Review Summary: More of the weird and wonderful from electro's black sheepI don’t know what it is exactly, but I love it
And with that rather honest proclamation does Stade 2
begin, another drug-induced and psychotic chapter in the kaleidoscopic and perplexing saga that is the life and times of one Quentin Dupieux. And perhaps that statement is the most accurate summation of Oizo’s music, as his music really does seem to exist in its own little world, devoid of proper declaration or documentation. And yet he represents possibly the most definitive and distinct meaning of the term electro with his harsh and biting take on French house, with his snub-nosed beats and cascading sheets of electronic rain battering against each other like a rave nightmare, only occasionally finding themselves broken in two by some idiosyncratic expression or another.
is really more of the same by the left-wing French arbiter of bad taste, which is to say that it sounds like nothing else you’ve ever heard before. It’s filled to the brim with jacked-up 8-bit soundtracks stretched so thin to the point where they almost become transparent, and swing-heavy tumbling beats that jump in and out of the mix, more to offset the listener than to serve any kind of relevance or purpose. His music has often been termed as polarizing and for fair reason, and in the past it has seemed as if Dupieux had intentionally gone out of his way to deliberately fu
ck with his audience, always holding back from the obvious anthems that have just longed to drip out over his jagged soundscapes, always choosing to slip back into frenzied and bi-polar nightmares instead instead . He’s always seems to take great pleasure in being anything but obvious, and while that’s always been his calling card it’s certainly done him as many favors as it has worked against him.
While we’ve all gotten use to the idea that sanity is just something that Oizo really isn’t comfortable with, the whole crazy schtick has finally started to wear just a little bit thin; which perhaps explains why his latest LP is possibly his most normal outing yet, even though that is a term to be used lightly. Sure ‘Camelfu
ck’ is just another exercise in absurdity, but tracks like ‘Douche Beat ‘ and the jackin’ title track play host to a little structure and, dare I say it, complex design. His deliberate buzzsaw bass and filthy low-end still make their routine appearances, and there’s enough disruption and clutter to keep Oizo firmly away from ever replacing the likes of Guetta as the person you should perhaps be envisioning when a term like French house is bought up, but it shows that even someone like Dupieux is capable of a little maturity.
But that ultimately begs the question as to whether that’s what we want in him, after years of expecting nothing but the weird and the wonderful. It’s the same as when we overlook the painfully decadent moments that have long become trademarks of the artist because we accept the good and the bad with him, knowing that if he were to ever streamline his music and filter out what some may deem as “filler” it just wouldn’t be a proper Oizo recording. He’s dabbled in dancefloor possibilities before, most successfully with the violent ‘Gay Dentist’, and while there’s nothing here that properly tries to ape that pop-mongering mentality, there is the feeling that maybe he’s gotten a little tired of being the black sheep of the electro world. So while Stade 2
is perhaps a little safer than some of his previous output, it’s still a decidedly obnoxious album, designed to test the patience and endurance of its listeners. And at a mere thirty-odd minutes it doesn’t outstay its welcome, in fact it’s almost a little too short-lived, the needle gets pulled just as the party seems to be getting started. But Stade 2
is an album that demands repeated listens, mainly because it’s just too fu
cking nuts to get its point across in one hit. So throw your tin foil hat on, deck yourself out in neon and press play, and prepare to enter the wild and wacky world of Mr. Oizo.