He also contributed in configuring and designing/organizing sounds for his live MIDI rig (which is usually incorporated into Mastelotto's unique rhythm world of "traps and buttons") for several performances with such acts as Stick Men (with Tony Levin and Markus Reuter), TU (with Trey Gunn), Chrysta Bell (David Lynch) and HoBoLeMa (with Allan Holdsworth, Terry Bozzio and Tony Levin). Benavides has also worked in more mainstream genres of music. He was hired by the platinum-selling rock band Blue October to program backing tracks from their Steve Lillywhite-produced album "Approaching Normal" and run playback in support of the record across the United States. He also recently toured with emerging hip-hop star Childish Gambino (actor Donald Glover of NBC's Community) as MIDI programmer and playback/backline tech for the full live band.
A highlight of the tour was playing the main stage at Coachella 2012 in front of 40,000 people. His well-rounded skill set both live and in the studio as well as his eclectic taste in music informs Benavides in ways that allow for a great working environment when working with other artists, engineers, producers and musicians. As a producer, his enthusiasm for collaboration in genres of all kinds has fueled several successful records including Puerto-Rican pop singer (and Rockstar Supernova contestant) Zayra's "Baby Likes to Bang" which garnered two Billboard Dance Club Top Ten hits. Benavides also mixed two songs on Austin indie-rock kings Quiet Company's latest record "We Are All Where We Belong". The record (the rest of which was mixed by legendary producer Tim Palmer) received several awards this past year including Album of the Year in the Austin Music Awards.
Other mix engineering work Benavides has done includes several albums and one-offs for the experimental band centrozoon (featuring Tobias Reber and Bernhard Wöstheinrich) and Markus Reuter's retrospective album, "Kopfmensch", featuring alternate mixes of songs by Stick Men, Tuner, blld (05Ric), Europa String Choir and This Fragile Moment (Toyah Wilcox). Aside from his work as a producer and mixing engineer, Benavides had the privilege of performing on a few of Pat Mastelotto's remixes for (Porcupine Tree founding member) Steven Wilson's NSRGNTS RMXS album which also featured Markus Reuter (centrozoon, Tuner) and Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson). On Markus Reuter's "Kopfmensch" album, Benavides programmed new electronic drum parts for songs featuring Ian Boddy and Tim Bowness. He's also contributed guitar performances to the forthcoming TUNER album, Face, which has been widely anticipated by prog-rock fans around the world. His recent debut as a solo artist, the industrial progressive metal album "Same Time Next Life" (available through Discpline Global Mobile's web store and Unsung Records), is a heartbreaking account of the loss of his daughter Valentina Grace who was stillborn in 2010.
Though quite intense in its content both musically and lyrically, the record is already generating much praise among critics and fellow musicians alike. The album was written by Benavides and Markus Reuter and features guest performances by Pat Mastelotto, touch guitarist Alex Dowerk (ZweiTon), and Austin metal scene vets Eoghan McCloskey and Mike Day (Vex, Ruins of Honor). While continuing to promote his current release as a solo artist, Benavides is also always looking for other artists to work with in various aspects, be it in production, mixing, engineering, remixing, performing or live tour support. He recently joined forces with fellow like-minded multi-faceted artists to form the production company Unsung Productions. This international collective consisting of Fabio Trentini (Moonbound, Guano Apes) based in Italy, Markus Reuter in Austria, Eric Morris (Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Usher) in Texas and Lee Fletcher (Premonition Factory, Grice) in the UK, work to provide the highest quality recordings and live concerts across the globe.
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