Benoit & Sergio: Where The Freaks Have No Name

Visionquest's premiere release, Where The Freaks Have No Name, is notable as much for the names behind the imprint as for the EP itself. Visionquest, you see, is the brainchild of Seth Troxler, Ryan Crosson, Lee Curtiss, and Shaun Reeves, and the four, all of them well-known DJs and producers in their own right, have chosen techno producers Benoit & Sergio ( Benoit Simone and Sergio Giorgini ) to inaugurate their label venture. The pair, who hail from Washington and split their time between the US and Berlin, have issued material on Bruno Pronsato's thesongsays (What I've Lost EP) and on Spectral Sound (Midnight People) and also have a release scheduled to appear on DFA in early 2011. The three tracks on Where The Freaks Have No Name aren't thunderous ravers or stompers but rather laid-back tech-house tracks overlaid by dreamy vocalizing and aiming for something closer in spirit to pop song polish than hell-raising.

“Walk and Talk” features a restrained yet smooth and hypnotic groove bolstered by hand claps, backwards treated vocal effects, and a sleepy lead vocal that laments a partner so anaesthetized she verges on lobotomized (“She doesn't wash her hair, doesn't wash her clothes / Just sits on the couch watching television shows / When I come home doesn't even say ‘Hello'”). “Where The Freaks Have No Name” is, yes, a tad freakier than the opener but even here restraint abides, as the tune's creeped-out title chant spreads itself across an insistent, conga-inflected pulse and radiant synth smears. The B-side's ten-minute “Day Residue” cultivates a dreamy atmosphere to the greatest degree of the EP's tracks, as the repeating vocal melody acts as an anchor for the fluttering synthesizer flourishes that swirl atop the tune's gently pulsating rhythms. It's one for the early morning I reckon, whether that means awakening to a new day or slowing things down at the end of a long night.

February 2011