French DJ wizard, Laurent Garnier returns to true techno form with his third full-length LP The Cloud Making Machine. While the LP contains his usual mastery of all sounds techno and ambient, Garnier departs from the usual club vibe. In fact, The Cloud Making Machine acts more as an electronic opera than music to get your groove thing on to.
Plot of the album centers around the image of a factory emitting smoke puffs into the sky (the cloud making machine of the title) and a protagonist, who hopes to have his wishes flown up to the heavens by the wispy bits of fluff. 10 track LP effectively conveys a full range of emotions from hopefulness to fear (via public violence) to an acceptance of what the “hands of time” have in store.
Tracks begin with pulsing, staccato beats filtered through the static sounds of a slightly menacing, electronic reliant society. Strength of the techno chugging beat begins to lag as the protagonist fears his wishes will not be granted.
A bitter sweet romantic interlude is soon interrupted by a return of the previous techno buzzing. Sound then takes a hard right turn into darker territory as explosive bursts and a purposely disjointed rhythm section high light the mid-point of our journey.
Spoken monologues are included to describe and promote moments of fear and violence until the overwhelmed protagonist escapes to a relaxing idyll, surrounded by the peaceful noises of children at play.
The music concludes on a questioning note as our protagonist ponders the power that destiny has over an individual’s own personal journey.
The Cloud Making Machine, put out by Mute / F Communications,
is a solid attempt, by Garnier, to take typical electronic music in a new direction. He largely succeeds by managing to maintain a high level of techno production without sacrificing emotion. You couldn’t wish on a cloud for more!