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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 seemingly 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. It's good news, then, that the Washington, D.C./Berlin-based outfit's eagerly expected DFA debut maintains both the charm and expert craftsmanship of its predecessors.
Single "Boy Trouble" (the titular counterpoint to "Full Grown Man") launches the EP with all manner of reasons to take to the dancefloor: An exigent beat, a beckoning synthline, a bassline of understated funk. Sergio lethargically sings about girls, making note of both their ups and the downsides, without the hindrance of subtlety. "I love girls/With legs like a Ferrari" he states before noting (bemoaning?) the fact that "You need poetry to turn these girls on." It's a song for the best part of the night, full of compulsive rhythms and a climax that builds on sparkly synths. The accompanying remix from Visionquest -- the Detroit-bred, Berlin-based label led by producers Seth Troxler, Ryan Crosson, Lee Curtiss and Shaun Reeves -- amps things up, making the beat a more prominent, driving and club banging force. The flipside features "Full Grown Man" and "What I've Lost," which reveal themselves to be worth more than a few revisits.
Benoit and Sergio Giorgini -- originally from Paris and Chicago, respectively -- have previously released music on producer Bruno Pronsato's thesongsays label and Ghostly International's Spectral Sound. Sergio also makes music as one half of both Birds & Souls and NDF.
- Kali Holloway
Release/catalogue number: DFA2278
Release date: Feb 21, 2011