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Combining Forces: The Kaada/Mike Patton Collaborations

As an early Faith No More fan I've also enjoyed following the fine works of Mike Patton through the ages.


Always looking to expand his musical horizons and further his endeavors, the multi-faceted Mike Patton (Faith No More and Mr. Bungle) accomplished this by working on orchestral film stylized music with composer John Kaada when the two formed a project out of mutual admiration.

The first collaboration, Romances, was released in 2004. Live, a concert performance DVD, released in 2007 followed, and then Bacteria Cult in 2016. Patton's Ipecac Recordings reissued Kaada's Thank You For Giving Me Your Valuable Time (2003) and put out Music For Moviebikers (2006).

Romances Album

What I find a little more diverse and eclectic than 2016's Bacteria Cult is Romances. This debut from Kaada/Patton is a wonderful ride of twists and turns, with surprises that loom at every corner, and the experience still sounds as fresh as it did when it came out all the way back in 2004. (Was it really that long ago?) The opening ''Invocations'' track sees Kaada and Patton playing an intricate game of sophisticated cat and mouse, with both parties feeling each other out to see what one may have up their sleeve. It just works beautifully, like these two artists were made to do this project right at that time.

''Pity My Tears'' (translated to English, as with all the Romances titles) sees Patton laying down some traditional vocals, almost in a love ballad style, with unique instrumentation randomly popping out as the song builds into a dramatic crescendo for the end, complete with crashing cymbals. Up next is ''Aubade'' with its awesome chanty passages from Patton, imagine yourself on one of those Paris boat rides with a serial killer as your companion. A short piece ''The Absent'' has a great catchy vocal hook and sticks to your brain for days along with its hypnotic percussion.

''Alone'' is another short piece and gives off the vibe of someone creepy yearning for a love of sorts. ''Thoughts Of The Dead'' features some awesome jazz snare drum rolls and drives the song with a unique feel along with electronic instrumentations. ''Silent Night'' works as a good closer and wraps up the Romances album nicely as a coda. A great debut, and it was a pretty diverse and pleasant experience with all of the new listens when it came out and sounds just as good and fresh today.

Romances Album Tracklist (Translated From French to English)

  1. "Invocation"
  2. "Pity My Tears"
  3. "Aubade"
  4. "The Absent"
  5. "Twilight"
  6. "Come, The Lawns Are Green"
  7. "Alone"
  8. "Thoughts of the Dead"
  9. "Silent Night"

Bacteria Cult Album

Foregoing traditional lyrics mostly, Patton uses his voice to complement the orchestra works of Kaada, much like call and response techniques used in a classic rock context of a lead guitar player and a singer, Kaada and Paton do this in the context of orchestral music, and at times the two pair up to make one part of the structure in unison, think of Kaada and Patton combining as an instrument.

Bacteria Cult is like watching your favorite movie that was never made, forcing the listener to construct their own vast sight scapes. This is the driving force of the music, as it is something to wrap your mind around, not mindless drone to have in the background. If you allow it, it will unlock deeper elements of imagination, starting with the opening track ''Red Rainbow'', continuing this with ''A Burnt Out Case'' and the Bacteria Cult closer, ''Fountain Gasoline''.

I thoroughly enjoy Bacteria Cult through a pair of headphones and a dark room. It is also a pleasure to have this in the car as it makes awesome music while traveling.

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Bacteria Cult Album Tracklist

  1. "Red Rainbow"
  2. "Black Albino"
  3. "Peste Bubonica"
  4. "Papillon"
  5. "Dispossession"
  6. "A Burnt Out Case"
  7. "Imodium"
  8. "Fountain Gasoline"

Kaada/Patton Live

Do not miss the Live DVD put out by Kaada/Patton in 2007. This captures live renderings of the Romances album shot in black and white for a breathtaking view. The recording was from their Roskilde Festival performance in 2005 with a full backing band and really showcases their talents in a live setting. Also included is some behind-the-scenes footage. Amazing stuff not to be missed.

Kaada Bio

Since we pretty much know the deal with Mike Patton already (Faith No More and Mr.Bungle), let's take a closer look at his partner in crime, John Erik Kaada, also known as Kaada. He is of Norwegian descent and wears many musical hats, producing film scores, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist on his own solo albums. He is known for his eclectic compositions, especially on his Thank You For Giving Me Your Valuable Time album, noted for its diverse rhythms mixed with show tunes and electronic and elements of pop music spanning past decades but with a modern twist.

Kaada is also a member of the three-piece band Cloroform in his native Norway, These guys play an eclectic and vast array of music as well, fusing alternative, acoustic jazz, and avant-garde rock. They have released many recordings through Kaada Recordings, John's own label.

Kaada/Patton Future

While I do thoroughly enjoy Bacteria Cult, I would be personally thrilled if they took the sounds of Romances and expanded on that style a little, with some more of the crazy vocal shenanigans Mike is known for going on..these guys have the talent to put music in territories we have never seen before.

This really is a musical match made in heaven, I can't wait to see what else these two have up their sleeve, whatever that may be I will support it. Hopefully, they can get something out soon for us fans.

Where to Listen to These Albums

All of the great Kaada/ Patton albums were released on Ipecac Recordings.

© 2017 The Write Life

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