It’s obviously not intended as music to dance to, with only a few exceptions depending on the mood you’re in. ‘The Cloud Making Machine’, rather than making those fluffy little clouds you see on a summer’s day, has produced some dark, brooding thunderclouds. Garnier has opted to use a lot of improvisation, a technique employed from the outset as a synthesizer wanders over softly menacing lower register chords. It sets the tone of the album, leading into the chromatic second track (titled ‘9.01-9.06’), and then on to ‘Barbiturik Blues’, with its low bass and faltering rhythm. The mood is extremely solemn, too – witness a barely veiled tribute to Garnier’s fellow countryman Satie in the accompaniment to a disembodied voice on ‘First Reaction’.
Finally the beats arrive properly, but not in a way that urges you to spring up and hit the dancefloor. ‘Controlling The House’ cuts loose with a minimal groove that hammers rather than uplifts, then the more commercial ‘(I Wanna Be) Waiting For My Plane’ marries rock and electro, a man shouting, “I need to clear my brain”.
If you approach this independent of the music Garnier has made previously you’ll reap the most rewards, but even then I found it patchy and dark almost to the point of grim faced – the machine’s clouds setting in for the whole day. An interesting diversion, but one that is ultimately unsuccessful.