in Detroit and Chicago, to it’s early explosion within the rave culture in England, to the globalization of the whole movement around the world. It’s quite deep, there is a lot to read in the book. But the main purpose for the book is to share the love for this music.
4) I got to ask about ‘The Man with the Red Face’. Could you have ever imagined that this track would be such a staple in the planet of dance music? From the 14-year-old original release on ‘Unreasonable Behavior’, to your live recorded versions, to the remakes and remixes… How do you explain the phenomenon of this classic?
I really haven’t got the slightest clue why on earth this track got so big!!! It is honestly a big mystery for me!
5) 2014 looks like it’s going to be the year of Garnier. Where can your fans catch you playing over the next few months?
I just played Coachella, than lot’s of dates in Europe before this summer, Paris, London, Berlin, Marseille and Lyon. I am DJing a lot at the moment. I guess they can check all my DJ dates on my website. :)
6) What inspires you?
I always say the same thing, other people’s music. When I hear some great tracks, the first thing I want to do is to get into the studio.
7) With so much traveling, giving, music production, and your own imprint ‘F Communications’ – just how do you find the time to make it all work?
By keeping straight, being careful, be focused and get things done!
8) What’s your opinion on the current state of House & Techno? How has it significantly changed?
I love the fact that good underground music is getting so big right now. I’ve never heard so much good and exciting music compared to the last 2 or 3 years or so. There is so much great stuff that it’s hard to keep up and I am talking about all the different styles of electronic music as a whole too. I think it’s a very exciting time but as I always have said, how long will that last???
9) Tell us something we may not know about Laurent Garnier.
I am a Frenchman that very much loooooooves Spanish wines! I know that may sound odd!?
10) And finally, what would be your short list of dream collaborations – past or present, dead or alive?
Miles Davis, Carl Craig , Mad Mike, Kendrick Lamar, Fela, Roy Ayers, Nina Simone, War, Suicide, ESG, etc…etc…etc… (the list is very long!!!)