released May 4th, 2010
from the album - Deep Down
Mike Patton could very well be one of the most versatile and talented singers in rock music. He may be rock's most valuable player as well, since he has divided his time between at least five projects: Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, Tomahawk and an experimental solo career. Born in Eureka, CA, on January 27, 1968, Patton discovered his vocal talents when he and some high school friends formed the wacked-out Mr. Bungle. The group touched upon almost every musical style imaginable and became popular in their region. The members of Faith No More first met Patton around 1988, when they were playing a show in the area. The group was having problems with their singer at the time, Chuck Mosley, and gave a careful listen to a Mr. Bungle demo that Patton gave the group. They were blown away. When Mosley finally got the boot a short time later, the band set out to find a replacement. Since Patton was quite content with being a college student and playing with Mr. Bungle, he didn't exactly jump at the invitation (interestingly, the band also asked Chris Cornell of Soundgarden). Eventually he did change his mind, but made it clear that he would be a member of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle. Patton proved to be an important addition to FNM, as they gained worldwide fame and notoriety with releases like The Real Thing, Angel Dust, and Album of the Year. Mr. Bungle signed to Warner Bros., due in part to Patton's newfound fame, and released their self-titled debut in 1991 (produced by experimentalist John Zorn) and the critically acclaimed Disco Volante in 1995. Although they didn't acquired massive FNM-like success, they obtained a loyal and constantly growing fan base. Patton continued to work with John Zorn, releasing a pair of solo albums for Zorn's Tzadik label, in addition to guesting on tracks by Sepultura, the Kronos Quartet, and the Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E., among others. A year after Faith No More called it a day in mid-1998, Patton launched his own record label, Ipecac. The label's first release was the self-titled debut by the Patton-led, all-star experimental outfit Fantomas, who also included former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, Melvins guitarist Buzz Osbourne, and Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn. Patton then returned to Mr. Bungle, contributing to one of their finest albums, the Beach Boys-tinged California. He subsequently joined ex-Jesus Lizard guitarist Duane Denison's Tomahawk (featuring ex-Helmet drummer John Stanier and Melvins bassist Kevin Rutmanis) and formed the R&B/pop/electronic experiment Lovage (a collaboration with hip-hop producer the Automator). He also contributed tracks to Tzadik Records' tributes to Burt Bacharach, Serge Gainsbourg, and Marc Bolan. 2001 saw the release of Fantomas' sophomore effort, The Director's Cut, the debut recording of Tomahawk, and a collaboration with Dan the Automator on the Lovage album. Lovage was met with great enthusiasm to new audiences, inspiring Dan the Automator and Patton to collaborate on more songs throughout 2002 for a Peeping Tom album. And when old friends Dillinger Escape Plan found themselves without a singer that spring, Patton stepped up and helped them put together a new EP, even continuing as a temporary singer after they had filled the position. After six years of perfecting Patton's warped take on a pop album, Peeping Tom was finally released in May of 2006.
Patton also tried his hand at acting in such motion picture projects as Firecracker and Amnesia, and continued to develop his interests outside the music studio, providing voices for the video games The Darkness, The Portal, Left 4 Dead, and Bionic Commando, and using his guttural vocal roars to provide vocals for the creatures in I Am Legend. In 2008, he composed a soundtrack for the Derrick Scocchera independent film A Perfect Place, released on Ipecac.
Mike Patton’s previous work scoring a Morricone-esque soundtrack (A Perfect Place), covering themes from movie soundtracks (The Directors Cut), embracing the language and music of other cultures (Anonymous), and crooning (Lovage), all invariably had a deeper purpose: preparation for his most elaborate endeavor to date (which is saying a lot.) Inspired by time spent in Italy visiting his in-laws and listening to the oldies station there a decade prior, for this project the vocalist extraordinaire performs renditions of cinematic Italian pop songs of the '50s and '60s, all while backed by a 40-piece orchestra, a choir, and a 15-piece band. To add to the grandeur, the recordings are taken from live shows, with the best bits pasted together from a slew of European performances using studio magic. Most of the parts are taken from the tour’s first intimate performances in Italy, which is fitting. Mondo Cane sounds authentically Italian. Patton’s time in his second home in Bologna was apparently well spent. His grasp of the language is exceptional; he sings naturally with the comfort of a true native (and a flair for rolling “r”s) throughout the bulk of the release. “Deep Down” lapses into English, only because the original does, in a masterfully embellished version of Ennio Morricone’s theme from Danger Diabolik. Because the original soundtrack masters are M.I.A., this little slice of magic brings a previously unavailable piece of history back to life, and it’s a totally worthy substitution. It’s not surprising that Patton would pay tribute to his hero Morricone, whose material Ipecac reissued in the Crime and Dissonance set, but the big surprise and reward is when he takes risks with deep Italian cuts by Fred Bongusto, the Blackmen, Luigi Tenco, and Gino Paoli. All of these, while taken from a variety of styles, from Frank Sinatra pop to psychedelic garage rock, are covered as they should be: with proper respect to the original, while showing off the unique personality of Patton. Sure, he’s showing restraint, and singing ballads, mostly, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to go from an Operaman impression to a maniacal wail on a whim. Dynamic bombast is his specialty, and amazingly, it all fits perfectly within the confines of Italian pop. As outlandish as Mondo Cane is, it all somehow amounts to the most easily digestible thing in Patton's scattered discography. Weird, considering Peeping Tom was his so-called “pop project.”
1 Il Cielo in Una Stanza Bernstein, Bonagura ... 3:55
2 Che Notte! Bernstein, Bonagura ... 3:18
3 Ore D'amore Bernstein, Bonagura ... 2:52
4 Deep Down Bernstein, Bonagura ... 3:21
5 Quello Che Conta Bernstein, Bonagura ... 4:03
6 Urlo Negro Bernstein, Bonagura ... 2:49
7 Scalinatella Bernstein, Bonagura ... 3:15
8 L' Uomo Che Non Sapeva Amare Bernstein, Bonagura ... 3:17
9 20 Km Al Giorno Bernstein, Bonagura ... 2:55
10 Ti Offro Da Bere Bernstein, Bonagura ... 2:27
11 Senza Fine Bernstein, Bonagura ... 4:37