There are few artists making seriously great music while not taking themselves too seriously; that difficult feat is one rarely attempted and even less often successfully carried out. Benoit & Sergio have effortlessly managed to pull off that contradictory trick, producing songs that sometimes seem like musical open letters: editorials narrated in the voices of unidentified, yet totally recognizable colorful characters, read aloud against a backdrop of beautifully lush, warm and sensuous electronic pop music. The unexpected juxtaposition of such pristine production and playful lyricism — first exhibited on 2009’s highly praised What I’ve Lost EP, which included the brilliantly sardonic single “Full Grown Man” — exemplifies why Benoit & Sergio are one of the most unique and interesting outfits in dance music.
Not content to make DJ fodder, the duo draws from influences mostly uncommon to the house and techno zeitgeist; bands like Talking Heads, Pavement and Roxy Music are sources of inspiration, along with contemporary electronic acts like Thomas Melchior and Ricardo Villalobos. All these influences resonate clearly in their music, joined by a kind of sexualized melodrama that makes its way into lyrics about loneliness, French girls, wine and Ferraris. Yet while their lyrics might speak of loneliness, their recent releases have been crowding dance floors. Their “Where The Freaks Have No Name" EP for Visionquest has dominated the dance music scene so far in 2011, reaching number one overall on Juno and on Beatport’s Deep House charts, while their single, “Walk and Talk,” has topped RA’s DJ Charts, as well. With “Boy Trouble” for DFA, released in late February, Benoit & Sergio add another dimension to their catalog, crossing further into pop territory, while continuing to make dance music from the lurid pleasures of a future bereft of time.
Benoit & Sergio grew up thousands of miles apart, in Paris and Iowa respectively. In 2008, they met at a party in Washington DC and began making dance tracks in the long winter of 2009. Right from the start, they had an insatiable artistic chemistry that kept them in the studio for ten to twelve hours at a time, riffing on each other’s ideas until they had created something even more epic than they had anticipated. They have recently released the “Principles” EP on DFA and “Let Me Count The Ways” for Spectral in May and June 2011.