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Benoit & Sergio – Boy Trouble review

With their slicked back hair, sharp suits and love of sophisticated, melancholic electronic pop, Washington DC’s Benoit & Sergio are a neat fit with James Murphy’s fashion-conscious imprint. Following a smattering of singles elsewhere – most notably for Seth Troxler, Ryan Crosson, Lee Curtiss and Shaun Reeves’ Visionquest imprint – it’s no surprise to see them pitching up on DFA with a suitably charismatic four-tracker.

Musically, they offer an odd but charming fusion of the old and the new. “Boy Trouble” itself is a good example. Part Justus Kohncke/Kompakt pop, part “Beahviour”-era Pet Shop Boys (it has the same bittersweet feel and love of rich synthesizer sounds), it’s both heart-achingly weary (especially the vocal) and coolly uplifting. The Visionquest remix – a lovingly crafted fusion of spacious house bump, techno influenced percussion and deep blue electro-pop – only enhances these wonderful elements.

Elsewhere, there’s plenty to enjoy. There’s another chance to savour the superb “Full Grown Man”, a housier composition that sounds like one of Mr Fingers’ Robert Owens collaborations remade in Cologne (it reminds us, bizarrely, of some of Firm troubadour Bozzwell’s deeper techno-pop moments, albeit with a classic deep house finish). Worth checking, too, is “What I’ve Lost”, another previously released cut that casts Joy Division broodiness adrift in a dreamy synthscape of stoned paranoia and loverlorn late night tears. Hopefully DFA will stick with these guys; their music might not be an exact fit with their usual followers, but it has excellent potential.

Matt Anniss