Sounds Of Disaster
Mike Patton - Pranzo Oltranzista

Mike Patton - Pranzo Oltranzista CD
The second of Mike Patton’s solo works, and very different to the first… This features Marc Ribot on guitar, William Winnant on percussion, Erik Friedlander on cello, John Zorn on saxophone and of course Mike Patton himself on vocals and electronics. That’s an extremely talented bunch of musicians… This album has a culinary theme (I think the sub-title is ‘Banquet Piece For Five Musicians’) and it’s very avant-garde. There aren’t really any songs; it’s more of a concept summarized in sound. Quite difficult to explain… It’s not easy listening though. I found it has taken quite a few listens to appreciate, much like Adult Themes For Voice did. While both albums are extremely conceptual and avant-garde they’re both extremely different. I find this a fair bit more enjoyable than Adult Themes For Voice - probably because of the variety of sounds. The cello and sax really shine at certain moments… Particularly the sax on I Rumori Nutrienti. I think the only thing I can really liken it to is Mr. Bungle’s Violenza Domestica - I get a similar vibe from it. If you’re into odd sound art or very loose sounding compositions this may well appeal, but it’s really not for everyone. It’s definitely one of the more ‘out there’ things Patton has done. I don’t find myself listening to this too often and I can’t see myself listening to it a lot in the future either… It’s pretty good for what it is, but I’m not really a huge fan of what it is. There’s not really anything that makes me want to come back to it…

John Zorn - The Crucible

John Zorn - The Crucible (CD)
The fourth CD in the Moonchild series featuring Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn and Joey Baron. Arguably three of the best musicians at their respective instruments. Zorn and his sax get a bit more involved on this one and Marc Ribot adds guitar to one track. I’ve not properly listened to Six Litanies For Heliogabalus yet, but the material here seems like quite an advance from the music on Moonchild and Astronome. The sax, for a start - I can’t remember hearing Zorn playing anything on Moonchild or Astronome, or if he did, the parts were fairly few and far between. There’s a lot of sax on here. It brings it to a whole new level. Moonchild and Astronome were sometimes extremely sparse, and the sax adds a totally different dimension. Also the vocals - whereas on Moonchild and Astronome they were mostly guttural growls, grunts, snorts and shrieks there are more melodic parts here as well. At points Patton is singing actual notes as opposed to making bizarre sounds (there’s still plenty of bizarre sounds though). There’s a particular part in the first track, Almadel, where the sax and vocals are in unison playing the melody. It sounds fantastic. With these developments from the earlier Moonchild releases this seems a bit easier to listen to. Possibly a bit more memorable too. I think it’s my favourite Moonchild album overall. It’s a little more melodious and a fair bit more easy on the ears, but it is still pretty brutal. Most people would probably hate it.