Mr. Oizo

Stade 2

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An uncompromising and occasionally unlistenable antidote to the melodic commercial house of fellow Frenchmen Guetta, Solveig, and Sinclar, Stade 2, the fourth studio album by Quentin Dupieux, aka Mr. Oizo, suggests that his Flat Eric-assisted one-hit wonder status isn't likely to change anytime soon. Dominated by a cavalcade of twisted bleeps, loops, and squiggles, the follow-up to 2008's Lambs Anger is a part hypnotic/part headache-inducing slab of organized chaos, with only the chopped-up ballroom-inspired "Ska" and the early-'90s acid house of "Datsun" offering any respite from the predominantly twitchy acidic sound succinctly summarized by the lone robotic voice on opener "Introeil" ("I recorded some new stuff/I don't know what it is yet/But I like it"). The record is surprisingly palatable when the enigmatic producer plays up to the mischievous side he recently displayed while directing killer car tire flick Rubber, whether it's the "everybody dance now" command on the distinctly undanceable "EDN," the rather sleazy, vinyl-scratching and R1 DJ Annie Mac-sampling techno of "Oral Sax," or the deadpan mechanical tones that underpin the unashamedly silly "Douche Beat." But when he plays it straight, as on the Daft Punk-ish "Cheeree," the more expansive big beat of closer "Druide," and the industrial electro of "Chiffon," the album drifts into the kind of self-indulgent territory that makes it feel far lengthier than its rather brief 32-minute running time. Stade 2 has its moments, but its overall lack of invention suggests that Mr. Oizo is perhaps now channeling his creative streak elsewhere.

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