Mike Patton: The Solitude Of Prime Numbers

Soundtrack to the Italian movie of the same name.

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Mike Patton has demonstrated an energy, eclecticism and ambitious reach in his solo projects that make it seem improbable that he ever had anything to do with Faith No More.

This soundtrack to the film based on the novel of the same name (about two people whose parallel lives represent the fate of primes, divisible only by themselves, condemned, as it were, never to multiply), manages the mathematical feat of being true to the classics of the genre (Bernard Herrmann, et al) and to itself.

These short, slight, but intensely luminous pieces feel at once integrated and separate, following in logical sequence from one another but retaining their almost tragic uniqueness, hankering for some ultimate convergence.

On tracks like Contrapositive, notes hang in bleak solitude, like single, detached bulbs from chandeliers. Orchestration and lead rock instruments are merged, treated and filtered into a glittery suspension on the likes of The Snow Angel, with its celestial footprints, plunges and missteps, and Method Of Infinite Descent.

There’s a Michael Nyman-esque sense of structure, but an aching sense of introspection and isolation; lonely stars throbbing in a distant galaxy. A soundtrack that requires no knowledge of the film to appreciate fully.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.