Veteran producers Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani present Metro Area. This is house...
Andy Puleston 2002-11-20
Album of the year.
Combining the musical acumen of Morgan Geist and Darshan Desrani, Metro Area have been pedalling their desperately cool blend of disco, electronica and house since 1999. Here we have the various releases compiled and moulded in to an album shape... and it's fantastic. In fact, this record is the most refreshing, charming and down right electro-funking to have graced 2002.
The Metro Area sound embodies the current climate of cool that the electro-clash scene has managed to generate around itself without the makeup and very obvious electronic motifs of the eighties. This is house music at its most experimental; the sound of Philadelphia, disco, R&B and electronica that's been rolled, licked and lit with precision. Although minimal this record is deceptively detailed with nuances in the production that induce repeated listens. Like peanuts after a couple of pints Metro Area is salty, crunchy and very moorish.
Singling out individual tracks is tricky as the album meditates on the experimental aspects of fusing many differing elements of dance music with live instruments and the creation of a sound. However, this being a review you doubtless want to know more.
"Dance Reaction" plays big kick drums, analogue bass squelch, boogie synth stabs and Philly strings off each other to remarkable funky effect whilst "Pina" brings a Balearic swathe in to the mix. Twinkling Spanish guitars, chunky piano chords and electro bass form an unlikely relationship that still solidifies into a proper head-bobbing groove.
"Atmospherique" (featured previously on their debut) makes another appearance and might best be billed as the disco-tronica sound clash between Chic and the Aphex Twin without the killer bass line. "Soft Hoop" however, does deliver on that front. Funky enough to keep the floor moving in to the lost hours of the morning but also mellow enough to keep you company as the sofa accommodates your dance weary bones.
Geist and Jesrani are obviously well informed musically and what's more they aren't afraid to tear a few pages out of the rule book to mop their chops should the urge take them. The ideas within this beautifully constructed record have the courage of their convictions and as a result you would have to very hard of heart and low on funk to not be won over by this gem of a record.
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