Benoit & Sergio Q&A

BenoitAndSergio_RossLaurence2Firstly, sorry to hear that Sergio is under doctor’s orders. How is he getting with his recovery?

Sergio’s back is doing better, slowly recovering. We hope to be back on the road and fully operational in December.

Your new release ‘Old Streets’ on Soul Clap once again highlights your musical skills as well as your song writing abilities. How do you compare the importance of your timely melodies and sassy grooves with the more minimal, functional sounds that have been dominating many dancefloors?

I think essentially it comes down to a slightly lesser focus on sound “for the sound”. We love to explore sounds and try to find innovative textures but ­ ultimately ­ we search for a sound that inspires us to play. We likely have a more “old school” approach when it comes to melodies than modern days tracks. Some tracks today literally have the same note repeated but the sound itself varies in such ways that it creates a convincing and catchy hook, almost sounding melodically complex sometimes. I think this is as commendable as a more melodic approach. We’re just more on one side than the other.

Can you talk us through the process of how you produced/wrote the track?

BenoitAndSergio_LOGO‘Old Streets’ was produced in Washington DC. The “recipe” there has been the same pretty much every time: jamming on synths sync’d up with drum machines and recording as much as we can… occasionally going to the computer to start picking up the right loops and elements. Finally, we recorded the vocals that Sergio had written. The final sequencing is usually what takes us the most time. Sometimes it is obscenely long. It’s almost as if the infinity of combinations of sequencing freezes us. You can completely change the vibe and almost the style of a track with sequencing… Letting the tracks develop slowly and repeating some elements for a while can make a track real deep, whereas changing things fast will make it more pop. These decisions are also part of the process.

Your current release for Matt Tolfrey’s Leftroom Limited ‘House With 500 Rooms’ showcases a tougher more robust side to your productions. What’s the story behind the title, and how did you first hook up with Leftroom?

“House With 500 Rooms” is a play on an amazing old song from the 80s by a band from New Zealand called The Chills. Their song is really pretty and gentle ­ classic 80s, lo­fi indie pop. And it was called “House With A Hundred Rooms.” Since our track is all about a macho braggadocio, it just seemed sort of funny to try and be that way even in the title of our track by topping another title that uses “House” ­ even though that song has nothing to do with the genre. It is indeed a tougher, darker and more dancefloor side of us that’s showcased in this case. This diversity is probably because we enjoy a lot of different genres and never really limited ourselves to any sub­genre.

Leftroom makes sense for this EP as it represents a label with a classic sense of House music. We are really happy Matt wanted to release it. We met him through friends at parties and always had connected with him. He’s a great person.

Having already released music on the likes of Culprit and Visionquest what plans do you have for moving into 2016?

We have few more tracks/EPs we hope to release in the near future. One is more on the House side and the other more rock. A bit like the “Old Streets”/”House With 500 Rooms” combo.

And finally, how would you say that your main influences play into your music?

A lot, essentially. I would say they play 70% of the part. Then there is probably a good 20% of “direct” influence from playing in the club and experiencing a track there. This is a different kind of influence in a way ­ kind of like the difference between studying a textbook vs practice. The last 10% comes from being in our “bubble”. We tend to be also relatively isolated when it comes to production and this 10% accounts for that.

Benoit Simon

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