……displaced, almost vaporous intensity

tētēma, a new duo featuring Australian composer/pianist Anthony Pateras and Mike Patton release their debut album, Geocidal, on December 8th via Ipecac Recordings.

And here below is the first insight of the music on the album via the track ‘Tenz’, which is described by Anthony Pateras as follows…“This track experiments with a palimpsest of rhythmic microcosms, consisting of drums, voice, arp 2600, contrabass recorder, nylon string guitar and marimba. The orchestration attempts to create kaleidoscopic barber pole effect : a constantly rotating electro-acoustic cross-pollination which culminated in some kind of brutal polychronic trance music, albeit with a glockenspiel coda…”

The promo material for the new release reveals:

Geocidal is very much Anthony Pateras’ vision realised over one and a half years of recording. The record combines various musical elements from analogue electronics, strings, winds, brass, orchestral percussion, and vocals – each recorded in a different location which as Anthony describes creates a “displaced, almost vaporous intensity – it comes from everywhere and nowhere”. Every one of these musical elements on Geocidal was also played live, with no samples, hand-crafted and performed by a human – stemming from a desire to base everything on feel and instinct. Ultimately then, it represents universality and timelessness in music.

On Geocidal,  Pateras balances these kaleidoscopic elements from controlled brooding electronics to unrestrained explosive outbursts. Frenetic, trance-inducing percussion punctuates much of the record, making way for more spacious grooves and jazz rhythms. Elsewhere, widescreen string compositions rouse and stirring piano parts creep in, shifting into film noir atmospherics. All the while, this expansive sonic architecture allows Mike Patton much freedom to display his vast array of vocal techniques.  

  Combining this method of live recording, and the cross-pollination of an array of musical talent, Pateras allows for absolute stylistic freedom which makes Geocidal a very dynamic and unclassifiable album, where quality is never compromised by the quantity of ideas on display. As Tiny Mix Tapes said of Pateras’ music, it offers a look as to where “trailblazers of avant-garde are heading,” adding music lovers will “be captivated by his bold creative foray.”

All of that sounds enticing and the combination of serial jazz-leaning structures  and varying layers of  Patton’s menacing vocals makes for an interesting taster for what could very well be an excellent album.

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