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Posted on April 14th, 2015 (3:00 pm) by Mark Philipp

Laurent Garnier (also known for working under the pseudonym “Choice”) is a French artist who has been DJing and producing electronic music around the globe for decades. Since his career began in the '80s, his varied library has covered a large portion of the ever-expanding list of electronic subgenres, but he has always kept a focus on techno. His latest release, The Home Box, is a love letter of sorts to techno, filled with tracks from Garnier's past releases and several new productions, all of which encapsulate the artist's contributions to the genre.

The Home Box contains selections of Garnier's back catalog (both original versions and remixes are represented) that were originally produced for five different record labels, representing the artist's evolution as a producer. Presented on four vinyl records and one CD, this collection takes the listener on an energetic, endlessly danceable, nostalgia trip. The classic techno sound is alive and well here, but the tracks are made fresh by some previously unreleased remixes that update the style, giving them a modern vitality. Each remix was obviously handled with care and pays respect to their source tracks, and the updating brings mixes from 1994 to an equal playing field with the new material. The entire selection here is polished and detailed. Garnier's skill has been finely tuned throughout the years, and he's not afraid to showcase his or his contributors' abilities.

As can be expected from a career-spanning box set, there is great diversity to sift through on this release. Throughout the three-plus hour collection, listeners will be treated to anything from jittery, pulse-pounding bass bangers (“H.E”) to slower, trance-inspired tech-ballads that turn into abrasive guitar sample grindfests (“The Rise and Fall of the Donkey Dog”). Techno fans will undoubtedly be pleased with the offerings, and maybe even a few of the electro-curious out there will find something to love while sifting through the almost overwhelming track list.

That being said, those looking for an entry point into techno should look elsewhere. The Home Box will appeal mostly to longtime fans of Garnier and all-night raves, with little to offer for those outside of the scene. Casual electronic fans will struggle with the long, repetitive tunes, and those with limited knowledge of the genre might not find value in the remixes or older tracks. This release has a very specific target in mind, with little regard paid to new listeners (which is to be expected when the set is limited to 1,000 copies). In addition, a couple tracks are repeated, and though they may be separated between the vinyl and CD portions, it's difficult to shake the feeling that there was a minor amount of padding added to extend the length of the release.

Laurent Garnier's long and illustrious career (even having been associated with the late house godfather Frankie Knuckles) is given a grand tribute with this box set. Each track is loaded with prowess and history. With the limited appeal and copies, however, the reach of this collection is questionable. The Home Box has a lot to offer, but only to diehard fans interested in exploring an eclectic memoir of one of France's prolific techno gurus.

Track List:

Vinyl 1:

  1. Enchanté (UNER Club Gleam Remix)
  2. L.O.L Cat (Original Version)
  3. Beat Da Boxx (Marc Romboy Bon Soir At Warehouse '94 Mix)
  4. Bang (The Underground doesn't stop) (Original Version)

Vinyl 2:

  1. Confused (Voiski Acid Mix)
  2. M.I.L.F (Original Version)
  3. Enchanté (Copy Paste Soul's 2Swords Remix)
  4. Psyché-delia (Original Version)

Vinyl 3:

  1. Boom (Traumer Remix)
  2. Confused (Original Version)
  3. D.S.K (Bambounou ft. French Fries Remix)
  4. H.E (Original Version)

Vinyl 4: Honey, I'm Home! EP

  1. Drifting In Midwaters
  2. I'm Going Home
  3. And The Party Goes

CD:

  1. Psyché-delia
  2. ENCHANTé
  3. The Rise & the Fall of the Donkey Dog
  4. I'm Going Home
  5. Revenge of the LOL Cats
  6. M.I.L.F
  7. Bang (The Underground Doesn't Stop)
  8. Boom (Traumer African Remix)
  9. And the Party Goes On
  10. The Rise & the Fall of the Donkey Dog (Husbands Remix)
Laurent Garnier - The Home Box Review
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

79 / 100
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