Listen to 405 Radio
Mike Patton - The Solitude of Prime Numbers

Mike Patton - The Solitude of Prime Numbers

by , 25 November 2011

In my last review for The 405 I disagreed with the late John Peel’s assessment that American producer Boom Bip should be regarded a modern-day Captain Beefheart. And in my head I thought to myself that if any contemporary musician should be compared to Beefheart it should probably Mike Patton. Here is a vocal acrobat who is so much more than the voice behind one of the most creative and interesting popular rock groups in recent times. In fact you get the feeling that Patton regarded Faith No More as something of a side project to the more eclectic but lesser known Mr Bungle. He even wore a Bungle t-shirt in the music video for FNM’s 'Epic'.

Alongside collaborators notably including experimental producer John Zorn, Mike Patton has continued to explore the limits of his musical horizons. Even at the peak of his fame, Mike Patton’s creative heart yearned to break out. In 1996, Patton released an album recorded entirely in hotel rooms on the road with Faith No More. Every sound on Adult Themes For Voice was made using his own, rather impressive, set of vocal chords. It is at once amazing and horrifying. Rather like a Bangkok sex show, the album leaves most people incredulous at the abilities of the human body yet too disturbed to want a repeat performance.

Later, Patton released Pranzo Oltranzista, another avant garde mixture of sounds, textures and unique ideas – another record for the purists.

The full title of this release speaks for itself, Music From The Film and Inspired by the Book The Solitude of Prime Numbers (La Solitudine Dei Numeri Primi). Patton had himself penned much of music for a recent film adaptation and the themes running through the story have underpinned Patton's approach to the composition of the work. The novel, by Italian author Paolo Giordano, tells the story of two individuals, Mattia and Alice, whose lives parallel each other in uncanny ways, like twin prime numbers: both lonely and unique but connected to each other.

This is in many ways one of Paton’s most simplistic releases, although it’s still rich with ideas. Individual instruments dominate one at a time, punching sharp forcible themes with the most basic percussion providing battering each point home. This is indeed an avant-garde release, but not as leftfield as Patton’s other solo records. It’s a disappointment that Patton doesn’t utilise his considerable vocal talents - these solo pieces lack the playful personality and humour that shone in with Faith No More. But with his solo albums, it’s clear that Faith No More and, later, Tomahawk, were mere hobbies.

Rating: 6/10

Purchase and listen

Related Reviews

  • Islet – Illuminated People

    Islet – Illuminated People

    by Jack McKenna

    Not to be confused with the personal accident claims company operating under the same name, this is definitely a band, not a place where clumsy people can get paid. The band in question are Cardiff's much talked and written about local-heroes-hopefuls Islet. Already familiar with the festival circuit and having supported local boys Los Campesinos!, they have been doing all the right things to build a fanbase. [read more]

  • Young Magic – Melt

    Young Magic – Melt

    by Jack McKenna

    I solemnly swear that I am up to no good. Brooklyn-based collective <strong>Young Magic</strong> had a relatively exciting 2011. Releasing two 7”s, supporting Youth Lagoon and being named in The 405's Ones To Watch for 2012, it's not the worst conditions to release your debut album in. The album in question is called Melt and is released through Carpark Records. [read more]

  • Memoryhouse – The Slideshow Effect

    Memoryhouse – The Slideshow Effect

    by Alex Elder

    After a full two years of refining and touring their material 10 tracks have finally come into completion with the Canadian two piece releasing their debut album, The Slideshow Effect, on Sub Pop. While Memoryhouse’s first EP, The Years, was a lo-fi bedroom affair with vocals heaped in reverb, The Slideshow Effect is a more polished product with generally more variety in style throughout. [read more]

  • Those Darlins – Screws Get Loose

    Those Darlins – Screws Get Loose

    by Richard Kavanagh

    It was about ten years ago that a bunch of bands with names beginning with ‘The’ turned up and ‘saved’ music from Nu Metal, Pop Punk and Fred Durst. It was their penchant for guitar based garage rock that shook things up and subsequently the face of alternative music changed. The downside to any new movement is that there are always bandwagon hoppers and when the bubble bursts they are the first to go out with the flood. [read more]

Comments

Follow Us

Recommended Posts

Popular Posts

Mailing List

Sign up to our weekly mailing list.