Frank Benkho

Frank Benkho is the solo project of electronic musician, designer and founder of the netlabel Pueblo Nuevo Mika Martini. He primarily uses voice and samples from unusual sound sources and process them in real-time with effects pedals, wave generators and loop machines. In these musical states melodic fragments prevail, but as a repetitive and subtly developing mantra that never become a full statement or recognizable melody. Impressions of melodies appear, but only as broken parts that never assemble into the entire phrase, from where they were taken. This breakage is heightened by repetition and segmentation, and the continued development in notes, sounds and sonic effects.

The music’s spirit is similar to that of gospel music, the choral music of black American evangelical religious singing where a community of voices becomes a mediator between the spiritual and the worldly, and where any ‘word’ or other clear meaning is of lesser consequence than the expressive quality of the sound of the human voice itself. At the other extreme is the use of noisy sound sources – electronic and ambient alike – where absence of definition gives place to intensity and volume, transformations and filtering.

After studying architecture and finishing with a design degree from Universidad Católica de Chile, Mika/Frank began making minimal music that combined field recordings from Chile’s various ethnic groups with abstract sonic material in micro-sampling. Later, as an ardent member of the Chilean Electroacoustic Community (CECh), he was influenced by ideas from electro-acoustic music and he began focusing his work on more experimental paths.