As out there as they are, Mike Patton’s best known rock bands Faith No More and Mr. Bungle have rarely engaged me as much as his more nakedly avant-garde work. The first taste I got of Patton’s deeper weirdness was with the 1996 album Adult Themes for Voice, an entirely a capella disc that consisted of nothing but processed vocal sounds arranged into very strange compositions. He followed that a year later with Pranzo Oltranzista, a weirdly food-themed suite for a voice/cello/sax/guitar/percussion quintet. The sax on that album was played by John Zorn, whose Tzadik label released both of those albums, and with whom Patton has done some of his most edifying non-rock work.
Patton is on the cusp of releasing a new LP with yet another of his more outré collaborators—the wildly eclectic Norwegian singer, soundtrack composer, and member of the avant-rock trio Cloroform, John Kaada. Due to the duo’s shared fandom of film music (Patton already paid tribute to the form on the Fantômas album The Director’s Cut in 2001, the same year as Kaada’s recorded debut), their ongoing collaboration is significantly less noisy then most of the work Patton’s known for, but while it’s less fitful, it’s every bit as much of a trip through seemingly incompatible genres as Mr. Bungle can be. Their work is informed by Romantic and Baroque classical, carnival music, Spaghetti Western soundtracks, Berlin Cabaret… The resulting music is evocative, moody, and just plain HUGE. The pair’s first collaboration was 2004’s Romances, and a 2007 live DVD documents a Danish festival performance they undertook in Romances’ wake. They’re set to release their second album this week. Bacteria Cult features eight songs composed jointly by the duo, orchestrated by Kaada, performed by Norway’s Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, and naturally featuring vocals by Patton, who had this to offer when we asked about the reactivated collaboration:
Getting a chance to work with John Kaada is always a joy and an honor for me. He is a truly creative musician. When I heard these songs I knew I wanted to be part of this project and John welcomed me with open arms. It’s shocking to me that filmmakers are not knocking down John’s door to hire him.
The album’s lead-off track “Red Rainbow” has been streamable on Bandcamp for a little over a month now, but it’s Dangerous Minds’ privilege today to serve as the exclusive host of the complete Bacteria Cult album stream. Enjoy.