A high-concept attempt to break down geographical barriers from supergroup of sorts Tetema. A collaboration between Mike Patton and Anthony Pateras, Geocidal looks at the death of place, finding beauty in cacophony and uniquely orchestrated curveballs. Featuring no less than twelve musicians it’s a richly textured work of exotica. Out on CD and vinyl LP from Ipecac.
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The premise of ‘Geocidal’ is that everything is blurring into one, there’s nothing individual anymore, everyone’s just on the internet doing nothing and the whole world has been generalised. That’s pretty fucking stupid, if you ask me: it’s the kind of thinking that in itself assimilates everything towards a Western way of thinking with no care for the many different cultures existing and creating -- also, without the internet, pretty much no one’s going to listen to this record. That said, I’ve always found Mike Patton’s charm to lie in his idiocy, and his new work with Anthony Pateras -- a squelching, screaming record of ludicrous noise that sounds violently opposed to us all having a rainy day in -- is founded on a basic disregard for bothering to understand the world.
If there’s any cultural generalising going on in the world, it’s probably these dudes’ fault: with an orchestra of twelve, they borrow ideas and sounds from outside of the West and then vaguely blend them into their cacophony of cagey drumming and deafening synth. Patton is doing some grade A vocal nonsense on this record, inflecting his voice to reflect his outlandish and nigh-on unlistenable scat interpretations of John Zorn works -- here, though, he traverses irresistible rhythms, which keep his wordless yelpings tantalising, if ridiculous.
Whatever point Tetema are making, they hope it can be made through senseless noise compositions -- including one composition in which Patton seems to growl like a wolf before screaming into a percussive abyss that can only be described as Bo Ningen lite. It’s fun, and it’s intense, and thank god it doesn’t stick around for too long -- but it’s certainly been done before, and a lot better. What Tetema does is good noise pop with a lot of acoustic accompaniment and a pianist who can terrify with one well-placed chord. They are no revolution, though. They’re right: specific cultures are a blessing. But they aren’t producing anything but a mess of them.
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