The wait is over!! The second Album from Kaada/Patton, Bacteria Cult, has been released. After 12 years, Mike Patton and John Kaada are back with another sinister album, beautifully composed with eery vocals from the one and only Mike Patton. Bacteria Cult was released on April 1, 2016 through Ipecac Recordings.
Bacteria Cult, Kaada and Patton’s first collaboration in 12 years has more defined themes with each song. Which is much different than their first collaboration, Romances, which consisted of ambient ideas. Both Kaada and Patton are coming into this new collaboration with more soundtrack experience and it really shows in this album, which has a much more cinematic scope. While this album is wordless, yet it is evocative of a dark, orphaned film music, along with a sound of chamber pop and neo-classical infused avant-garde style.
It feels almost as though the eight tracks of the album are one long piece that has just been broken up into little snack portions. Bacteria Cult does continue to carry forward from Romances the unnerving and otherworldliness aspects, but now includes new unusual blends of instrumentation alongside Patton’s harmonies. This album still exudes the music both Patton and Kaada have become known for, it’s eclectic, experimental and cinematic, which makes it truly a delight to listen to as each track is a new and unique experience.
Since collaborating on Romances in 2004, they approached working on this album by wanting to explore more and develop more as a collaboration. Mike Patton and John Kaada worked on Bacteria Cult together because they wanted to explore new things. They also wanted to use new technologies and combine them with orchestral arrangements to create a sound that was new and modern but also focusing on melody and structure. They wanted to branch out and that’s exactly what they have done on this album, the music is very emotive and dwells in a menacing, yet lush and cinematic place. Each individual piece of music for each song was well constructed and inventively assembled. They hope to seduce listeners and bring them into this “other world.”
Here’s what their record label, Ipecac, had to say about the release:
Norwegian composer John Kaada and Mike Patton released their new album, Bacteria Cult, today. The long-awaited, second collaborative album since the 2004 release of Romances.
Mike Patton said of the pair’s reunion: “Working with John Kaada on this latest release was an honor and pure pleasure. His compositions have always resonated deeply with me and his orchestral arrangements for this project are harmonically dense and delicious! Each individual piece is so well constructed and inventively assembled that my vocal passages practically sang themselves. I’m hoping very much that we can seduce some eardrums and welcome listeners into this lush sonic ‘otherworld.’
The eight-song, orchestral collection, which also features the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, exudes the music Ipecac has become well known for: eclectic, experimental and cinematic. Similar in feel to Fantômas’ Director’s Cut, as Kaada describes it, Bacteria Cult “dwells in the twilight zone where spooky and seductive meet.”
This track makes you sit back, switch off from anything else you may be doing and enjoy the journey that this album will take you on and you feel a little bit unsettled as to where it might go.
This track is a waltzing epic peppered with sitar pluckings & gypsy trumpets and it marks a crescendo in the proceedings. Patton goes back and forth between a spoken vocoded persona and an austere self-harmonizing eunuch.
This track teases out elements of Nusrat-esque Qawwali before returning to the killing fields via the reverberated single-note twang of an electric guitar.
There is playfulness and light on top is carried along by some sinister undercurrents
Both Kaada and Patton come together to a common sound, which is something that happens throughout this album
A Burnt Out Case
Patton stands out with some vocal shouts, while he is surrounded by diverse sounds
This track has percussion that is almost like rattlesnakes and the echoing drips of toxic sewage in an underground municipal waste pipe and an ominous bass drum
This track is a slow burner that gradually builds to a perfect finish for this album
There have been two music videos released for Bacteria Cult.
Imodium was released on the 29th of February 2016 through Pitchfork, one month before the album was due for release.
Red Rainbow was released one year later (thanks to leap-years it wasn’t on the same date) on the 1st of March 2017 through Tidal and Vimeo, and was later released on YouTube on the 6th of March.
The video for Red Rainbow uses footage from the short animated film The Absence of Eddy Table. The film starred Mike Patton as the voice of the lead character and John Kaada provided the score. The video was directed by Rune Spaans and written and designed by Dave Cooper.
Music composed & performed by: John Kaada and Mike Patton
Orchestra: Stavanger Symphony Orchestra
Executive Orchestra Producer: Eirik Olivier
Orchestra Co-Producer: Gaute Aadnesen
Conductor: Trond Husebo
Recording Stage Manager: Stein Holdhaus
Recording Engineer: Asgeir Grong
Recording Assistant: Oyvind Grong
Music Preparation: Lars Brenli
Score Coordinator: Helen Farr
Additional Tuba & Trombone: Borre Molstad
Additional Violin: Yi Yang
Additional Cello: Johannes Martens
Additional Double Bass: Kenneth Ryland
Mastered by Frank Arkwright at Abbey Road Studios
Martin Kvamme created the album artwork for this album. Kvamme is a graphic designer and illustrator from Oslo, Norway. He regularly designs album covers for Mike Patton. Kvamme designed the album artwork for Kaada and Patton’s first collaboration album, Romances.