BY Michael RancicPublished Jan 10, 2020

Geocidal, the first collaboration between demon/vocal contortionist Mike Patton and Australian composer Anthony Pateras as tētēma, concerns itself with the "murder of place" and questions whether "borders even matter any more," seemingly taking a moral stance against the so-called "generalized cesspool of culture."

Conflating monoculture with the erosion of borders as a result of technology, and then making that the central concept of a record is a bold, yet strange move for Patton considering how he has made a career out of ignoring genre limitations by exploiting his phenomenal vocal range. Patton and Pateras offer to take their listeners to an entirely different world, one that really only works when tētēma use older ideas as a backdrop to foreground their newer, more abstract ones.

Percussionist Will Guthrie's beats factor prominently throughout the first seven tracks, acting as a much-needed anchor that gives each song some stability for Patton and Pateras to go off and do their thing. Music doesn't have to be completely "world changing" to leave listeners astounded or challenged — there needs to be some semblance of solid ground before they can have it snatched out from beneath them.

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