Hemophiliac is an album of experimental freely improvised music by John Zorn, Mike Patton and Ikue Mori released in June 2002. It was released on John Zorn’s own label Tzadik. This ‘scary sonic storm’, as Tzadik’s notes describe it, is 128 minutes and 20 seconds long, stretched over two CDs. A limited edition release, only 2500 copies were put out, the outer sleeve of each being personally autographed by the three musicians. Hemophiliac is only available through the Tzadik and Ipecac websites.
Though the album is billed as free improv, the tracks sound like the product of more forethought than, for example, the work on Zorn’s 50th Birthday Celebration series. It was mastered at Classic Sound in New York.
The Squaw Vine
The Black Radish
Essence of Primrose
Though he remarks that it’s ‘challenging’, Jimmy Mullett at Heavy Blog is Heavy is glimmeringly positive about the album, praising the ‘interesting base of sounds’ created by Ikue Mori and Mike Patton’s electronic work, which creates the setting for Zorn’s saxophone and Patton’s vocalising. Patton’s as-per-usual bombastic vocals are celebrated too, with their ‘screeching…blathering…snorting…coughing…blowing raspberries, even burping’ receiving acclaim. Zorn’s sax playing is likened to the former’s vocal efforts, an attempt to produce all manner of bizarre sounds on that one instrument alone.
Reviewer Dean McFarlane at All Music pities Hemophiliac’s limited availability and celebrates Zorn’s sax playing, which he likens to the avant-garde artist’s very early work in the late 1970s as a noisy improviser extraordinaire. Mori’s ‘triumphant manipulations of drum machines and computer noise’ are also praised, and the album overall is seen as a gem in these three musicians’ careers.