Benoit & Sergio don’t make dance tracks—they tell stories. In the Washington, DC duo’s music, a sense of place and narrative infuse their rhythms and melodies, transcending the confines of “tech-house” or “electronic pop” and entering a genre-free realm of cinematic imagery and visceral pleasures. Benoit & Sergio draw from influences mostly uncommon to the house-and-techno zeitgeist—bands like Talking Heads, Pavement, Roxy Music, Paul Simon—while keeping an ear towards electronic-music contemporaries like Isolee, Thomas Melchior, and Ricardo Villalobos. The resulting tracks pulse with hooks and atmosphere, proudly flying their creators’ freak flag while giving listeners a little something extra to dance about.
Benoit & Sergio debuted in 2009 with What I’ve Lost, a trippy, colorful EP released on Bruno Pronsato’s boutique label,
thesongsays. The EP displays a sleazy, romantic pop sensibility, with lyrics about loneliness, French girls, wine, and cocaine. What I’ve Lost received a deluge of praise upon its release, including a 4.5/5 from Resident Advisor and support from DJs including Seth Troxler, Shaun Reeves, and Ryan Crosson (who eventually became Sergio’s partner in another Spectral duo, Birds & Souls).
On “Midnight People”, Benoit & Sergio’s first single for Spectral Sound, the duo flex their club muscles, crafting lurid soundtracks for gritty techno parties. “For me,” Benoit says, “a good track either has an amazing sound, an amazing groove, or an amazing hook / melody. This goes for any genre.” Flouting the concept of genre altogether, Benoit & Sergio’s music contains all three.