Looking back, one of my favourite blog post entries for wonky carton is the one about ‘What I’ve Lost’ by Washington-based but Berlin house-scene-loving party animals Benoit & Sergio. (NB. Don’t bother trying to find it on google by typing in “wonky carton what i’ve lost”, because it comes up with results like myboyfriendisatwat.com. I’ve written for a few different publications and blogs … but never that one (as far as I can recall).) It can be found here.
Though I have certainly adopted harsher musical sensibilities since early 2011, that song still resonates in ways that essentially every other piece of music I have ever heard cannot. It is at once magnificent in execution and provocative in emotion. Anyone who has ever emerged into the sunlight after four hours in a crazy, uninhibited, depraved, smelly, dark environment should be able to understand the hazy but delicate wistfulness; the portent of happiness despite some seriously frayed senses; the longing; the perfect moment.
Since ‘WIL’ Benoit & Sergio have released a few EPs and singles, a mix for RA, and generally established themselves as part of the Visionquest-led house movement. ‘Walk and Talk’ was an absolute smash; ‘Full Grown Man’ a wobbly, jutty, dutty hit; and the ubiquitous ‘Principles’, a track so soaked in ketamine that I am surprised it made it to the cut.
None of these, for me, came close to matching their previous height (a considerable one, of course). But now comes a new EP on Visionquest called New Ships, and a new powerful sound.
The title track is fucking wonderful. It’s absurdly 80s bassline is fantastic, strutting like a peacock underneath another ket-soaked vocal line. Then comes a kick drum and a guitar riff as funky as Maceo Plex’s dance moves. It’s more upbeat than their previous releases, more eager to dance, more focused on funk and, dare I say it, more professionally produced.
It doesn’t have the emotive thrust of ‘What I’ve Lost’ - but it once more a track for the sunlight after dark, for the reminiscences of the red-wine stained lips and smoke-filled jackets. It is definition returning, and gladly so.