Miguel Baptista Benedict-Meek(Ch)O
To call Miguel Baptista Benedict prolific is an understatement. Since 2008 he has released over 25 albums. Some of them are little more than sound sketches, others are cohesive pieces of work, that tell a story, but the way he combines sounds and textures is unlike anyone else. 2013’s Super(b)-Child-Ran, released on Brainfeeder, is a perfect example of this. Using simple instruments, and production techniques, Benedict created something that, even now, still sounds like no-one else. There is something about this album that I can’t get over. Each time I play it, it’s like the first time. I still have no idea what some of the songs are about and I’m sure my ideas about the others aren’t right, and the next time I play it (possibly today) I’ll get something else from it. It’s truly a brave and captivating album.
This week sees the release of Benedict’s new album meek(ch)o. Clocking in under the half hour mark, its thirteen tracks are full of Beneditct’s trademark analogue/digital production. 'Maik' displays this in abundance. Guitars slot in seamlessly with haunting synths, repetitive beats and dream/nightmare like vocals. 'Busk' contains a swirling loop that engulfs the mix, but just under something bubbles, slowly builds and pushes through until a simple, but emotional guitar takes over and pushes the track in an unexpected direction. Surf Face sounds like an unused track from the Akira soundtrack. It’s murky and slow building drum intro, gets bathed by swaths of synths, until its abrupt conclusion.
meek(ch)o is one of the surprise releases of the year. Considering its experimental nature, the album is an enjoyable listen, but it’s not immediate and has to be given repeat plays. However, once it's code has been cracked, and once it’s secrets have started to be yielded, with each play you notice something new and the album, like its predecessor, starts to take on a life of its own. Congratulations Miguel Baptista Benedict, you might have just made the end of year list.