A Perfect Fit
In between albums from some of his proper projects the prolific Mike Patton has now tried his hand at film scoring, penning 15 tracks for a short film entitled A Perfect Place. Through his Ipecac Recordings label Patton has released the soundtrack together with the full movie as a CD/DVD set. The results are nothing but inspiring and auspicious.
The film starring Mark Boone Junior (Batman Begins, Memento) and Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects, Grindhouse) is a short, simple tale of an accidental killing and two dim-witted friends’ attempts to hide the body. There’s really nothing more to it than that, but the characters bring comic relief to each scene through careful nuance. The little inflections and reactions to each incidental event (excessively loud opera from a radio, one calling the other “asshole” for a second time in a row, realizing the back window of their car is see-through) are what makes A Perfect Place fun.
And while the story itself is more Coen brothers than Dashiell Hammett noir, Patton’s score revels in sinister, spy-groove smoothness. In fact, each song is an expansion on one recurring melodic motif, one even possible to typographically represent: “La da / La da / La da / La da da / La da duh da.” The patient whistling, jazzy staccato piano and heavily reverberated bass in the tracks “A Perfect Place” and “A Little Poker Tomorrow Night?” are enough to stir up imagery of betrayal, seduction and back-alley shady deals. Adding to the range, the swing bandleader lyric “How much can you take? / Never gonna break” on “A Perfect Twist (Vocal)” manages to stay in character, evoke accurate style and bring relief to the mounting tension.
Patton reaches even further, on one hand belting bombastic opera (“Il Cupo Dolore”), and on the other cooing “If I could only warm my heart that’s cold and frozen” (“A Dream of Roses”) like the classics of early jazz 78s. He also blends in some jitterbug spice in the form of frantic shakers and tom-toms, care of meticulous percussionists Danny Heifetz and the brilliant William Winant on “Batucada” and “Main Title.” And for the proper denouement, “A Perfect End” has the melody rolling across the ivories in a measured tempoâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ„Ã¹balanced, calm and meditative, like the surprising tone of the characters in spite of the malicious actions they’re undertaking.
It is a testament to Mike Patton’s work and achievements that an independent project such as this can be distributed and packaged with care and without any mainstream interference. How long can it be before full-length films and scores are coming as well?