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Benoit & Sergio – Principles review

By now, we should all know what to expect from Benoit & Sergio – namely a delightful but melancholic blend of shimmering synth-pop and deep house. So far, they’ve released a handful of largely excellent EPs for Visionquest and DFA. While the former ploughed a distinctly touchy-feely deep house furrow – whilst still boasting their trademark world-weary vocals – it was the latter that most impressed. This new two-tracker – again for James Murphy’s imprint – adheres to these musical principles (sorry), whilst moving in a slightly more uptempo direction. The results are, as ever, impressive, offering two more strong cuts that sound like nothing else around.

“Principles” itself is an all-action beast. Distinctly more upbeat than some previous outings, it relentlessly rolls forward on a wall-of-sound base of swirling vocal samples, springy 80s alternative bass and E’d-up synth melodies. Throw in their catchiest lead vocal yet, and you’ve got something very special on your hands.

If anything, “Everybody” is even more delightful. Starting off  as incredibly hooky, left-of-centre synth-pop groover, it quickly blossoms into a near-anthemic chunk of grin-inducing house. There’s more space in the mix and a lighter tone, but it almost hits home harder – especially after the fuzzbox bass kicks in around two minutes in, ushering in all manner of twinkling pianos and synth-marimbas. Both tracks are, naturally, brilliantly produced, and sound like nothing but Benoit & Sergio – surely one of the highest compliments you can pay an artist.

Matt Anniss