Analog Worms Attack album cover
Analog Worms Attack

Mr. Oizo

1999
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

Who also suggested

If you select your preferred streamer here, we will save your preference and link to that platform if possible. This can always be changed in the Settings menu.

Apple Music

If you’d like to prioritize Bandcamp if available, tap the Bandcamp logo.

Since some albums are only available on one service, you’ll still see logos for other services if the album is only available on that service.

Next