Mr. Oizo, ‘Moustache (Half a Scissor)’ (Mute U.S.)
Mr. Oizo does not make comfortable music. If you want simple beats tracked under a basic melody line, best to look elsewhere. That’s not what Mr. Oizo — known to his creditors as Quentin Dupieux — is trying to do.
Everything here is scattered, traumatized, and displaced beyond expectation. This isn’t just breakbeat; it’s broken music. Dupieux claims that, with this album, “album format & track structure are totally demolished & crushed,” and that’s an understatement.
At times, Moustache (Half a Scissor) sounds less like a cohesive album, and more like a sonics experiment performed by the autistic owner of a Commodore 64, a Speak n’ Spell, and a basic audio editing suite. Sounds drop in halfway through and cut out just as abruptly. Melodies are a fond memory from another genre, if not another world entirely. Words aren’t just another sonic instrument; they’re irritants, something that people are inevitably going to notice, no matter how they’re cut, copied, buried, or processed.
Sometimes, it almost seems to make sense. The random cuts add up to something that might be deeply significant. The nonsensical beats could point to a bigger picture. Somewhere, in the deep code of this album, there’s the sense that maybe Mr. Oizo isn’t half as crazy as he first sounds. Put this on at the right time, in the right place, and it just might be the soundtrack to everything.
Then again, it might just be hyper-pretentious noise.