Los Angeles is a hot bed of creativity. It’s a fact. There must be something in the water out there. In recent years there has been a renaissance with electronic music equalling LA’s heady musical past. One of the new breed of zealots is Miguel Baptista Benedict. Through ingenious production techniques and a never-ending desire to push boundaries, Baptista Benedict has created some of my most treasured memories in recent years. Earlier in the year he released Bedsores (Regurgitations and Loops), an album based on sleep paralysis. It was haunting but incredibley listenable, needless to say it was leading the charge for not only album of the month but of the year too.
Now Baptista Benedict is back with a new album, that he claims is “the beginning chapter to my magnum opus”. When I asked him what the new album was about he replied “thematically expressed as paganism, christian and satanic theology, as well as sonic expression of personal encounters with culture, society and/or polygamist and self-serving rituals.” I asked where the title came from, the answer was just as pragmatic and ambiguous: “the name derived of symbols from what it means to be a caretaker, versus what it means to find oneself in the position of searching for symbolic figures or apparitions in which to surrender to.”
Musically it sounds exactly like Baptista Benedict explained, but there is a heavy dollop of psychedelica. Opening track 'Daddy' sets up loops being run backwards and forwards at the same time and different speeds, while a level of surface noise has been added on top, so everything is a bit merky. 'Dramaturgy' is a change for daddy. It’s incorporation of vocals is a nice change in texture, until the inventible glitch out. For the outro Baptista Benedict has clearly been watching Apocalypse Now, as after maelstrom after musical maelstrom it all ends with ‘thuck, thuck thuck’ of slow rotor blades. 'Oratory Confinement' is back to what Baptista Benedict does best, lo-fi acoustic instruments manipulated to create lurid dreamlike soundscapes.
What Baptista Benedict has proved again is that all you really need to create forward thinking music is vision and ideas, not massive budgets and endless deadlines. Daddy is by far one of the most beguiling and visionary releases of the year.