A short film by Ryan St. Claire and M. Baptista Benedict
Miguel Baptista Benedict
Citing Brion Gysin as an inspiration, 25-year-old Miguel Baptista Benedict puts a spin on the Dadaist cut-up technique throughout the audio (and title) of his debut solo album. Super(b)-Child-Ran is due on Brainfeeder in early 2013. Far beyond the confines of genre, we simply label this “outsider music.”
To date, Benedict produced 25 albums between the years of 2008 and 2012. Super(b)-Child-Ran came into existence over the course of three years, a compilation of songs that Benedict and Flying Lotus picked across 6 solid albums created between ’08-’10. Initially reaching out to Lotus on a whim in ’08, two of the tracks – “Oil Free Acne Wash” and “Purge” – were amongst the first batch of tracks Benedict sent.
“All of these songs are from six different albums that I’d made previously. When Flying Lotus said he wanted to release an album, he insisted that we release some of the older material. The songs on Super(b)-Child-Ran were all recorded in a cornerstone period of my life, so the mood and style of the collection is relatively consistent. Whenever I record, I finish a large body of work pretty quickly because it’s all one idea that I’m trying to do multiple times with different tracks.”
Super(b)-Child-Ran is led by intuition; raw, abstract sound poetry as an expression of chaos and serenity. Entropy flows through distortion, filters, micro-cut effects and discordant melodies. A very minimal and modest studio (consisting of walkie talkies, old keyboards, guitars, loop pedals, even banging on tables) paves for his experimental and gritty sound, a sound he can truly call his own.
”I think “blink 192″ might be my favorite piece. You can hear some field recordings and “digital” recordings, but it’s hard to tell what’s bedding what. That’s why I like it. “Anxious/Upset” and “Akew” are from another album called Magnetic Oxygen, made in the winter of 2010. Those particular tracks were made almost exclusively with just my voice, one half of a high hat symbol and an acoustic guitar (for the percussion). After listening back to them again, I think there are a few bottles in the recordings too. They were both originally one track, and they were made when I was having a real tough time with my anxiety. “Stam’peed” and “ee-co.frendl-ee” – those two tracks are from an album called Blud Thinner(s). Every track title and word associated with that album was stripped down and destroyed, only existing phonetically which is what I was trying to do with the sound as well.”
There are moments of peace, such as the album’s opener “Phemy,” a daydreamy piano-led song that gives little warning of what’s to come. “Subordinate CEO” features Benedict’s own vocals, with a subtle dissonance tickling the subconscious, which leads nicely into the loose, languid guitars conversing on “Purge,” breeding a curious blend of carefree relaxation and high tension. As an overall body of work, Super(b)-Child-Ran is distorted, upsetting and conflicted at times, yet it remains calming and entrancing throughout.
BARO gives a warm welcome to Midwest dweller and multi-instrumentalist M.Baptista Benedict (Brainfeeder) with the release of “Basement Songs”. A brilliant kaleidoscopic of an album, pleasantly strange and fully formed. All in all an impressive and solid offering, behold the goods! (cover art by I.Ferguson)
Feb. 9th, 2013 (BARO21)
If there is a computer simulation of the universe going on, Miguel Baptista Benedict is an anomaly, a glitch and a welcome one at that. He manages to create massive rifts in time and spoil your attention span. I would not recommend ingesting any psychedelic substances before gorging on this bizarre collection of sounds, if only because it seems like it would be overkill. I mean, sure, you might freak out and go insane but you would also not have the best shot at decoding just what is actually happening in this second digital only release by Benedict entitled: “Solidary Bathing Techniques.”
Some of you may be familiar with Benedict’s work with Divorce Party and may not be terribly startled by this sonic outing. I will posit though that this is a completely different animal. In fact, the only thing that seems intact from 2012′s earlier release by Benedict called: “Sa[i]l[e]s,” is the frayed and demented logic. “Solidary” has ripping guitar riffs, intermittent explosions of drums and and viola meandering through gigantic monolithic walls of sound. There is a reason, after all, why Benedict bandies about “Life Threatening” as a genre, if only tongue and cheek.
I challenge those of you who have curious ears, are bored of indie rock schtick and in need of an audio revival give this record a listen. It is difficult, it is abrasive and is completely different than anything in his current collection of releases. (Sa[i]l[e]s, Astrocongertion Opporium). I recommend playing at the highest volume available.