Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Mike Patton's Eurocult Soundtrack Love Affair

Musical genius Mike Patton, whom I’ve written about at length elsewhere on this blog, is also well known for his love of the Eurocult genre, often mentioning specific movie titles and directors in interviews. And of course there’s his love letter to cinema, Fantomas’s tremendous Director’s Cut album. During many Mr Bungle shows, the band would deliver near perfect renditions of Morricone’s ‘La Lucertola’ (from A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin), Citta Violenta and other much welcome surprises for genre fans. Even with his experimental work Adult Themes for Voice, Patton slapped on titles such as ‘Porno Holocaust’ and ‘Red Mouth, Black Orgasm’ (guess which director he’s a fan of) onto some tracks. The man lives and breathes not only obscure music but also non-mainstream cinema, and film references are littered all over his 30-year career.
As this is specifically a Eurocult/Eurohorror/Eurotrash blog, I thought it would be fun to list as many songs Patton has covered or paid homage to via his myriad of projects.

Porno Holocaust

Track 8 off Adult Themes for Voice – Mike Patton

Title of a 1980 Aristide Massaccesi (Joe D’Amato) film

Porno Holocaust is a delirious 1980 porn/horror hybrid from the notorious Joe D’Amato. The track itself consists of Patton making screaming/puking noises for a minute. Mike’s statement on the no-budget craziness of the film? His expression of how in-your-face it is? Or he simply loved that killer title and said “Hell, this is what I’m going to name this”? Make of that what you will.

Red Mouth, Black Orgasm

Track 29 off Adult Themes for Voice – Mike Patton

Those In The Know will be aware of D’Amato’s 1980 opus Black Orgasm, which it appears Patton had on his mind when recording this 27 second soundbyte, which starts with him making sucking noises then barking FUCK FUCK FUCK for the rest of it. Pretty much sums up the film.

La Lucertola

Live cover by Mr Bungle

Originally composed by Ennio Morricone for the soundtrack of A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin; directed by Lucio Fulci, 1971

A stunning cover of ‘La Lucertola’, this rendition brings chills to the spine with its preciseness. 6 out of 5 stars.

A Lizard With the Skin of Woman

Track 17 off  Adult Themes for Voice – Mike Patton

Clearly a tribute to Lucio Fulci’s masterpiece A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, Patton’s haunting, mournful, yet ominous vocal stylings would not be out of place in a 1970s Morricone giallo composition, or indeed in Fulci’s film itself.

Citta Violenta

Live cover by Mr Bungle

Originally composed by Ennio Morricone for the soundtrack of Violent City; directed by Sergio Sollima, 1970

No other words, Bungle’s stirring, thumping cover of a classic Morricone track simply rocks.

Deep Down

Track 4 off Mondo Cane – Mike Patton

Originally composed by Ennio Morricone for the soundtrack of Danger: Diabolik; directed by Mario Bava, 1968

Covering his idol Morricone once again, this is a superb, breezy rendition by Patton’s 60s Italian covers tribute album Mondo Cane off one of the tracks from the Mario Bava comic book/pop art extravaganza (also a favourite film of Patton’s). I actually prefer this to the original (sorry Maestro!)

Investigations of a Citizen Above Suspicion

Track 14 of The Directors Cut - Fantomas

Originally composed by Ennio Morricone for the soundtrack of Investigations of a Citizen Above Suspicion; directed by Elio Petri, 1970

More Morricone, this one begins in the spirit of a 70s Italo crime mystery, and ends with a thrash metal twist. Love it.

Twitch of the Death Nerve

Track 2 off She – Maldoror

Title of a 1971 Mario Bava film

A brutal cachopony of abrasive noise ala ‘Porno Holocaust’ from Patton and Japanese noise music artist Masami Akita, this is also open to your interpretation.....

Metti, una sera a cena

Live cover by Mr Bungle

Originally composed by Ennio Morricone for the soundtrack of Metti, una sera a cena; directed by Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, 1976

Another of Bungle’s live-only covers of – yep, another (very much welcomed) Morricone track, Patton nails Edda Dell’Orso’s exquisite vocals perfectly with his 6 and a half octave range.

Also of note is Crime and Dissonance, a 2005 compilation album of Ennio Morricone's generally lesser known work, focussing on Italian crime, horror and Giallo movies from the 1960s-1980s that he scored. Released by Patton’s record label Ipecac Records, I have listed the tracks from the album that are relevant to this article.

“Giorno Di Notte"
From A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin
Dir: Lucio Fulci, 1971

"Corsa Sui Tetti", ‘Spiriti’, “Fondate Paure” and “L’uccello dale piume di cristallo”
From The Bird with the Crystal Plumage
Dir: Dario Argento, 1970

“Il Buio” (Morricone/Bruno Nicolai)
From The Antchrist
Dir: Alberto Di Martino, 1974

“Seguita” and “Folle Folle”
From The Cold Eyes of Fear
Dir: Enzo G. Castellari, 1971

From The Cat O’Nine Tails
Dir: Dario Argento, 1971

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