Analog Worms Attack album cover
Analog Worms Attack

Mr. Oizo

F Communications

If you thought Quentin Dupieux’s movies were fucked, wait’ll you hear his albums. The director behind Rubber and Mandibles has been pulling double-duty as a Korg-torturing beatmaker since his teen years, and got a foot in the door with the French house scene when Laurent Garnier bought a car from his dad and got word that Quentin knew his way around a camera. But while his early filmmaking career seemed to outpace his nascent musical one, a bizarre lucky break came when Levi’s commissioned an ad from him and he delivered a spot featuring a yellow pseudo-Muppet maniacally bobbing his head to a bizarre, squelchy distorted slab of electro-house that sounded like the audio equivalent of comedic indigestion-based body horror. That track, “Flat Beat,” was a resounding #1 smash all across Europe thanks to that ridiculous commercial. But on Analog Worms Attack, his first full-length as Mr. Oizo, it’s tacked on at the very end — albeit a dozen tracks after a brief, self-effacing cameo as the subject of an inquisitively bewildered child to kick off “No Day Massacre.” (“You worked with that puppet?” “Yep!” "Why?") Even categorizing this as house — or techno, or breakbeat, or anything more specific than gunk — feels a little misleading; for every riff on uptempo filter disco like the sawn-off blip-melodies and crunchy bassline of “Last Night a DJ Killed My Dog” or squeaky minimal-house deconstructions like “Flat 55” there’s a handful of oily, lurching midtempo sludge-hop cuts (“The Salad”; “Miaaw”; “No Day Massacre”; the scratch-riddled title cut) that sound more like a sillier version of the doom-laden analog stabs and drones you’d hear on a 2000s El-P solo record than anything Garnier would ever spin. You could probably still categorize it as house if the namesake Warehouse venue was originally a facility to store Macy’s Day Parade balloons — and all the helium canisters got swapped out for leaky ones filled with nitrous.

Nate Patrin

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