Tales of a Kleptomaniac is the fifth studio album by France's
most successful DJ export: Laurent Garnier. As its title suggests,
album number 5 hops about like a manic magpie, picking up diverse
musical strands in its beak. But Garnier manages to weave his various
threads together into a tight, synth-spun web.
Working on the cutting edge as both a DJ and a producer, Laurent Garnier has carved out a reputation over the years for his musical eclecticism - a rare feat in the hermetically closed world of electronica! Tales of a Kleptomaniac confirms Garnier's passion for the eclectic and his new album kicks off with a mysterious female voice whispering that "on va passer du coq à l’âne" (a French expression meaning "skip from one thing to another.") Garnier is true to his word on his kleptomaniac offering, whirling from MicFlow's anarchic rap (Freeverse Part 1) through pounding techno beats (GnanmankouDJi) to a softer, languorous jazz style on From Deep Within.
Tales of a Kleptomaniac is, in short, a gloriously protean album, wending its way down many musical roads. But Garnier manages to create a welcome sense of cohesion, mixing his machines with a consistently jazz-style orchestration and the haunting sax of his regular collaborator Philippe Nadaud. A dark melancholy note runs throughout the album, too, often embodied by a brooding synth.
Garnier introduces more vocals than ever before on his fifth album, adding his own voice on Dealing With The Man or inviting guest stars such as rappers MicFlow and Tumi (who share the mike for two different versions of Freeverse) and Winston McAnuff who puts in a superb performance on the dub Food For Thought.
Like the consummate club DJ that he is, Garnier lets the atmosphere of each track build progressively, never making the musical or mood shift too sudden. Tales of a Kleptomaniac is an album that can easily be listened to at home, but it is out on the road with his group of musicians that these tracks are set to shine. Because at the end of the day, Laurent Garnier is no studio shark, but a generous and energetic live performer who takes to the stage like a fish to water.