Laurent Garnier's first and most celebrated mix CD easily makes the case for proclaiming him the most fluid and possibly best DJ in the world. Precision crafted with tracks by techno's most inspiring and emotional producers, including Kenny Larkin, Dave Angel, and Fred Giannelli, the mixes intertwine like delicate cosmic threads. Tracks fall together in perfect harmony, with Garnier stretching the mixes as far as they can possibly go. As a result, each transition becomes its own musical creation. As with all of Garnier's mixes, the entire CD is encoded as one track. This may make it difficult to find your favorite individual cut, but it is Garnier's mixing that is the central feature. The music is a stellar example of acid house's coalescence of styles. Nearly every record exists in a nebulous state between house, techno, and trance, created before the three split into distinct genres. Of special interest is the Carl Craig remix of a track by BT, done before the two split into the separate and often antagonistic techno and trance camps. As a result, the disc is miraculously free of cliché or repetition. It is an adventuresome journey through electronic music's melodic and futuristic potential, with joyous acid lines to mark the path and shimmering hi-hats to light the way. Though not as viscerally moving as Garnier's Mixmag CD, nor as epic as his Laboratoire Mix, X-Mix-2 may well be the defining release of Garnier's career. His later achievements as a producer and continuing status as an international techno icon still trace directly back to the sweeping musical aesthetic on display here. One should not claim to truly understand techno without hearing this mix.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Joshua Glazer