If the recent Dali/Bunuel-inspired promo and artwork for Lambs Anger are any indication, Oizo's third official long player should have more to do with Surrealistic collages than the heavily processed synth pads Ed Banger, his new home, is best known for. On "Two Takes It," "Cut Dick" (nice title), "Jo" and upcoming single "Positif," we're treated with offbeat samples that might or might not have been jazzy tunes or underground soul anthems in another life: these tracks are irreverent in their mixture of genres and textures, but they're also fun to actually bust a move to. Coming from Oizo, a producer more known for his abrasiveness than for his immediacy ("Moustache" and "Nazis," anyone?), this is an improvement worth noticing. This renewed sense of purpose is even more apparent on "Steroids," a collaboration with Ed Banger's own female protégée Uffie, on which repetitive handclaps, quirky bongos and just a few background bleeps makes for pop music at its experimental best.
Even more surprising, the entire thing works very well as an album. The title track (allegedly recorded by Flat Eric himself) and "Lars Von Sen" might have more in common with musique concrète than actual French electro, but they're both welcomed skits standing very well next to "Z" and "Erreur Jean," the only two pieces remotely reminiscent of the trickeries of SebastiAn or Justice. Then you have "Bruce Willis is Dead" and both version of "Pourriture" (French for "rotting stuff"), three tracks that are so dumb and populist they wouldn't sound out of place playing in remote Alaskan hockey arenas between games (a privileged status only Zombie Nation's "Kernkraft 400" and Gary Glitter's "Rock 'N' Roll' have been given so far). In other words, it's Euro-cheese stripped of all its irritating nutrients, but with its expeditious feel still intact.
In a surprising twist of events, then, it turns out Lambs Anger is Oizo's most intelligible offering ever and Ed Banger's most fulfilling long player thus far. Edgy yet consistent, odd yet easy to embrace, it's electronic music you'd kill to have your drunken wife-beating libidinous uncle dance to at upcoming Christmas parties.
Sun / 23 Nov 2008
02. Pourriture 2
04. Cut Dick
05. Two Takes It ft. Carmen Castro
07. Bruce Willis Is Dead
10. Lambs Anger
11. Erreur Jean ft. Error Smith
12. Steroids ft. Uffie
13. Gay Dentists
14. Pourriture 7
16. Lars Von Sen
17. Blind Concerto