Laurent Garnier @ Dublin Tripod Reviewed

Words by: Stephen Flynn & Ian Fleming
Posted: 22/3/10 19:01

Laurent GarnierFor a city, and indeed country, with undoubted legal limitations in place for hosting any sort of tangibly good electronic music event, St. Patrick's eve is the one night of the year whereby Dublin's line ups are envied rather than looked down upon by our European counterparts. For the Dublin electronic music community and casual fans alike, March 16th, as has been the case for a few years now, actually read like a roll call of legendary house music names, with Laurent Garnier, Derrick Carter and Andrew Weatherall all playing in various different points of the city. With Cocoon mainstay Lucio Aquilina and electro house dons The Bloody Beetroots also manning the decks elsewhere in Dublin, ardent Irish house music followers where left with the all too rare occurrence of an array of riches choice wise. The choice however, was practically already made up for me. With what's fast becoming an all too welcome yearly residency of sorts, the night belonged to Gallic Dj and all round purveyor of all things good in electronic music, Laurent Garnier. Having witnessed the full onslaught of the mans mixing skills and faultless track selection this time last year, it was an experience I was more than a little keen to repeat. Put simply, in house music circles at least, Laurent Garnier is a legend - his association with the fabled Hacienda, a slew of epic productions and countless tales of his "where you there?" sets paying testament to the fact. It turned out to be an inspired choice, and judging by the reaction of the heaving crowd which jeered and whooped every twist and turn of the mans set, a decision I was not alone in being entirely satisfied with.

In the lead up to the gig, various blogs I'd consulted insinuated that the man had hit his peak circa 2005, with the same naysayers also claiming they couldn't bare to go to one of his gigs anymore because while they once craved his sets, nowadays they found it all too predictable, while further implying that he wasn't taking the same risks with the tracks he plays as some up and coming acts today. I can personally refute that argument as the man in question seemed only too happy to blast out some contemporary wonders, which, in typical Garnier fashion spanned a number of genres from techno (Stereoheroes excellent remix of Gtronics 'Iron Man') tech house, (Guy Gerber's always welcome 'Timing') and electrohouse ( The Bloody Beetroots 'Warp' which received what I think was a number of ironic cheers). Fuck it, if you can't beat em.....

Garnier continued in a similar vein, all the time upping the intensity as peak time fast approached, with his most recent effort 'It's Just Muzik', released on Damian Lazarus' constantly impressive Crosstown imprint also getting the nod and duly receiving a manic crowd response. While barely perceptible at times, by 2.30 Garnier was really starting to kick out the jams. By now, what stood out most was the manner by which he teased and flirted with the crowds reaction with his bespoke productions. Everyone knows what 'Man With The Red Face' and 'Crispy Bacon' sound like, but Garnier's frantic mixing style mean it could always be the last second before you'd realise that they were on top of you. On that incidentally, is exactly how it panned out. For a sheer good time, no other element of a Garnier show comes close to rivaling the atmosphere created by what are undoubtedly still his two most effective Dj tools - and timeless classics at that.

Pound-for-pound though, you simply can't beat the man in terms of dolling out steady grooves. Garnier manages to sustain the intensity of a four hour set in an admirable way that's comparable to few other Dj's - despite what unidentified message board snobs will tell you. The influences he brings span everything from jazz, funk and house, to drum n bass - all of course, blended perfectly into an unmistakable, trademark sound. However, having seen him before, the thing that really strikes you, is the imprint a Garnier gig leaves on you. It's testament to the mans skill that despite whatever might be floating around in your blood stream, or no matter how many drinks you have on board. you always remember his gigs vividly, in all their associated colours. You may find yourself in the most innocuous of places; when suddenly this flotsam from your past comes rising through your attention and brings a smile to your face. Eclectic, intriguing and brimming with enthusiasm, if anything Garnier is as they say, like a fine wine in that the mans skills just keep getting better with age. You'll just have to take my word for it. |


Lauren Lo Sung
Erick Morillo
Valentino Kanzyani