Live Review: Tetema

23 January 2017 | 1:01 pm | Catherine Delpero

"Essentially, what Tetema delivered the crowd was a behemoth wall of sound."

Tetema, a collaboration between a little known Australian composer and one of music's most enigmatic legends, was bound to be an interesting time. Mike Patton has moved well beyond having 'side projects' from his most famous band, Faith No More. He is now like an aural chameleon, changing sound to suit each whim. However, Patton is not one to blend into his surroundings, he tends to stick out a bit.

Mofo is more of a carefully curated art installation than a traditional music festival, which makes complete sense given it's the love child of the gallery Mona and Brian Ritchie of the Violent Femmes, who curates the event. Most bands have something left of the centre about them, and Tetema were no exception.

In true Mofo style, Tetema graced the stage early in the warm evening and greeted a melting pot of an audience; families with small children, cocktail-soaked adults that weren't sure who any of the bands were and diehard Patton fans who literally will travel to the ends of the earth to see anything the man does.

Essentially, what Tetema delivered the crowd was a behemoth wall of sound. It was as though the crowd had just rocked up to a jam session and Tetema invited everyone to stick around for a bit. Of course, it only felt that way because of the experimental nature of the Tetema sound. Percussion is front and centre, fusions of exotic sounding drums and tones meaning that Patton's vocals are largely another layer to that percussion. Predominantly making noises that didn't seem entirely human, Patton was led by composer Anthony Pateras, who faced the singer rather than the audience for most of the show. Only on a couple of tracks was Patton's distinctive singing voice a feature. That man can scream like no other. There were a few Mr Bungle-esque moments, but Tetema is its own unique, hairy beast.

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Almost as quickly as it began, the onslaught of sound was over. The audience wandered back to the bar, a little shaken and confused. Mofo at its disruptive best.