Thursday, April 30, 2009

Box Fresh Techno

Laurent Garnier - Astral Dreams (Speakers Mix)
Laurent Garnier - Astral Dreams (Headphones Mix)

The thing about top-notch quality techno is that it never seems to age. Take Laurent Garnier’s ‘Astral Dreams (Speakers Mix)’. It is nearly 15 years old, but rather than sounding dusty and ancient it still sounds box fresh today, like it was cooked up on Reason and burnt onto a CDr by some prodigious teen techno producer last week. 15 years is a long time, but the track is timeless, with super crispy production. OK, so if you were playing it out now you’d have to pitch it up a bit, but I probably would have given it a bit of a nudge even back then - you want everything to go faster when you’re young. As the ‘Speakers Mix’ suggests, this was one for the dancefloor, designed to shred ears – if you stood too close to the PA it sounded like a gigantic metallic dog was barking directly into your brain.

The ‘Speakers Mix’ originally surfaced on a 12” on FComm – the precursor to the French techno wizard’s debut album ‘Shot in the Dark’, which was released in the autumn of 1994. There was a ‘Headphones Mix’ that I’m also posting - this is a laidback, trancier affair that is more of the period and does sound slightly dated. But when that insidious acid line kicks in it’s a dead ringer for peak-‘Brown Album’ Orbital, which is a very, very good thing indeed.

Search eBay for 'Shot in the Dark'
Laurent Garnier discography
Laurent Garnier MySpace

As a footnote - I'm on Twitter now. You can find me here. Not sure how I'm going to use it at the moment, but I am considering doing occasional exclusive Twitter posts - 140 character reviews with tinyurl links to downloadable tracks - that won't feature on the main TWNR site. It may never happen, but if you want to see if it does - follow me! If I get 12 followers, I'll organise a supper for us all somewhere nice*.

* I won't.