Welcome to Mr. Bungle’s dark opus, Disco Volante. Here is the true meaning of music that is ahead of its time, or perhaps, outside of time all together. A mind-bending meld of vocal mayhem, anarchic analog synth, dyslexic, crumbling percussion, serial killer inspired guitars, and nightmarish horns glue together an unethical display of experimental music that demands the deepest attention, the most honest listening effort; and thus, the listener is rewarded with something that they have never experienced before. Here, the currently disbanded act of Mike Patton, Trey Spruance, Trevor Dunn, Danny Heifetz, and Bar McCinnon prove that there are no boundries in music.
They use all kinds of genres mashed into songs for this album, as I have stated earlier. Doom metal transitions into smooth jazz; thick analog keyboards layer over progressive drum beats and middle eastern guitar scales; crooning fades into metal growling; funk bass meets carnival style, odd-timed clarinets; hard-core punk with static samples transforms into extreme ambience; classical horns and strings are accompanied with the sounds of glass breaking and chains being pulled through metal holes; and all of the while, these seperate parts start and stop in a malicous, schizophrenic time signature that neither give you enough time to jam out to it, nor do they leave you dissatisfied. It is all done perfectly. It is more like a complicated symphony than an album, really. Every song has it’s place, and there are few similarities among them. The only thing that remains at a constant is the pure excitement of the pieces, the stunning complexity, and the amazing vocal range of Mr. Patton himself.
This is my favorite album of all time. Mr. Bungle changed my ideals of music, and it was mostly due to Disco Volante. In a way, they are fighting against fake, shallow musicians who try to appeal to everyone at once, make a quick million, and then fall off the face of the earth and are never heard from again. Bungle knew that not everyone could listen to this. It took a certain type of ear, a special off balance quality that everyone has, but that shallow people will deny and point fingers at. I respect people that give an open mind to this album and still hate it, but not to people that hear it and say “this is so weird, what is this. It’s not music!” They, in my mind, are the enemy of expression. I don’t hate anybody, but I have no interest or respect for those who will dislike something just because they don’t understand it. This, in my mind, is America’s sickness.
I don’t care what kind of music you listen to. All I have to say is listen to this album a few times in your life. You may hate it, you may be completely blown away, but whatever happens, approach it in a way that you can keep an open mind towards it, and remember that it will probably be different than anything you have ever heard. And if you like it, congratulations, because you have just walked into a larger world of music, and you’ll find that there are so many things happening with innovative, experimental music, you’ll probably never be able to hear all of it. Enjoy, and stay creative with whatever you do in life. It’s what makes us human! Take a cue from Mr. Bungle, and be yourself.