Release Date: Jul 24, 2012
Record label: Ipecac
Review Summary: Dark and formless, Mike Patton's latest foray is a fascinating if not unwieldy creation.Never one to fear wandering into the more experimental realms of music, Mike Patton has based his career off of bending and twisting sounds to fit his bizarre artistic visions. He is no stranger to avant-garde or classical, even paying tribute to Italian composer Ennio Morricone on both Mondo Cane and The Director’s Cut. And while Patton’s latest, Laborintus II, appears to be one of his more overtly ambitious projects, it is clear that he has tangled with very similar beasts.Laborintus II is a tribute to Luciano Berio, yet another Italian composer whose experimental style suits Patton.
In 2010, vocalist Mike Patton teamed with Belgium's Ictus Ensemble, the Nederlands Kamerkoor, and a trio of female vocalists to present Italian composer Luciano Berio's Laborintus II at the Holland Festival. Given Patton's wide-ranging music career from pop and metal to the avant-garde, this isn’t surprising. That said, given the complexity of the work, its status in 20th century music's vanguard, and the level of the players involved, it is perhaps his most ambitious collaborative project.
Do you know what’s an important task for music criticism in the early 21st century? Getting to grips with the relationship between classical music and popular music, that’s what. It’s important to appreciate that, these days, the boundary between the two forms is rather porous – it’s totally acceptable for symphony orchestras to lend their services to a diverse range of acts, from heavy metal to Detroit techno, and there’s a wide range of post-classical music that blurs the lines between modernist minimalism and more traditional forms with ambient and electronic touches. Basically, we need to take all the talk of classical music’s “elitism” and all the postmodern talk of the (no doubt, long gone) emancipatory potential of pop music off the table.
Mike Patton is the ultimate musical chameleon. Nothing in the musical world is beyond his grasp. He’s worked with artists from wildly different sides of the music spectrum – from Merzbow to Rahzel, Dillenger Escape Plan to John Zorn, The X-Ecutioners to BjÃ¶rk. Whatever his setting, Patton blends in; his voice is a unique tool that he can shape into whatever he needs it to be.