Music News

Benevento Russo Duo

Cell-phone cameras. MP3-playing sunglasses. Laser-pointing, voice-recording, de-ionizing salad spinners. Thanks a lot, technology. Now everything that does anything does something else, too. Benevento Russo Duo, the Brooklyn-based drums-n-keys outfit, is the musical equivalent and might just be the Optimus Prime of genre-crushing hybrid bands. Using a battery of ivoried equipment from various eras and dimensions, Marco Benevento can weave a '66 Hammond groove into tomorrow's feedback-drenched drone, playing with himself as much as getting off master stickman Joe Russo, who's relaxed but so tight in the pocket that the bulge is embarrassing. He plays with toys, too -- weird electro sequencers, samplers, and filters that alter and augment the Duo's sound to overwhelming, laugh-at-how-crazy-this-shit-is improv spaz-jazz. Their songs are sonic events comprising melodies with brain-snagging hooks, aching and personal, even minus lyrics. From electro-funk grit to sloppy cock rock to classical grandeur, it seems there's nothing these guys can't do.
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Jonathan Zwickel