Boomkat Product Review:
Shapeshifting polymath Mike Patton meets the gallic class of Jean-Claude Vannier in a smoky suite recalling the latter’s classique chanson arrangements for Serge Gainsbourg.
Accompanied by the Bécon Palace String Ensemble and guest musicians who have worked with Beck, Johnny Cash and NIN, the central duo of Patton and Vannier make an odd but comfortable coupling alternating between straight-laced and experimental songwriting in a studied style native to ’60s/‘70s french music, and the way it incorporated both avant and popular music in luxurious style.
““Jean-Claude and I met while working together on a Gainsbourg retrospective at the Hollywood Bowl in 2011,” explains Patton. “We bonded immediately. I could see he had a dedication and attention to detail that was relentless so the respect I had for him in my mind was magnified in person. We spoke loosely about working together in the future… and it took some time, but after a few years I contacted him and we began to ignite some sparks.”
“I would send Mike rough versions of the songs to get his thoughts, then I’d wait impatiently, staring at the clock, until I received his response,” offers Vannier about the process the duo used to create Corpse Flower. “He made my music awaken with his unique perspective and interpretations of my songs. A formidable vocalist, with a sense of humor, Mike and I created a strong, beautiful and sincere collection of music, as well as a friendship.”