It's been no secret that for quite some time now, Mike Patton has wanted to broaden his ever-widening horizons into the world of film scoring. Now, with Ipecac's 100th release, we now have the first film score composed by Mike Patton, and it's a doozy.
A Perfect Place is a twenty-five minute black-and-white icy-cool neo-noir film directed by Derrick Scocchera and stars Bill Moseley (Devil's Rejects) and Mark Boone-Junior (Trees Lounge, 30 Days of Night), two fantastically underrated actors appearing to have way too much fun at work. This is a complete release that includes both the DVD of the film and the score, an idea that should be considered more often, particularly with reissues of classic films.
This is not Patton's only dalliance with film, mind you - he made his acting debut a couple of years ago in Steve Balderson's Firecracker and more recently did significant post-production work as the voices of the creatures in I Am Legend. As his first go-round as film composer however, Patton wears his influences on his sleeve - with Morricone being first and foremost but Italian pop musical arrangements are very prevalent, a bleed-through of Patton's ongoing Mondo Cane project orchestral arrangements of 50's and 60's Italian pop songs, to be released on Ipecac later in the year. Those pining for those fleeting moments when Patton just sings will get a treat with "A Perfect Twist," a rousing number with an April March sass that'll stick with you for days. Not all the cues on the album appear in the movie, however. A fact made clear by the album's playing time running roughly ten minutes longer than the actual film.
Patton has never been wanting of ideas, but the over-abundance of music included here give the hinting of a wellspring of resources sure to grace many future film-scoring projects to come, but who the hell knows. With an untold number of projects both sitting idle, waiting for the go-ahead for more releases (Fantômas, Lovage, Tomahawk) and future works in the can and scheduled to see the light of day in coming months (the aforementioned Mondo Cane and Crudo, Patton's latest collaboration with Dan the Automator), Mike Patton has become one of the most prolific artists around. Far into the future, hopefully many years from now, at the end of his career he could very well have as varied and expansive discography as another of his collaborators, John Zorn.
With all due respect to Scocchera's film, judged on it's own merits, the A Perfect Place soundtrack is a great listen from start to finish - an atmospheric ominous blend of genres that'll suck you in from the beginning and make you want to take it for a long moonlight drive to god knows where to do god knows what before turning your car around and heading back home.