By Mike Patton’s prolific standards, he’s been keeping pretty quiet of late. We haven’t heard any new music from the lead singer/screamer/vocalese-generator of two of our favorite weird bands, Mr. Bungle and Fantomas, since last November’s The Solitude of Prime Numbers, his soundtrack for the film of the same name. But come July 3rd, Patton’s months-long silence will finally come to an end with the release of Laborintus II, his live rendition of a piece by the Italian experimental composer Luciano Berio. And based on the clip below, it is weird shit indeed.
Berio wrote Laborintus II in 1965 to mark the 700th anniversary of the birth of Dante, who wrote a little poem called the Inferno that some of you may have been forced to read in a comparative lit class at some point. Apparently Berio himself performed the piece in 1972 with a blow-up doll and old car tires gracing the stage. Patton, in collaboration with the Belgian-based Ictus Ensemble and the Dutch choral group Nederlands Kamerkoor, plays it more straight—so don’t expect any Mr. Bungle-like hijinks here. In fact, he pretty much just recites poetry in Italian and leaves the ominous wailing to the chorus. (You can watch the whole performance on Vimeo if you’re so inclined. But that sorta feels like cheating, doesn’t it?)
Laborintus II comes out July 3rd on Patton’s Ipecac Recordings.