Mr. Oizo – Stade 2

January 01, 1970

(Ed Banger)


Since Justice has gone completely prog-rock on their latest
album, looks like it’s up to Mr. Oizo to carry the dirty techno torch. French
producer/musician/director Quentin Dupieux already wowed audiences with his
experimental film, Rubber, released earlier this year, but music was
never far from his mind. He and Justice member Gaspard Auge created the
soundtrack for that film, a sometimes droning, sometimes propulsive mix of
electronic music.


His new album, however, Stade 2, is visceral,
hard-hitting, and funky, full of wiggly synth lines, acid-house bass hits,
staccato snares and booming kick drums. He’s come a long way from his 1999 hit
single, “Flat Beat,” a track that sounds relatively simplistic compared to his
current output (although it’s still an undeniably good song). Stade 2 is
a minimal techno album in some regards, as Dupieux relies on a limited treasure
chest of samples and sounds. Synth bass anchors most tracks, sometimes taking
on a 1980s sheen (“Datsun”, “SKA”) and sometimes becoming distorted and gritty
(“Douche Beat”). Blink and you’ll miss something, as each song flies along in a
cut-and-paste manner, with chopped up samples digitally buttressed up against
one another giving the entire affair an extremely urgent feel.


This is fun music, gut music, music you can freak out to or
just nod your head, depending on your mood. Dupieux does occasionally demand
that “everybody dance now,” as the repeated computer voice sample on “EDN”
intones. And it’s hard to argue with the sinister arpeggios of bass and synth
hits on a song like “France7,” a beat that your innards seems to respond to on
a biological level. Others have lofty ambitions of elevating techno by infusing
elements of epic rock or orchestral music; Mr. Oizo rests on his hard-earned
laurels and continues to make down and dirty bass music for the body.


Beat,” “Oral Sax” JONAH FLICKER

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