The Oslo Deadtrash Project – The Snow Factory
By: Brett Spaceman
Belgians are an eccentric bunch as I can attest to, having lived here for four years. The first time I saw this guy, (The Oslo Deadtrash Project is ostensibly one Pierre Lejeune, with occasional helpers) I thought he was the missing Ramone – black leather jacket, aviator shades, cigarette hanging from the mouth at all times, Lejeune sat hunched over the world’s smallest keyboard (or modulator) like a bear with a laptop, and sang his heart out about boring desk, day jobs and loneliness.
He is, of course, a genius. Many will disagree with me. You might adore this. You may well detest it but put simply it is impossible to hear The Oslo Deadtrash Project and claim indifference. He is the anti-Coldplay in that respect (and others). Instead of selling millions, Lejeune has the capacity to annoy or at least deeply confuse an entire record buying public. If only they had the opportunity to hear him.
What Lejeune does is a kind of sad apartment cabaret. His equipment is either very old (think early Casio’s and Yamaha’s) or just made to sound that way. He is a backward-looking pioneer and it is eerily nostalgic for anyone who had an elderly grandfather/uncle, the type that enjoyed dicking around on organs and a penchant for James Last records.
Nobody else sounds like this. For chrissakes, how often can you say that in these days? He is like a Badly Drawn Boy or Neil Hannon….with old gear. And like those other two he has that uncanny knack of being simultaneously ridiculous and charming, amusing and heartbreaking. In fact you already know how he sounds. Go play LCD Soundsystem’s ‘North American Scum’, paying particular attention to the first fifteen seconds. THAT’S The Oslo Deadtrash Project retro sound. LCD filched it.
Sad to say, you’ll find it tough to track down this record. I think his (former) label, Carte Postale went belly-up before or during the distribution process. Something else to add to Lejeunes myth-making status. ‘The guy who influenced LCD and bankrupted his label’. We’ll say he spent all the label’s money searching for a particular sound, like Kevin Shields before him. Happy hunting.