Washington, D.C.- and Berlin-based production duo Benoit & Sergio ruled EDM charts and dance floors throughout 2011. And it wasn't just because of the hype afforded by releases on hot labels like DFA and Visionquest.
No, the pair's mass appeal is directly connected to their music's pop sensibility. A Benoit & Sergio song is raw and edgy enough for the underground house and techno heads while still being super accessible, thanks to addictively melodic vocal hooks.
And it's no surprise, given the duo's influences. When Crossfade asked for their all-time top five jams -- the classics without which there would be no Benoit & Sergio -- they came back with a list of sexy pop gems by the likes of Prince and Bobby Brown.
1. Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing"
"As a kid, Benoit listened to this track with his friend, mimicking the tom fills in front of his dad's speakers, which were as tall as him. Also, the video is still amazing -- the cartoon guy who is absorbed into the TV at the beginning of it looks like the clueless protagonist from Where's Waldo?"
2. Prince's "Erotic City"
"Sergio remembers hearing this on headphones one night on the radio, past bedtime, as a 9-year-old boy. The lyrics were scandalous. If he ever marries, this will be the song he slow dances to with his wife."
3. Valerie Dore's "Get Closer"
"This track represents the electro/disco-ish side of our many influences, ranging from Moroder to Vitalic. The imperfections of the vocals are what make this track so great."
4. Japan's "Nightporter" (Live Version)
"This is one is a little simple and beautiful gem. The live version is amazing with this Wurlitzer-ish sound. It's haunting and elegant -- a wonderful combination to strive for musically."
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5. Bobby Brown's "Every Little Step"
"All dance music should have the energy, bounciness, and catchiness of a jam like this. And all dance music should have the the style of Bobby Brown's look around 1:17 in the video."
Benoit & Sergio Live. Saturday, January 28. Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The party starts at 10 p.m. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-456-5613 or visit electricpicklemiami.com.