Tuesday 23 August 2016

Vintage Oizo (Part 1)

With Mr. Oizo's new LP All Wet looming on the horizon I'd like to take a minute or two to dive into his extensive back catalogue. Now of course most of you are familiar with Flat Beat, and Flat Eric has been a constant presence in his work, even appearing in pixellated format on the cover of All Wet, but we're going to a time before all that. Back to Oizo's debut in fact, with a litte EP simply called #1.

This is 1997, a good couple of years or so before Flat Beat and Analog Worms Attack, and the most striking thing of all about this EP is the difference to the sound that's prevalent on both those. Those a whole lot of straight up conventional house tunes on here with perhaps a little bit of a minimal streak too. Which, while a far cry from his later work are still solid.

Not to say there aren't more than a few hints of the direction he would take, immediately after Kirk you're greeted with the same sinister electro come hip hop that ran throughout Analog Worms Attack. It's not quite there yet, which is a given if the year in the mix title is anything to go by, but the rough drums and scattered samples are definitely hallmarks that would come up again.

There's some middle ground too, upon revisiting I could easily see Ke-Ele appearing as a B-side to one of the Analog Worms Attack singles, though it sounds a lot smoother than anything on either there or this EP so far. It's aged incredibly well, and I definitely recommend both this and the full EP if you're into Oizo.

Signing off with the penultimate track, Krumpf is the opposite of all I've just said. There's no hints of the future Oizo to be had here, and the whole thing does sound like a late 90's house record. But that's not to say it's bad (I actually dig it a whole lot), even if it's not for you it's still interesting to hear, especially considering it in comparison to Oizo's releases since.

-Claude Van Foxbat

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