Mike Patton - The Solitude Of Prime Numbers (Ipecac)

A Mike Patton release is always very welcome in our ears.

Released Nov 30th, 2011 via Ipecac / By Paul Robertson
Mike Patton - The Solitude Of Prime Numbers (Ipecac) The normally hyperactive Mike Patton seems to have reigned things in somewhat of late. Time was he was a hard man to keep track of, having so many metaphorical fingers in so many musical pies, the releases, projects and guest appearances came thick and fast. His, surprising to some, decision to rejoin the reactivated Faith No More must have slowed him down to a large extent but clearly he's a man who needs multiple outputs, based on past form, and so it is that he has turned his beady eye to the world of soundtracks over the last few years.

Starting in 2007 by providing the voices and noises of the creatures in I Am Legend, Patton quickly shuffled up the Hollywood food-chain, via his sterling soundtrack to short indie film A Perfect Place, and found himself soundtracking the bat-shit-crazy gonzoid high-octane Jason Statham vehicle Crank:High Voltage – clearly a match made in heaven...or hell for some.

So it is that we find Patton providing the soundtrack to a cinematic version of the well-received Paolo Giordano novel, The Solitude Of Prime Numbers, and doing a rather wonderful job of it.
Put to one side are the moodswings, vocal tics, wilful eclecticisms and bloodymindedness that typify most of Patton's output, replaced here with a lightness of touch and a real sense of space. The flair for the dramatic is still firmly in place, but leavened somewhat by what appears to be a newfound sense of maturity – Patton has learned to reign himself in without diluting his essence.

Inspired by his reading of the book, Patton has created a work that soundtracks the novel as well as the film, retaining the minimalism and terse iciness of Giordano's prose and adding a broader cinematic sweep of tones in order to capture the larger vision of the cinema screen.

The mournful sense of loss pervades every track, rendered by Patton's minimalist yet still somehow rich use of instrumentation. Moments of menace and darkness rear their heads, such as on the dramatic 'Radius Of Convergence' , 'Separatrix', and the ominous 'Apnoea', but for the large part it is the sense of loss and loneliness that shines through most strongly, articulated so well by Patton. Unusually for Patton, his voice is used exceedingly sparingly – with a wordless vocal motif embroidering the opening number 'Twin Primes' and reoccurring during the closing moments of final piece 'Weight Of Consequences' being the only overt vocal display herein.

With The Solitude Of Prime Numbers Patton has stepped up to the plate, straightened his tie and showed that he really can deliver enthralling, emotionally resonant music that functions both as an accompaniment to a movie or book, or as a standalone piece of work...and that is no mean feat.