Artist

Mr Oizo

Though it's a sure bet he'll linger in the minds of most only for his omnipresent Levi's advert and 1999 European chart-topper "Flat Beat," music-video director Quentin Dupieux turned in some excellent electronic productions as Mr. Oizo.

Far from the madding crowds of ad-oriented hipster trance or jungle, "Flat Beat" was a midtempo techno production with heavily distorted effects and a playful nature that fit perfectly with the visual focus, a sock puppet. While still a teenager, Dupieux began directing short films for French television, and turned in no less than eight works between 1994 and 1998. His associations with the music world began in 1997, when leading French dance citizen Laurent Garnier serendipitously bought a car from Dupieux's father. Dupieux directed the video for Garnier's "Flashback" single, as well as the long-form video Nightmare Sandwiches starring and featuring music by Garnier. That year, he also moved into music production, with his debut single "#1" appearing on Garnier's F Communications label. After the video he (naturally) directed for second single "M-Seq" landed on an ad-agency desk, he was tapped to direct the commercial that launched Levi's vaunted non-denim line of trousers. The eccentric advert -- featuring a puppet named Flat Eric maniacally bobbing his head to the music in the passenger seat of a Chevelle while a nonplussed human driver concentrated on the road -- soon became famous across Europe, and the single (also on F Communications) hit number one all across the continent. (It eventually sold over two million copies.) The obligatory full-length, Analog Worms Attack, followed in October, and earned American distribution early the following year. Dupieux also directed the video for "Party People" by Alex Gopher. After taking some time off to update his studio from analog to digital, his computer-driven album Moustache (Half a Scissor) arrived in 2005. A year later he signed with Ed Banger, with the Transexual EP following on the label in 2007. The album Lambs Anger landed in 2008 as the most dance-oriented Oizo album to date, and featured guest artist Uffie. After working on Uffie's 2010 debut album, Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans, Dupieux returned to his Oizo project with the 2011 effort Stade 2, an album that brought back some of the dissonance and glitch. Film work occupied the next few years as Dupieux directed Wrong (2012) and Wrong Cops (2013), both of the films accompanied by Mr. Oizo soundtracks. ~ John Bush, Rovi

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