Benoit & Sergio have become one of my favourite duos in the past year or so. Their EP releases on both Visionquest and DFA have contained moments of sheer brilliance.
This new release comes out on Visionquest, following up on their Where The Freaks Have No Name EP. That release featured the gloriously disgruntled love-lost-to-the-k-hole anthem 'Walk And Talk', so hopes are high for this new one...
New Ships opens with 'Lipstick & Lace' - a frisky, funk strut with vocals dedicated to an irresistible female. You know, the kind that wants to make you do the mash-potato. Benoit & Sergio's talent is always in their particular blend of warm bass with cool, metallic synths played in a funky way - as shown in great effect to the piano-embellished outro here.
In my opinion though the duo are at their best when the melodies are allowed to dominate. Which is exactly what they do on 'Not In Your Nature', a track of passive-aggressive missives. The vocals and pads are layered beautifully here, giving the sensation of swimming through the thick, queasy feeling you get in the knot of your stomach when something goes badly askew... It's strangely relaxing yet the whole song is clearly about being taken advantage of.
The EP's title track has a distinctive, prominent looping bass line that performs the foundations for some semi-liquid guitar that almost oozes and yet still feels brittle around the edges. If Daft Punk made music for a downer with massive bass it would probably sound like this, the vocal a cry for help - "So many nooses around my neck, as I stare at the sea waiting for new ships" - the music the sound of dancing on through it.
Another terrific EP. Now give me an album.
New Ships is released through Visionquest on 15 October.