I want to talk about “Patrick 122” by Mr. Oizo.
I don’t want to talk about it because Mr. Oizo is new or obscure; he is one of Europe’s electronic mainstays and has enjoyed hits dating back to 1999. I don’t want to talk about it because the track is particularly new; it first surfaced on the French producer’s MySpace at the end of last year, though it only recently saw an official release in June on his Transexual EP on Ed Banger.
Rather, I want to talk about it because I’m surprised it’s been such a hit – it is, after all, a really unusual track . Leaning on a sample from 1979’s salsa/disco rave-up “Do It at the Disco” by Gary’s Gang, “Patrick 122” uses virtually none of the tropes popularized by 2007’s other favorite electronic artists. There are no distorted bass synths here; the track is driven instead by a bass drum so noisy that it sounds less like a musical instrument and more like something squishy being stepped on. The vocal sample is no less strange; random words are replaced by bleeps and bloops.
Finally, and perhaps most strikingly, the first half of the track seems to unwind periodically, with the tempo dropping faster than a prom dress in a motel suite and suddenly snapping back to a relentless 120 bpm. Then, as a mischievous wink to any DJ who would dare play the track, there is a 15 second gulf of tuneless static in the middle of the song. Once you come out the other end of the silence, you get Gary’s Gang’s saxophone arpeggios, which drag behind the bass drum like tin cans behind a limo.
Am I getting a little heavy on the metaphors? Blame it on how excited this track makes me.
(Buy the Transexual EP here.)
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