This past June I discovered the briliant dance duo Benoit & Sergio and their highly addictive track “Let Me Count The Ways” (let me count the number of times I’ve listened to it — nope, can’t even). The most exciting thing about these guys is the fact that they’re not a couple of tweens making music in their parents’ basements. Paris-born and Washington D.C.-based Sergio is a graduate from the John Hopkins Renaissance Literature program (he notes in the interview, “there’s a lineage of electronic music and Renaissance literature at Hopkins”), and Iowa-born, Berlin-based Benoit has a passion for neuroscience. They are currently taking the world by storm and if you haven’t yet heard their music in the clubs or parties of your life by now then get ready, because you definitely will soon. Since the release of their very first 2009 EP What I’ve Lost, they’ve been securing themselves a sterling reputation as artists, much like Daft Punk, who are capable of embedding a depth and intellectualism in their sound that is all to rare these days. As part of the promotion for their brand new track “Principles”, Benoit & Sergio sat down with Interview magazine for a brief interview. The following is a short excerpt:
ON TRANSITIONING TO MUSIC:
SERGIO: I was studying Renaissance literature at Johns Hopkins when my best friend told me that I needed to come to Berlin, because he was a DJ at the time. I was like, “Eh, I don’t know, it’s not really my scene.” He was like, “Trust me, just come out for a summer.” He’s actually still at Hopkins finishing his Ph.D.; he does Renaissance literature as well. And one of his thesis advisors is part of Matmos, so there’s a lineage of electronic music and Renaissance literature at Hopkins. So anyway, I came to Berlin and loved the whole scene. I started working on music and gradually I didn’t want to do Renaissance literature anymore, I didn’t feel it, I didn’t care about it. I only cared about music, so I took the plunge and started doing it full time.
DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND:
BENOIT: An alloy of copper and silk. SERGIO: Our style is Cadillac Caribbean dance pop under an autumnal sky. [laughs] It’s dance pop with a slightly melancholy feel to it.
ON EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES:
SERGIO: It’s all music—it’s either listening to music or making it or playing it. Otherwise, I go to this English bookstore in Berlin, St. George’s, near where I live. I just finished a biography of Anne Sexton, the troubled American poet. I love biographies that get really detailed in people’s lives—it’s a voyeuristic pleasure. I also just finished Proust’s ‘Time Regained’. I think I am finally old enough to start to understand him.
IF NOT MUSIC THEN WHAT?
BENOIT: Ideally, I would be working in neuroscience. I have this passion for brain waves. I wanted to connect them to music devices, kind of like Alvin Lucer’s “I Am Sitting in a Room.”
You can read the entire feature at Interview magazine. You can also follow Benoit & Sergio on Facebook and Soundcloud, or pick up some of their music on iTunes. I’ve attached their brand new track “Principles” below, as well as the vocal version of “Midnight People”. And I will never miss an opportunity to post their incredible track “Let Me Count The Ways”.