Mr. Oizo - Angry Frenchman
French electronic producer Mr. Oizo has just released his latest studio effort, Lambs Anger. 3D’s Cyclone spoke to the Parisian about the recording process, his film career, and why never to call him a DJ.
Mr Oizo, AKA Quentin Dupieux, kept his distance from the ‘French touch’ phenomenon, but is now reaching out to a new generation of club kids – Generation N(oise). The Parisian, who pre-empted the electro revival in the late-’90s, is back with his third ‘artist’ album, Lambs Anger. To promote it, he’s hitting Australia.
Dupieux crossed over into the pop charts with the infectious track Flat Beat, but he’s always managed to be quirky, if not subversive. Nevertheless, Dupieux has often experienced frustration at being described as a ‘one hit wonder’ or, worse, a novelty act – as a result, concocting ever more rebellious electronica. But, while Lambs Anger is Mr Oizo’s most accessible – and clubby – LP, he hasn’t sacrificed the perversity. It’s simply balanced. “I think I’m still doing the same kind of stuff, but now I’m doing it on purpose and I know what I’m doing,” he says confidently. “Five years ago I was not completely in control and I was searching a bit. These days I’m doing the same kind of stuff, but now I’m in control. I’m not searching.”
Dupieux is best known as a music-maker, but film is actually his great passion. He first directed the video for Laurent Garnier’s Flashback. Dupieux caught the music bug, issuing #1 on Garnier’s techno label, F Com. He then composed 1999’s proto electroclash Flat Beat, which was used for a Levi’s advertisement he filmed starring the yellow sock puppet Flat Eric. That same year, Dupieux, reacting to the underground fall-out from his commercial fluke, unleashed an “angry” album, Analog Worms Attack, eventually followed by the angrier Moustache (Half A Scissor). In 2007 he presented his premiere feature film, the strange Steak. However, it was the soundtrack, boasting input from Sebastien Tellier and SebastiAn, which was given a concerted push here in Australia as Dupieux embarked on his first Australian DJ tour, the flick not distributed outside France. Notably, Dupieux released the Steak OST through Ed Banger, having forged a new alliance with Pedro Winter, AKA Busy P, Daft Punk’s ex-manager. Dupieux was sick of his “black sheep” status at F Com.
Today Dupieux is among few DJs who still values the ‘album’ format but, then again, he doesn’t consider himself a DJ - or a ‘dance’ artist. “I’m not a DJ,” he insists. “I’m doing some gigs because it’s cool to be connected to the audience, but I don’t feel like a DJ. I’ve never been a DJ. When I started music 10 years ago, [when] I did Flat Beat, I was not DJing at all. I’ve just been doing this for three years.”
The non-DJ is also an emerging producer-for-hire. Since cooking up Uffie’s viral smash Ready To Uff, he’s been working on the femcee’s long overdue debut (she guests on Lambs Anger).
Dupieux isn’t abandoning the movies. “I have two new film projects. One is already written, and I was writing it before recording Lambs Anger, and now I’ve started a new script. You know, the movie industry is very slow, you have to be patient – [you have] to work [things], rework [them], find the money, find the cast, blah, blah, blah. It’s very long. So it’s not happening tomorrow – but I’m patient.”
WHO: Mr. Oizo
WHAT: Lambs Anger / Plays Future Music Festival, Royal Randwick Racecourse
WHEN: Out now through Ed Banger / Shock / Saturday 28 February
MORE: myspace.com/oizo3000 / futuremusicfestival.com.au