Kaada & Patton

Romances

The thing about so-called "improvisational" musicians is that, sooner or later, everything they do begins to sound the same. Vocalist Mike Patton, S.F.'s avant-garde poster boy, busies himself with enough disparate projects spearheaded by other people to overcome this handicap most of the time. But given half a chance, he will fall right back into that ol' Patton shtick of alternately wailing and trying to sound like Frank Sinatra over herky-jerky, experimental background music. Enter his latest project with Norwegian electronic musician John Kaada. The most striking thing about this record is its cover art, which is a gorgeous drawing of gloomy jellyfish that gives some hint as to what's inside. The pair have gone for a "romantic" feel, layering dreamy and foreboding synthetic sounds one on top of another, all in the service of Patton's creepy vocals. But this ain't no romance. Instead it comes off like the soundtrack to a deep sea horror movie, something Patton did much more successfully with Fantômas.

 
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