Guest Reviews: Benoit & Sergio
- Words: Stefan Nickum
Benoit & Sergio's 2009 debut EP, What I've Lost, is a lesson in sophistication, each song displaying a level of musical maturity rarely reached by producers in a whole lifetime of work. Vocals, melody, and dancefloor-ready rhythms all come together to create a vision of house music that could live in the club or the solitude of your bedroom. Their latest release, "Midnight People," out now on Spectral, is a head-turning club track that uses a deep and dark piano melody reminiscent of Chicago house's finest moments, and serves as an interesting follow-up to the romanticism of What I've Lost. The Berlin-DC duo's ascendance may seem explosive given the pair's limited discography—which will soon include upcoming releases on Vision Quest and DFA—but it's all the more reason to see what they're listening to these days.
It's as if Arvo Pärt and Theo Parrish (at his most abstract) sat down at a cafe in Berlin, became good friends, and then decided to make a record. Every move on Mr. Roberts' debut LP has the complex, deliberate feel of a chess game between elegant minds. Deep yet clear, gentle but not dull, strong without rage, full without overflowing.
Seuil & dOP
"Prostitutes (Visionquest Remix)"
We discovered this EP driving at night through the privileged neighborhoods of LA toward summer's end. The Visionquest remix is perfect for the beast of any night. Epic and weird, its casino-style voice-overs and Dirty Harry hi-hats are underpinned by a tension between bass and kick that only a trip to that massage parlor on Wilshire Boulevard can release.
"Looking Glass (Extended Mix)"
We wish we could go back in time with this song and play it for Charlotte Rampling around 1982, and then walk along the River Seine with her, talking of the future. We think she would love the song's melancholy, and the way its synth lines grow slowly toward Woolfy's forlorn plaint. The Canyons remix is beautiful and forlorn, too.
"You Put A Smell On Me (Breakbot Remix)"
Breakbot's remix culls something unexpectedly light from the black-rock quarry of the expert original. There's a neo-Prince flavor to the groove, the passing falsetto, and the big LinnDrum clap and snare.
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