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It would be remiss for Red Bull Music Academy to land in Paris and not have one of the forefathers of modern French electronic music join us on the couch: Laurent Garnier. Garnier grew up fascinated by American black music culture, an obsession that led to an early elevation of radio as both mode of discovery and engine for further exploration. Lucky to enough to have an older brother who would sneak him into nightclubs, it was in those gay French establishments that Garnier first caught the disco bug.

From there, Garnier moved to Manchester, where he worked as a caterer in an effort to improve his English. More importantly, it was in Manchester that Garnier fell under the spell of house music at the famed Hacienda nightclub. If Mike Pickering’s Friday nights at the Hacienda were a baptism, hearing Farley “Jackmaster” Funk for the first time was a legitimate miracle, and Garnier came away from the club a true zealot of house. It was at the Hacienda Garnier first began to DJ in earnest, eventually leading to a well-earned reputation for eclectic, marathon sets as well as establishing himself as a legitimate producer/A+R in his role at F Communications.

Garnier’s approach to DJing and live performance is practically religious – for him, a DJ set is a rite, a live performance an opportunity for continuous revelation through improvisation. Garnier has helped push house around the world as much as anyone in the last 25 years, influencing an entire generation of DJs and producers. In this lecture recorded at the 2015 Red Bull Music Academy in Paris, Garnier discusses his storied career.

LAURENT GARNIER: Official page, Soundcloud