Dupieux at Festival Deauville, 2012
15 April 1974 |
Quentin Dupieux (born 14 April 1974), better known by his stage name Mr. Oizo , is a French electronic musician, DJ and film director, best known for his 1999 single "Flat Beat". His pseudonym is a corruption of the French oiseau, meaning "bird". He is currently signed to Ed Banger Records and Brainfeeder.
Quentin Dupieux was born on 15 April 1974 in Paris. At the age of 18, he found a camera and started taking photographs. At 19, he began to play music to illustrate his images, and he bought his first synthesizer. In 1999, Laurent Garnier of the record label FCom bought a car from Mr. Oizo's father. Garnier then found out about Dupieux's talents and let him direct the music video for his song "Flashback". Later, Dupieux was signed to FCom, which he released his first EP, "#1".
Dupieux released "Flat Beat" in January 1999, a track consisting mainly of a repeated bass loop and a drum sample from "Put Your Love in My Tender Care" by The Fatback Band. In an interview with XLR8R magazine, Dupieux stated that it took him only two hours with a Korg MS-20 to produce. However, Flat Beat became a hit throughout Europe in 1999, becoming the best-known Mr. Oizo release. The track was featured in a series of Levi's jeans TV commercials, which featured a yellow puppet named Flat Eric nodding his head to the rhythm while riding in an old, beat-up Chevelle. Flat Eric was also featured in the song's music video. The Flat Beat EP has sold over three million copies. The song reached number 1 in the UK.
After "Flat Beat", Oizo spent two months creating his first full album, Analog Worms Attack, which was released in 1999. The album's name was derived from the album's production - it was composed entirely using analog equipment. The record scratching effects were provided by Mr. Oizo's friend Feadz. "Flat Beat" appeared as a bonus track after the five minutes of silence following the final track "Analog Wormz Sequel". There are a total of three singles off of this album. A version of "No Day Massacre" without any record scratching exists on the Flat Beat EP, titled "Monday Massacre".
Moustache (Half a Scissor) was Mr. Oizo's second studio album. Released in 2005, the album was composed exclusively using computers as he had by that time decided to eschew the use of analog equipment. The extensive time it took to remodel his studio and master the use of computers in composing electronic music is cited as the reason for the long hiatus between Analog Worms Attack and Moustache (Half a Scissor). Before its public release, a promo CD was released onto the internet featuring three tracks not on the original release: "CPU","Nazis", and "A Nun."
Some songs on the promo differ from the released album versions. For example, "Nurse Bob" is much longer on the final release whilst the promo version splices vocal samples into a much shorter version. This is his only album not to have its debut release on vinyl; in January 2011 it was released through Brainfeeder.
Mr. Oizo's first EP released on Ed Banger Records is called "Transsexual". The EP features the track "Patrick122", which is a re-working of the 1979 disco track "Do It at the Disco" by Gary's Gang. The track appeared on Mr. Oizo's MySpace page in 2006 under the title Patrick122.
On 16 October 2008, his MySpace page had another video appear: a promo for his upcoming album, Lambs Anger. The first single off the Record was "Positif", which was released 3 days after Lambs Anger. On 15 March 2009, the second single off the album was released, Pourriture, whose EP features some reworked titles by Oizo himself and a remix of Erreur Jean by Arveene and Misk.
Lambs Anger is Mr. Oizo's first studio album released by Ed Banger Records, the label he chose after his split with F Communications, who notoriously referred to Moustache (Half a Scissor) as "unlistenable". "Positif" and "Pourriture" were chosen as the album's singles. It includes a track, "Steroids", which features his label-mate Uffie. The track "Two Takes It" is a cover of the song "It Takes Two" by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock that features samples of "Let's Start The Dance" by Hamilton Bohannon; the song also features an unknown artist by the name of "Carmen Castro".
Mr. Oizo and Uffie first collaborated on her second single, "Ready to Uff", in 2006. Since then he has produced the following tracks for Uffie: "Dismissed", "Hot Chick", "F1rst Love" (which charted at number 18 in Belgium), "Steroids" and "MCs Can Kiss".
Mr. Oizo provided both production work and songwriting for Uffie's 2010 debut album, Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans. He worked alongside Feadz, SebastiAn, Mirwais, J-Mat and Uffie to produce and write the album. He produced the first single from the album, "MCs Can Kiss", which peaked at number 48 Japan and 97 in France. He also produced the tracks "Art of Uff", "F1rst Love", "Our Song" and "NeuNeu".
In his early years, Mr. Oizo used a Korg MS-20, an Akai S1000, and an Atari 1040 computer. Mr. Oizo is known currently for strong use of computers in his music. As he stated in an interview with XLR8R, he started using computers to avoid having to plug in four different appliances, and because the result of music is more or less the same. His first album to switch to all computers was Moustache (Half a Scissor). In Lambs Anger, Mr. Oizo used a Macintosh G5 running Logic Pro to compose all of the songs. During his DJ sets, he uses two CDJs.
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Dupieux created a number of music videos and feature films, starting with the 1997 music video "Kirk". He not only directs his productions, he is usually also writer, editor, composer and cinematographer.
Filming for the absurdist horror film Rubber began in 2009. The electronic music duo Justice stated that they would be working on the soundtrack for Rubber, saying they had to 'finish working on the soundtrack for Mr. Oizo's new film before we start recording for the new album'. However, only Gaspard Augé of the duo collaborated with Dupieux on the soundtrack. The film had a United States Video on Demand release.
The comedy Wrong Cops was produced by Realitism Films, who describe it as "a filthy 90 minute comedy about some disturbed cops. It is not a sequel to Wrong." The first thirteen-minute chapter of the film premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.