Written and directed by Oizo himself, the film is billed as a sci-fi comedy, set in a distinctly fifties looking 2016 where (I think) a gang of milk drinking youths wreak havoc by performing extreme facelifts. That these dairy lovin’ body fascists include Oizo’s soundtrack contributors SebastiAn and Sebastien Tellier shows the creative freedom granted to these oddballs of the French music scene, and the resulting score is predictably crackers.
Steak throws together sub-three-minute tracks from producers used to knocking out ideas rather than fully formed songs (with the notable exception of Tellier’s ‘La Ritournelle’, a twenty-first century ‘Unfinished Sympathy’.) Lightbulbs from the collective brain of Oizo and the Sebs include funky bass jams, slide guitar noodles, electro spazzouts, and on ‘Chuck’, hysterical laughter and the sound of a jack-in-a-box about to spring open.
Among the highlights are SebastiAn’s glittering synth-strumentals, which prove that the rising Ed Banger star can do more than just edit-heavy electro grind. Elsewhere, Mr Oizo out-SebastiAns his young protégé with the chopped-up block rockers ‘Skatesteak’ and ‘C.H.I.V.E.R.S’. However, these tracks are trounced by the collaborations, where Oizo’s battery beats meet the whimsical songwriting of troubadour tramp Sebastien Tellier. ‘Chivers As A Female’ (again with the he-shes!) does dancefloor danger music better than Kavinsky, and banjo banger ‘Hashis Vers’ layers Tellier’s breathy vocals over bongos and a breakbeat, to create the hottest hoedown ever.
So ends the fun and games. The rest of the album is made up of grating noodles like ‘Blue Wet Shirt’, which sounds like a monkey chewing on a drum machine, and ‘Construction’, a mess of whistles, kazoos and military snares. No doubt these ditties are great accompaniment for whatever on-screen mentalism Oizo has scripted, but repeated home viewing would probably induce seizures.
Because of the varying quality of the contributions, listening to Steak is the aural equivalent of rooting through the waste paper bin after a Simpsons writers’ meeting - occasionally peerless, frequently frustrating, but always amusing.
Thu / 22 Nov 2007
01 SebastiAn - Arrival
02 Mr. Oizo - Skatesteak
03 Sebastien Tellier & Mr. Oizo - Chivers As A Female
04 Mr. Oizo - Chuck
05 SebastiAn - Letrablaise
06 Mr. Oizo - Ringardos
07 Sebastien Tellier - Stadium
08 SebastiAn - Itea
09 Sebastien Tellier & Mr. Oizo - Plug It
10 Mr. Oizo - X Schmidt
11 Sebastien Tellier & Mr. Oizo - Hashis Vers
12 Mr. Oizo - Blue Wet Shirt
13 SebastiAn - Victimo
14 Sebastien Tellier & Mr. Oizo - Top 50
15 Sebastien Tellier - Exploites
16 Mr. Oizo - C.H.I.V.E.R.S
17 Mr. Oizo - Bonhome
18 Sebastien Tellier & Mr. Oizo - Toizelle
19 SebastiAn - Kinder
20 Mr. Oizo - Bleue
21 Sebastien Tellier & Mr. Oizo - Under Construction