Mr. Oizo

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About Mr. Oizo

It might sound odd to say this about someone whose work exists on the fringes of popular culture, but everything you need to know about Mr. Oizo can be found in a commercial for Levi’s jeans. In 1999 the then-25-year-old, Paris-born electronic musician’s “Flat Beat” became a major hit across Europe, partly due to its soundtracking a series of spots for the clothing company. Oizo directed these slightly surreal spots under his given name, Quentin Dupieux; they star a yellow puppet who nods its head to the pulsing, skittering track, a metronome that threatens to derail at any second. This is the promise of Oizo’s music: that lurking just underneath everyday life is something freer, funkier, a little more sinister. His career has spanned sea changes in electronic music (and included Oizo’s own wholesale change from analog recording equipment to digital). Oizo is savvy enough to take what scan initially as experiments and turn them into full experiences—see songs like “Memorex,” from 2014’s The Church, which squeaks and sputters and sounds as if it’s adjusting itself to finally begin in earnest, but never does. The point is that your head was nodding all along.

Paris, France
April 14, 1974
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