Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani have been doing their thing for a while, as Metro Area, but also apart, in other projects dating back to the early ‘90s. Geist started out obsessed with the UK’s interpretation of Detroit techno, releasing material on cult labels like Dan Curtin’s Metamorphic Recordings, Fragmented and Clear. Jesrani was a member of Essa 3 who released two EPs and an album on long-lost and sadly missed San Francisco label ZoëMagik Records. By the late ‘90s they had teamed up and formed Metro Area, a project that took its cues from classic disco, house, electro and Italo disco.
The early Metro Area EPs sounded unlike anything around at the time. I remember back in ’99 when I was working in the salt mines of Amoeba and XLR8R — that’s why I’m so salty btw — Morgan dropped off the first two EPs as test pressings at the info desk in the store for me to review for XLR8R. He was on his way to a wedding — no I don’t know what he was wearing, I was off that day. We had been talking for a while as I really liked his remix of “Cube Loop” by Reflection and writing for XLR8R gave me the opportunity to plague djs and producers with my geeky vinyl preoccupations. Plus I admired his obsession with Detroit techno, a fixation that had plagued me for a good portion of my adult life.
These EPs were a breath of fresh air in a dance music landscape crowded with jazzual, flutey bollocks (it’s not a genre). They displayed the minimal, tough machine funk that was found on Prelude and West End Records, which were lying around in abundance at the time. Disco was popular in the ‘90s too, difference was you could pay 3 bucks for a record that swaps hands for $120 now and no-one used the terms boogie, minimal wave or proto-house.
Little did we know then that these EPs, along with disparate releases like I-F’s “Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass” and Ladytron’s self-titled EP, were part of the early salvos of the burgeoning electro (clash) scene. Twelve years in and Metro Area have delivered a large canon of production and remixes and played all over the globe while Geist has espoused his deep love for obscure Italo disco, electro-funk and early house, and thousands of vinyl junkies have genuflected in agreement.
On June 30th catch Geist and Jesrani on the decks at the Works. They will be joined by House of House and GODDOLLARS (from the gorgeousfulistical A Club Called Rhonda in ze city of ze Angelies, who are presenting this awesome show). Loud music will be played, drinks will be imbibed, dancing will be carried out (hopefully you won’t) and very attractive individuals who you have lusted after for eons will be all over you like white on an object that is extremely white. Come on down, you know it makes sense.