Mr. Oizo Throws a Weird Pool Party and Invites All His Friends on New LP 'All Wet'

Mr. Oizo
Courtesy of So Me

Mr. Oizo

Welcome to Mr. Oizo's pool party. It is a very splendid and stupid affair. The dark gentleman over there smoking hot dogs is Boys Noize. That's Peaches swimming through the Jell-O mold. Don't mind Tetanos and Mocky's violent game of rock-paper-scissor, it is a perfectly friendly bit of sport. Skrillex will show you the way to the bathroom, right through the chandelier, past the gaping void. Be sure to shake hands with Siriusmo but do use your left foot only, and please respect Phra's wishes not to use English today.

That's what All Wet sounds like, an 11-track exploration of all things weird and funky from Mr. Oizo, aka Quentin Dupieux, and some of his queerest friends. The album, which sees official release on Ed Banger Friday, Sept. 30, is an exciting change for the autonomous producer who, up until this point, has done almost everything on his very own.

“It just felt right to invite some guests,” the Frenchman says. “I feel like it's not only my record. I'm suddenly sharing this weird music with some other people, which is really cool. I feel less isolated.”

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While it all fits snuggly under Mr. Oizo's yellow umbrella of jarring and angular experimentalism, there is a definite sense of collaboration. The title-track, recorded alongside Siriusmo, features a light-hearted piano riff surrounded on all sides by warped disco textures. “Ruhe” is pregnant with dark, German techno tones, no doubt inseminated by Boys Noize's acid-dropping fingers. It sounds quite reminiscent of the pair's Handbraekes collaborative duo. Indeed, the track was borrowed from recent sessions to produce a third Handbraekes EP, but it fit in with the whole friendly-vibe of All Wet, so Mr. Oizo stole-up the song for his own.

After a series of pesky emails and some light stalking, he convinced Peaches to unfurl a freaky bit of verse on “Freezing Out.” Lead single “End of the World” is easily one of the Ed Banger man's smoothest productions to date, which may or may not have to do with the skillful hands of Skrillex.

“My talent in music is that I'm not a musician,” Dupieux says laughing. “I try to do some chords on the keyboard, I don't even know if it's right or wrong, and I don't care. Even if I'm trying to go funky and easy and good feeling, that's why it always sounds twisted. I don't want to sound stupid, but it's like when a kid is trying to make a painting, and it's trying to replicate a dog for example, for the first time, with paint. You get the idea. You see that it's a dog, but of course, it's been through a mind that doesn't know to make this perfect.”

Since breaking out with “Flat Beat,” the inexplicable hit of 1999 that famously introduced such an absurd dog puppet known lovingly to fans as Flat Eric, Mr. Oizo has been a name synonymous with surreal. His music is firmly rooted in the familiar sounds of funk, disco, and French touch, but it is always presented in such a way as to be completely unfamiliar. It's like a cubist painting on the usual bowl of fruit, a hulking mass of sharp-edged blocks colored in bright neon.

“(With) music, I don't think,” he says. “I just plug the computer when I know it's the right time, when I feel like making music, and then I try stuff. I do some drafts. I record whatever. There's no method. It's just random. Sometimes I find something I love, so I spend three days trying to finish it. There's no thinking. I don't use my brain. I'm just trying to be as close to a child (as possible), and actually, that's the only way I know how to make music.”

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It seems to be a theme among his work. Film was first love, of which he's written, directed, edited, and soundtracked five full-length offerings. Each is equally off-putting, derails into non-sequiturs, and is as hysterical as it is downright confusing. He made his first bit of music out of sheer necessity, a way of getting around music licensing when he sold his first short-film to a major television network at the age of 19. Films like Rubber, Wrong Cops, and Wrong (Not a Wrong Cops sequel), when taken in congruence with the sound of albums Lamb's Anger, Stade 2, and All Wet might give the impression that his approach to film is quite ardently as childish. He promises this is not the case.

“You have to spend a lot of time writing for example, and when I write, this includes thinking,” he says. “So it's the same brain working, but very differently.”

Differently or not, nothing Dupieux does is absent of that off-beat curiosity, and All Wet is no different. All the collaborations in the world couldn't mop the abnormality out of his air, but that's probably what makes creatives like Flying Lotus and others want to be friends with Dupieux in the first place.

“Sometimes weird is good. Sometimes weird is horrible,” he says. “I hope I'm on the good side of the weirdness.”


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