Laurent Garnier - Public Outburst

Jorge Costa 23/09/2007

Techno and bluesy-jazz lock horns on Laurent Garnier's latest album; a record that at times sounds like the lazy backdrop for smokey, sophisticated late-night dives, while at other times it wouldn't be out of place in a heaving Ibiza dance party. Comprised of live sessions from when Garnier and friends were doing the 2006 festival circuits, 'Public Outburst' has a largely improvisational feel which allows the tracks to billow to seven minute lengths and where crowd reactions drift in and out.

Twelve minute opener, “63”, is hardly a “public outburst” and more of a huge-but-gentle exhalation with Garnier's electrical manipulation serving as the plate for Bugge Wasseltoft's and Benjamin Rippert's meaty keyboards. Although present in every track, Philippe Nadaud's brass comes into more prominence in “Butterfly” (insert metaphor for “fluttery” synths and sax altos here), and almost becomes the centrepiece of various tracks by the end of the album, giving “Barbiturik Blues” its gorgeous free-flowing jazz melodies.

Garneir's techno is similarly continuously present, but really hits you full force as “Butterfly” segues into “M Bass” with a downpour of drum and bass beats grinding against textured synths while Nadaud's bass clarinet and Spleen's rapping race over them. We're given a breather with the first half of “Controlling the House” before those beats come back in “Battles” and the head-thumping “First Reactions”.

Pure dance aficionados may find this a tad inaccessible with its extended periods of meandering instrumentation. However, this quartet has crafted a perfect genre-fusion of a record where elements from the aforementioned genres are always present, but without ever descending into compromise.