mroizochurch[xrr rating=3.0/5]Mr. Oizo is the creation of electronic wizard and French-born film director Quentin Dupieux. Since his first release in 1999, Analog Worms Attack, he has proven to be a sly court jester. Oizo may bot be something to fear, but his quick wit and forceful delivery are not for the timid. Now based in Los Angeles, Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label is the perfect home for Oizo’s newest fractured offering, The Church. His first new release on the imprint (FlyLo re-issued the 2005 Moustache (Half A Scissor) shortly after launching the label in 2011), The Church is an unrelenting half hour that delivers the dusty, highly-textured, often disorienting, beats that Brainfeeder is known for, while continuing to bask in the quirky funk of French electro.

To truly appreciate Oizo’s music, one must understand how easily most “popular” electronic music is produced. Recently, production duo Nari and Milani posted on Facebook to explain why their recent “Triangle” cut sounds so much like Oizo’s 1999 hit “Flat Beat.” They confessed to grabbing a sample from the Vengeance Sound library, making the excuse that, “Everybody can go and use it legally, as we did.“ As popular samples become more familiar to the electronic music consumer, anyone who uses a previously sampled track runs the risk of sounding unoriginal. This is a charge that can’t be leveled against Oizo.

DJs who bring challenging music like this to the dance floor run the risk of clearing it. Thanks to Gesaffelstein, American audiences are well prepared for the left-field techno that works through tracks like “Ham,” ”Desktop” and “Terero.” However, Oizo prefers his transitions sharp, in contrast with the subtle nuances of his French brethren. At other moments, especially during the drunken electro-blues of “iSoap,” Oizo takes on a Daedelus-esque affinity for twisted samples. He even pulls in some fierce Dutch house when paired with big room agent Bart van der Meer aka Bart B More on “Dry Run.” Get ready for the latter’s “Scream for Daddy” vocal sample to eventually make the rounds. For Oizo, these tracks are as much about challenging the listener’s sensibilities as his own ability to bring all the elements together.

During the rush of year-end best lists, Oizo’s new album may have suffered because of its 11th-hour release. Then again, The Church isn’t meant for those who merely stop at the Top 10. Electronic music consumers willing to dig past the charts will make sure that Oizo has a lasting influence on tomorrow’s underground sounds.

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