Think French techno, and the name Laurent Garnier instantly springs to mind.
The Paris native, who initially made his name at Manchester’s The Hacienda (we can think of worse places to start), has been at the top of his game for nearly 30 years, and has been producing tracks since the early 90s – with early stompers such as Acid Eiffel and Wake Up! followed by seminal albums such as 30, Unreasonable Behaviour and his most recent output, 2015’s La Home Box.
As he has proven over the years, he’s also somewhat adventurous when it comes to putting his tracks to video, working alongside noted directors to develop a series of memorable clips.
With that in mind 909originals presents five of his best music videos, starting with a bona-fide techno classic. It almost makes you long for the glory days of MTV.
The Man With The Red Face, 2000
Shot in Mumbai, India by director Siraj Jhaveri (who also produced a Bollywood-themed commercial for Orbit gum), Garnier’s The Man With The Red Face clip is a snapshot of everyday life on the Asian subcontinent, with occasional comedic cutaways – about halfway through, the action cuts to a lengthy Bollywood scene, featuring a female police officer that pulls off some excellent kung fu moves.
Keep an eye out for the familiar face that comes to fix the TV in the cafeteria.
Coloured City, 1998
For 1998’s Coloured City, Garnier teamed up with legendary French director Marc Caro (of Delicatessen fame), for a psychedelic preamble around the Pigalle district of Paris. Trippy stuff.
The Sound of the Big Babou, 1999
All good stories have a defined beginning, middle and end, and the video for The Sound of The Big Babou, one of the standout tracks on Garnier’s Unreasonable Behaviour, is a dark fable with some bizarre dream sequences thrown in to the mix… keep watching to the very end, to see what we mean.
Award winning director Vito Rocco, who produced the Bafta-winning Goodbye Cruel World, produced the clip.
Directed by Quentin Dupieux, aka Mr Oizo, this is Monsieur Garnier at arguably his most playful, as he performs his latest track (inspired, we are told by both a thunderstorm and his favourite part of the body) in a local garage for a fanbase of precisely two people.
We’re not sure what we enjoy more, the drummer’s Keith Moon-esque stomping, Garnier’s interaction with said fans, or the arrival of a TV executive to admonish the group for singing in English. As to why Garnier appears in a neck brace and cast – I guess we’ll leave that one up to your imagination.
Nightmare Sandwiches, 1996
Quentin Dupieux, at the time a relative unknown, was also on hand for this 1996 short film with a distinctly David Lynch-esque intro, before a bizarre selecton of characters arrive to wreak havoc in a French café. But how much of what they observe is actually real, and how much imaginary?
The clip includes two Garnier tracks, The Hoe and Crispy Bacon, as well as snippets of Deep Sea Diving – all tracks that appeared on the Frenchman’s 1997 album, 30.
Share your favourite Laurent Garnier videos in the comments below..! 🙂