Patton is the story of two Belgium brothers, Sam and Max Bodson, and the group they formed in the 1990s. Their first release, the Love Boat ep was recorded with bass player Philippe Koeune and released on Prohibited Records in 1997. At this point, the group was decidedly angular and electronic, with lyrics showing a narrative approach that contrasted with the music’s abstract, post-rock influences. Using the same angle of attack, the album J-R for jaune-rouge produced by f.lor was released in 2002.
After the interest provoked by J-R for jaune-rouge, the two brothers decided to step back and take some time to reflect. It was during this period that they were struck by the rough, rural blues sounds of the 1930s, especially artists such as Mississippi John Hurt, and Patton set about reworking and reinterpreting his style of rock ‘n’ roll. Exposing themselves to more ‘primary’ music such as John Fahey and AC/DC, they pruned back their sound using not only acoustic instruments but also homemade electronic objects, plunging their music into rough, contrasting, emotional territory. The resulting second album Hellénique Cheleresque Récital came out in 2010.
At this point, the group returned to its initial duo, with Max playing bass and both acoustic and electric guitar, while Sam played drums and electronic elements. Building on these elements, they combined their voices to construct their own vocal style. With their talent for experimenting with DIY electronics, they buried electronic drones at the heart of their tracks and tinged them with blues influences. Within the confinements of this colourful mix of sound and singular mix of English and French vocals, Patton forged music that was sequential, punctuated by cut-up slivers set in place like beacons for listeners.
”C” – the third letter of the alphabet – is also the title of their forthcoming third album. Still a duo, the Patton boys explore their harmonic experimentation (both vocal and electronic) even further, taking surrealist lyrics and mixing bits of different languages to clash with a variety of synth sounds, all while maintaining their resolutely rock aspirations. The vocals become instruments in themselves. Produced entirely by the two brothers, who approach recording and mixing as an integral part of their creative process, “C” contains eight tracks. Listening through the record, different harmonic styles follow one after another, forming a coherent, orchestral whole. Each track has both a unique character and its place as a piece of the puzzle. After the initial surprise, listeners will soon grasp the internal logic that cements the disc, making “C” the group’s most accomplished project to date.