Laurent Garnier Talks Techno

You’ve been DJ-ing since the late 80s. How do you think music has developed over the years?
I think the music has developed with technology. I don’t like the word dictate but I think technology has impacted the way we listen. Similar to how we share pictures and videos. Music has evolved, production has gotten much better and so have mixes. Music-wise, it is interesting that in this generation we have probably gone to every corner of music there is. We went as hard, as minimal and as funky as we’ve ever gotten.
Has it always been Detroit Techno?
Detroit techno alongside house when house just started. I was DJ-ing at the Haçienda club in Manchester but we didn’t have enough house records to carry off a stable night. So at that time, I played everything from hip hop to old electro and go-go music. Then it went to house, Chicago house and then Detroit techno. To me techno is the essence of everything I liked—housey, rough cuts, urban hip hop vibes and so on. Techno has always been about freedom, it has a little bit of everything in it.
What is your creative process like when you go into production?
I like to be on my own. I start on my own, work on a skeleton, a rough sketch and I will invite other musicians in after I’ve done my part. Even when musicians come in and work on their parts, I will ask them to leave after they are done so I can mix it all together by myself.
Creativity in isolation then?
It’s more of a frustration because I am not an instrumentalist. I can’t play drums as good as my drummer does or the keyboards as good as my keyboardist. I do write and produce the tracks but I am not able to play the instruments by myself, and therefore I need time on my own to work on my music. It’s a kind of frustration that I am not able to (freely) express myself the way I want to.
Head over to Laurent Garnier ‘Live.Booth.Sessions’ feat. SCAN X & Benjamin Rippert on Feb 18, 10pm. Zouk, 17 Jiak Kim St., 6738-2988. $28-33 includes two drinks.