Whilst the reformation of Faith No More garnered all the attention, in recent times Mike Patton has also quietly released a much more bizarre, intense and progressive collaboration with a Melbourne musician on his Ipecac label. Tetema is a duo with local (now Europe based) experimental composer and performer Anthony Pateras. They’re joined by a 12-piece orchestra of sorts, in the main featuring the incredible percussive skills of expatriate Melbournian Will Guthrie.
The music is without doubt weirder than Fantomas, music for out on the ledge, a peculiar genreles experiment that grooves and stutters, yet doesn’t really adhere to anything that has come before it. That said it’s surprisingly musical. At times it’s a kind of dissected rock music, others, atmospheric avant-garde, but really there are very few precedents.
Pateras reports locking himself in an ex-convent in rural France for ten days to sketch out the rhythm tracks, before gathering sounds from across the world over the next 18 months, with each element recorded in a different city. There are no samples; everything on Geocidal (Ipecac) is performed. He spent 48 hours in a studio with Patton in San Francisco and from that they constructed these incredibly detailed and complex suites of sound. Patton then worked on the album for the next six months, bouncing things back and forth, with some tracks having upwards of 40 vocal tracks.
You can hear this attention to detail alongside a bewildering array of elements that normally don’t coexist. This is an album creating new genres. There’s a certain freedom here, yet also the kind of rigour and focus you’d expect of such renowned yet intense musical oddballs.