Mr. Oizo, a lovely gentleman from France whose name is a corruption of the French word for “birds,” is the latest in a long line of French house and disco producers who rework electronica with distorted samples and hard-rock rhythms. Oiso, however, sets himself apart nicely on Lambs Anger, his most recent release. It isn’t easy to listen to—his beats may be booming and danceable, but all of Lambs Anger has an improvised feel that may be hard to follow for those with any sense of logic. It is, however, appropriate considering Mr. Oizo’s background. As a preeminent French DJ and producers, his sets were often improvised, interspersed with samples from films, cartoons, and advertisements.
Mr. Oizo clearly has a talent for creating danceable collages of sound—it seems like a stretch to call each of these tracks songs. Many moments are laugh-out-loud funny, and the whole album has just enough static and warm distortion to give it a satisfyingly vintage feel. The album is unlike most house in that it’s not built on repetition. Rather than long stretches of beats that gradually build and fade out, Mr. Oizo seems to pride himself on his ability to surprise and baffle his listener. The highlight of the album is undoubtedly “Two Takes,” a radical reworking of the hip-hop classic “It Takes Two” featuring a sexy brass breakbeat on top of booming beatbox rhythms.
Lambs Anger is not a good point of entry for those unfamiliar with French house. Its frequent surreal interludes and sarcastic jabs at French pop culture may be irritating to anyone expecting the next Daft Punk. But to everyone else, an open mind and a booty to shake are all you need to get into Mr. Oizo’s funky block party.