Label: Ed Banger Records / Because Music
Reviewed by: Joe Mossman
Stade 2 is the sixth album by French experimental electronic artist Quentin Dupieux, better known as Mr. Oizo, who kicks this thirteen-track ride off in a mildly creepy fashion with a stilted, computerized voice claiming to have “just recorded some new stuff; I don’t know what it is exactly…but I love it.”
Some might interpret that to mean that Oizo composed and assembled most of these tracks while high. It would certainly explain a lot. Stade 2 is a thirteen-dose package of audio hallucinogenics, and while music like this is almost certainly meant to be heard in a club, it isn’t to say you can’t enjoy it sitting at a computer with a pair of headphones...you might want to shut out all distractions, turn off the lights, and see what starts going on behind your eyelids. Weird things happened behind mine. Oizo swings crazily between a traditional (barely) dance rhythm and manic, seemingly random noise-making on tracks like CamelFuck and the mercifully short EDN, which make more structured songs like Cheeree and the title track, Stade 2, almost a relief. Datsun reminded me, pleasantly, of old Skinny Puppy; France7 sounds like the background music from a Super Nintendo game programmed by Satan; and SKA evoked visions of chase scenes from some long-forgotten '70s cop show...possibly one that involved silver-clad people from the future.
If it sounds like I don’t know whether I’m criticizing Stade 2 or praising it, join the club, I don’t really know myself. This is challenging music, even for fans of unusual electronic sub-genres. It’s not something you’d listen to on the way to work, or when you got home afterwards. But good music stirs the emotional pot; Stade 2 does that. Good music tickles the brainwaves like guitar strings; Stade 2 seems almost designed to do that. Pick it up. Keep it for one of those days when you don’t really know what you crave. Then put it on and treat each track as a mystery pill. You might be surprised where they take you.
Buy 'Stade 2' on iTunes