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Electro - Released November 11, 2011 | Ed Banger Records

Distinctions Album du mois Trax - Sélection Les Inrocks
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Electro - Released March 15, 1999 | F Communications

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Electro - Released September 30, 2016 | Ed Banger Records

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Ever since stumbling upon a freak hit in 1999 with the moronically catchy advert soundtrack "Flat Beat," Mr. Oizo (aka French film director Quentin Dupieux) has been one of dance music's most unlikely, even reluctant stars. He's never come close to attempting to replicate the single's success; his subsequent albums and EPs have been knotty, convoluted, and perplexing. They've also generally been exciting and innovative (albeit wildly inconsistent), and have influenced numerous schools of beatmakers. Oizo's sixth non-soundtrack full-length contains far more guests than anything else he's released, and while it might seem on the surface like he's making a delayed bid for commercial viability, one listen affirms that he's still playing by nobody's rules but his own. The majority of the tracks are under three minutes and they often consist of choppy disco samples set at midtempo. The most fractured piece is the minute-long "Oiseaux" (the correct spelling of his moniker is French for "birds"), which rapidly channel surfs between prog-fusion guitar, soul vocals, zippy disco strings, and other sounds. The most vocal-heavy song is "Freezing Out," which features Peaches doing her thing over a slow, bass-heavy groove collage that has some sort of Paul's Boutique/"Going Back to Cali" thing going on. "Hand in the Fire," Oizo's collaboration with pop star Charli XCX, appears near the end of the album, but it might as well be a completely different song than the version that was released as a single in 2015. While that one was a proper pop tune (a rarity in Dupieux's catalog if there ever was one), this take only uses a few lines of Charli's vocals before a stomping beat and siren-like EDM synths take over. He attempts to play it even straighter on "The End of the World," which starts out as a fun rave flashback before a blurry voice repeats "now it's gonna be exciting to watch the end of the world." Unfortunately, the track settles into a predictable dance beat after that and doesn't do much else. Then again, considering that the track was co-produced by Skrillex, it's a relief that it didn't end up being more obnoxious. Oizo fares much better when he's being his own twisted self. "Your Liver" continues his longstanding usage of cheeky computer voices, proposing "give me your liver and I'll give you my heart" over a vaguely industrial-ish beat. "Goulag Drums" is a head-spinner with fast, metallic drums diced with precision. "No Tony" is a venture into French rap, with a sunny, lighthearted lyric saying something about pepperoni pizza over a very MF Doom-like beat. All Wet will undoubtedly confound anyone who might still be expecting another "Flat Beat" out of Oizo (although most of those people probably stopped paying attention ages ago), or any EDM fans curiously tuning in because of the track with Skrillex. For anyone who shares Dupieux's warped sense of humor and has been eagerly following his career, this is yet another fascinatingly weird Mr. Oizo album. ~ Paul Simpson
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Electro - Released November 17, 2014 | Brainfeeder

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The Church is mischievous producer/director Quentin Dupieux's first non-soundtrack album as Mr. Oizo since Stade 2, as well as his Brainfeeder debut. Despite these firsts, the album isn't a radical departure; Dupieux riffs on several styles -- including trap, dubstep, and grime -- with Mr. Oizo's cartoonish flair. Compared to some of Brainfeeder's other artists, his output isn't as experimental, but his willingness to play and provoke offers kind of a palate cleanser -- or comic relief. Where Stade 2's squiggly workouts were often defiantly, perversely undanceable, on The Church Mr. Oizo delivers songs driven by relentless beats even as their collective mood flits between playful and ominous (tipping all the way to the latter on "Dry Run," where a pitch-shifted voice rumbles "scream for Daddy!"). The album's standouts turn Dupieux's gift for making music that straddles the line between catchy and irritating into a virtue: "Bear Biscuit" begins the album with finely chopped samples and hip-hop-tinged beats that feel like The Church's biggest nod to Brainfeeder's aesthetic. Elsewhere, "Ham"'s frantic repetition and the wobbly wind-up toy of a track that is "Mass Doom" reaffirm that Dupieux's cheekiness has some depth. Too often, though, the album feels superficial and dashed-off, with more than a few tracks tracing similar templates before fizzling out. Songs such as "Machyne"'s study in answering machine anxiety, the brief yet monotonous "Memorex," and the title track's empty menace feel at best like self-aware parodies of Dupieux's approach. While the best songs here are entertaining individually, they tend to diminish each other within the album's context. With his other film and music projects beckoning, it's not surprising that Dupieux is spread thin, but on The Church, Mr. Oizo is also wearing thin. ~ Heather Phares
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Electro - Released September 19, 2005 | F Communications

The head of F.com (the French label on which this album was originally issued) has declared it to be "unbearable" listening. When the person in charge of selling your album is saying things like that, you might get a bit discouraged. Not Quentin Dupieux, who writes and records strange electronic music under the name Mr. Oizo. He takes such comments in stride, and in all fairness, Moustache (Half a Scissor) is actually far from unlistenable. Willfully bizarre, yes; whimsically weird, yes. But his beats are funky enough, and stop just short of the brokenness threshold. And though there's not much here in the way of melody and the album's overall sound is as chilly and astringent as an alcohol swab, there's a wild variety of colors and textures here to hold your attention. Check, for example, the vocal samples on "Straw Anxious" and the sly organ sounds on "Nurse Bob." The stuttering keyboard sounds on "Stunt" hark back to the glory days of 1980s synth pop, while "Square Surf" nods to house music in a friendly way without quite embracing it. Even at a party you might not play this album all the way through, but any one of these tracks is guaranteed to change the tenor of the conversations for a moment, and probably for the better. ~ Rick Anderson
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Electro - Released September 29, 1997 | F Communications

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Electro - Released April 3, 2000 | F Communications

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Electro - Released May 29, 2006 | F Communications

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Electro - Released October 14, 2014 | Brainfeeder

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Electro - Released October 1, 2014 | Brainfeeder

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