Laurent Garnier - 30
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Laurent Garnier
30
(F Communications)

Back when I was in college, and it was on at a reasonable hour, I used to watch AMP on MTV. When it first came on the air, it was actually a pretty nice production, and it gave some of the more non-mainstream electronic artists a chance to strut their stuff and show off their cool videos (which, by the way, are better than 99% of the shite that MTV airs). Anyway, what I'm geting at here is that my first-ever introduction to Laurent Garnier came in the form of the video for his song, "Crispy Bacon," which is strange considering that he's been on the scene for awhile creating some interesting music. Those who have seen the video know what I'm talking about when I say that it's freaky (it's actually taken from a larger film piece). There's a subwoofer half-submerged in a bathtub in a dingy room, while strange looking people wander around the dark place. It sticks in your head, along with the steady-building, repetitive song.

Those wanting an album full of that sort of hard-pulsing dance music are in for a bit of a surprise when listening to this full-length release. It starts out with the ambient "Deep Sea Diving" before finally clicking up with a beat on "Sweet Mellow" and tearing into the already mentioned "Crispy Bacon." From there, things get a little weirder with the pseudo hip-hop beat of "For Max" and the horrific and completely out-of-place "The Hoe." I'm not even kidding when I talk about the last track. While the rest of the album is fairly cohesive, this feaux booty-bass track with its dumb sample sticks out like a sore thumb (possibly along with the old-skool "Kallit!"). From there, the album goes right back into form with the mellow "Theme From Larry's Dub" and the other dancefloor-pounder "Flashback."

Because of the weird stuff in the middle part of the album, it makes 30 kind of a hit-or-miss affair. A couple tracks really stand out as winners, and the majority of the album is really solid, but there are a couple real stinkers. Even at that, though, it's enough to make me want to seek out some more of his stuff.

rating: 6.7510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00