Laurent Garnier (born February 1, 1966) is a French house music
producer and DJ. Laurent Garnier began DJing in Manchester during the
late 1980s. By the following decade, he had a broad stylistic range,
able to span classic deep house and Detroit techno, the harder side of
acid/trance and jazzy tracks as well. He added production work to his
schedule in the early 1990s and recorded several LPs.
During the late 1970s Laurent Garnier discovered clubbing with his brother in Paris, where his family lived. He loved disco but also listened to all other contemporary musical genres: reggae, funk, punk… At the age of 16 Laurent was already interested in clubs and DJs and had started recording and mixing music on basic tape recorders.
In 1984, Laurent started working as a waiter for the French Embassy in London. He stayed there for a year and a half before moving to Manchester in 1986. England was a revelation for him, as he discovered the booming UK house scene and started DJing.
In 1987 he discovered the Haçienda club in Manchester and met Mike Pickering the resident DJ. Chicago House and Detroit Techno became very popular, and Garnier started mixing at the Haçienda club under the name of DJ Pedro. Garnier becomes one of the first Europeans to begin mixing American house music in Britain, Garnier was one of the prime cogs in the late-1980s Manchester scene. His DJing at Manchester’s Haçienda club provided an inspiration for The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays to begin adding house rhythms to rock music.
In 1988 he went back to France to fulfill his military obligations. He also spent some time in New York where he meets Frankie Knuckles. Garnier shifted his attention back to France in the early 1990s, running the Wake Up club in Paris for three years, also mixing in clubs like le Palace or le Boy, DJing in rave parties and gradually moving into recording as well. For the FNAC label, Garnier released “French Connection” and the Bout de Souffle EP; after the label went under, though, he formed the F Communications label with Eric Morand (a friend who had also worked for FNAC). He often also DJed at “Open all hours” at London’s Ministry of Sound on Friday nights, in the early and mid 1990s. One such set had a music press journalist enthusing ‘Laurent Garnier is the best DJ in the world!’.
His first LP, Shot in the Dark, came in 1995. His second, 30, appeared in 1997 and included one of Garnier’s best selling singles, “Crispy Bacon”. 30 was followed by the retrospective Early Works. After trotting the globe with multiple DJ appearances during the late 1990s, Garnier returned to the production realm with Unreasonable Behaviour, released in early 2000, which features one of Garnier’s best known songs, “The Man with the Red Face”. Garnier released an EP in 2002 and his latest full length album, The Cloud Making Machine, in 2005. His most recent album is Retrospective, a best-of which collects both his original work and remixes, including some vinyl-only or previously-unreleased tracks.