Oh, where to begin? As a broad statement, we all respect how Mike Patton has woven with relative ease an intricate career between mainstream and avant-garde. When not acting as a frontman, his projects have taken on a performance-piece mentality. This outward extension has had a recent counterpart in Norway’s John Kaada of the band Cloroform. Kaada himself is one of Norway’s versions of Patton, utilizing both instruments and voice on compositions, and even some soundtracks.
In 2004, the two entered into a union, releasing the Kaada/Patton album Romances, and the following year performed the album live in Denmark at the Roskilde Festival. As another broad statement, I’m almost positive that most of us were unfortunately not able to attend due to prior commitments. We missed an interesting live rendition of Romances, but being the magnanimous self-promoter that he is, Patton has released the concert on DVD for our enjoyment.
Shot nostalgically in black and white, the plenary 54-minute set encompasses Patton singing and filling percussion and Kaada providing backing vocals. Members of the aforementioned Cloroform function like a machine behind these two central foci. Obviously this is not Faith No More, Mr. Bungle or even Peeping Tom, and no one should expect it to be. No, this performs better as a Druid western opera score. Much moaning, syncopation coupled with calculated silence. It’s an extremely difficult album to perform with its off-time signatures, and the first ten minutes drag just a bit. Nice additions to the live set are a 20 minute rehearsal film and behind the scenes photo gallery. These men have grown in such artistic stature over the past decade, it’s a dulcet moment to see they are still human for now.