With the exception of a few Faith No More songs and an occasional Tomahawk tune, Mike Patton’s work isn’t known for going mainstream. But getting more radio play was part of the point when he created Peeping Tom, a band with a ton of collaborators and more of a hip-hop and electronica sound than he usually produced.
Patton started the band in 2000, but the one album it’s produced didn’t emerge until 2006.
“Kill the DJ” features Massive Attack, a trip hop group out of the U.K. that’s still going strong after 30 years, and there are certainly some interesting elements to this tune.
As Patton explained during an interview circa 2007, he talked about creating the music for Peeping Tom by using email. For example, Patton could write or create some music. He’d email it to Massive Attack, which would then create its own part(s) of the song. Then, it’d send it back to Patton. Back and forth they’d go.
It worked well for teaming with a group like Massive Attack.
“It’s the modern way of prostituting yourself,” Patton said, via the Malocchio YouTube channel. “From my background, it’s kind of about meeting people and getting in the same room, starting a band or doing a session and moving on. With technology being what it is these days, you don’t need to do that. For certain projects and certain applications, it’s a beautiful thing. Massive Attack is over in England, busy as hell. They’re not going to fly over here and write with me. It’d be counterproductive. A lot of people these days, especially in the electronic world, are not guys you give a guitar or piano and say, ‘OK, write a line.’ They sit in front of the computers for hours and hours. It’s a very different process.”
Patton was forced to learn that process for just about every song on this album. Personally, I don’t love the Peeping Tom project (though there are certainly some songs I like that I’ll eventually get to). But the musical genre-switching that Patton can accomplish has always been impressive to me, and I’ve certainly enjoyed having Peeping Tom in my collection of Patton works.
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