It's 15 years since Laurent Garnier released the Unreasonable Behaviour album, the only one of his works to make any impact upon me (subsequent release The Cloud Making Machine was purchased but fell short in comparison). With his hit French language Electrochoc book (charting the history of dance music) now being printed and published in a number of other tongues a one disc highlights package of his La HOME Box is being made generally available in parallel with the book's wider release.
The La HOME Box CD no doubt covers Garnier's whole career to date but having little extra information to go on it (and it's nine track remix version) needs to be judged on its own merits rather than where the individual tracks highlight a growth spurt in their creator's abilities.
The album proper begins with 'Psyche-Delia', which reminds me of an old cookbook joke (as it may well be supposed to). It thumps along at a pace a couple of notches above mid-level with a decent amount melodious bits and pieces over the top and throughout it to keep you guessing as to what's coming next. A shame that it just ends rather than doing something a bit more spectacular in closing. 'ENCHANTe' picks the pace up further and is a good near ten minutes worth of hi-hat, unintelligilble vocalising, strings and farty bleeps.
And so it goes on. Completists will be able to tell you where each of these tracks fits in to the overall Garnier ouevre but I've not even a clear idea of what a four by four beat is so all I can do is say whether on the whole the album strikes me as one to bother adding to your collection or not. Which it is. From the brooding, cinematic 'The Rise & The Fall Of The Donkey Dog' to the banger that is 'Bang (The Underground Doesn't Stop)' this collection makes it clear that what Laurent Garnier has/had lying around the place unreleased is head and sholuders above the quality that many of his contemporaries actually release as their best efforts.
Remix-wise the treatments applied to the songs (by acts such as Steve Bug & Sebastien Leger) selected for working over do pretty much what you'd expect - many gain a bit in length, most only vaguely resemble the inspiration behind them although as four of the songs presented in new forms don't feature on La HOME Box CD what they sounded like to begin with is unknown to me. Either way the remix disc is a good companion piece to the main bargain highlights package.
Electrochoc is published in the UK on July 02 as follows:- Price: £30, Extent: 304 pages, ISBN number: 9781906615918, Format: Special Edition Hardback (with drilled and varnished cover), Available at: www.laurentgarnierbook.com