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Archive for the ‘France’ Category

100. Flat Beat – Mr. Oizo

This countdown is going to start with a little bit of rule bending. To be fair, this song was first released in May of 1999 as a single, but did not appear on Mr. Oizo’s debut album Analog Worms Attack until the following year. The song first came to public attention thanks to a commercial for Levi’s in the UK in early 2000, where people became enthralled with a puppet named ‘Flat Eric’ head-banging to the track. The track itself starts with a fantastically awkward drum beat which then morphs into the song’s repeating riff. But after only a few seconds, the bass line starts. It is at that point where the song really starts. It’s the sole presence of this repetitive, yet strangely alluring bass line, that thumps in rhythm before almost sliding into that one singular note roughly 10 times, that makes the song. Very rarely are songs characterised by one repeating instrumental hook, but in the case of Flat Beat, it is. This song is able to represent all that is stereotypical about techno by repeating the same sounds over and over. Now, while that is quite usually a bad thing, in this song, it reaches the perfect balance. At no stage does the riff get old, at no stage does the beat get old and at not stage does the song become predictable. The song is mixed around at precisely the right time, and with such precision in the mixing, the song not only become stuck in your mind, but it also starts to grow on you.

Close Competitors

Analog Worms Attack

When I picked the songs for this countdown, I made sure I would increase the variety by only picking one song per artist. Now to be fair, Mr. Oizo is a great musician, but I’m no mad fan of techno. But I saw this song first in early January this year whilst watching Rage at an ungodly hour. Dizzee Rascal introduced this song, along with another great Mr. Oizo track, as songs that changed him as a musician. That other song was the titular track to his album; Analog Worms Attack. Again, whilst being no real fan of techno, that song also spoke to me. The song starts out with an almost clichéd introduction of the effects that will be used in the song; ‘Effects 1. Effects 2. Effects 24.’ before going into the drum beat and the reverberating hook that repeats for a large majority of the song. The underlying broken vocal samples seem to make the song seem almost raw and primal whilst still maintaining an element of sheer badassery that seems to only ever be encountered in French house and techno music.

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