Picture the scene: it’s the first warm day of the year, your limbs feel like they’re moving properly for the first time in months, and you’re walking through tree-dappled sunshine early in the morning when there’s no-one around. A suitable soundtrack to that is the icing on the cake, and it happened to me when contentedly listening to Soul Clap‘s Social Experiment 002 compilation and Benoit & Sergio‘s Principles came filtering through.
I recognised the characteristically chilled sounds from another gem that Emily and I had been enjoying earlier in the month, the equally lovely Walk and Talk, with the unforgettable vocal My Baby Takes K All Day…
Anyway, a little bit of background. Benoit Simone and Sergio Giorgini are based in Washington D.C and Berlin (who isn’t dual-homed these days?), having grown up Benoit in Paris and Sergio in Iowa, and then meeting at a party in Washington in 2008. It didn’t take them long to produce something excellent, with their first EP release in 2009: What I’ve Lost, on Bruno Pronsato’s thesongsays label. This was followed on Spectral Sound with Midnight People. They then had the honour of the launch EP (Where The Freaks, including Walk and Talk, in February this year) for the IMMENSE Visionquest label (started by none other than Seth Troxler, Shaun Reeves, Lee Curtiss and Ryan Crosson). They released pretty quickly after that on DFA, with Boy Trouble at the end of February.
If you want to try-before-you-buy here’s a little podcast from Benoit & Sergio on XLR8R this January. I’ve read often of these two being called ‘storytellers’ in their records, and this mix is a definite genre-journey through their likes and influences. The first two records are Principles and Walk and Talk respectively, so you can see just what I mean as you walk around in this beautiful sunshine.
01 Benoit & Sergio “Principles” (Unreleased)
02 Benoit & Sergio “Walk and Talk” (Visionquest)
03 Lee Foss “U Got Me” (Hot Creations)
04 Bobby Caldwell “You Belong To Me” (Polygram)
05 Talking Heads “Sugar On My Tongue” (Sire)
06 Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti “Round and Round” (4AD)
07 LCD Soundsystem “I Can Change” (DFA)
08 Midnight Magic “Beam Me Up (Jacques Renault Remix)” (Permanent Vacation)
09 Deee-Lite “What Is Love?” (Elektra)
10 Adonis “No Way Back” (Trax)
11 Benoit & Sergio “Midnight People” (Spectral)
12 Daft Punk “Make Love” (Virgin)
13 Atlas Sound “Farmland Fantasy” (4AD)
14 Banjo or Freakout “Archangel (Burial Cover)” (Hyperdub)
15 Belong “October Language” (Carpark)