» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Laurent Garnier
The Cloud Making Machine
Mute/F Communications

Rating: 6/10 ?

May 20, 2005
Techno DJs making free-jazz: hats off to experimentation; without it, the world would be a cold and dreary tundra of conformity and repetition and no true fan of music wants that. The downside, of course, comes in excursions that just don't quite work, whether it's due to biting off a bit more than one can chew, lack of motivation or several misfired steps.

The closest reference to French DJ Laurent Garnier's latest album would be Carl Craig's Innerzone Orchestra, a sometimes moving and sometimes meandering project of live instrumentation combined with programming that steps lively in places and flaccidly masturbates in others. The Cloud Making Machine falls victim to both of these eventualities, and winds up an uneven and not-always-engaging listen, even with the well-deserved credentials of its creator on display.

His press sheet may call this Garnier's "most personal album to date," but smart money would be on one of his mixed CD releases - an environment which he seems more comfortable in and frankly, more capable. But again, an artist has got to spread his or her wings and take chances, and more power to this train of thought.

Garnier's intentions, with tracks like the slinky funk-jazz and skittering beats of "9.01-9.06" or the beat-twisted jazz of "First Reaction (V2)," over which Sangoman Everett brings his spoken word game face, are his best efforts, but there is a feeling of being sucked into a mid-90s vortex here; we need to move this flow forward, not backwards. The ambient noise collage and montage of a track like "Act 1 Minotaure Ex" feels like a respite amidst all this improvisation, as breathy downbeats combine with laser beam stabbed synth chords in a mist of spacey free-form.

Is it simply an impossible feat for the electronic and DJ culture swinger to platonically meet with the live band vixen of jazz or rock and produce kids that aren'tů slow (or mildly retarded for that matter)? It's not like they're first cousins exactly - maybe second cousins depending on whose family tree you check. Frankly, from experience and ingrained societal restrictions, the answer would appear to be a resounding "yes" - it ain't gonna happen. Unfortunate, perhaps, but maybe these two camps are best left to their own trajectories. A matter of personal taste, no doubt, but the proof is in the pudding. Kudos to you, Mr. Garnier, but your turntables are looking kind of lonely.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker



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