Morgan Geist could retire now and he'd still be considered one of electronic music's most respected figures. But judging by "Detroit," the first single from his forthcoming solo album, he's still got plenty more to offer.
With Jeremy Greenspan on vocals, Geist twists what was becoming a predictable Environ script towards a proto-house sound that seems more keenly focused than some of his work in recent years. Indeed his last release with Greenspan is completely put in the shade by the sharp perfection of "Detroit." Greenspan's vocals are as dreamy as ever, but it's Geist's sharp tracky disco that makes this so fresh. At a time when many disco revival records have the consistency of a bowl of soup left in the fridge overnight, this is a shot of vodka. The acidic bassline and deep techno style strings don't stop this from being essentially a disco record, but they do make it the latest example of the fusion of eras that Geist excels at. It may be hard for producers to create something genuinely new these days, but that doesn't mean you can't innovate by mixing sounds that never coexisted.
On the flip, Carl Craig provides two mixes. C2RMX1 is one of the housiest records he's done in a long time, sounding unusually like the Germans who've been aping him, complete with the word "Detroit" being repeated for the 7,000th time in a record this year. His C2RMX2, meanwhile, is more labored, stretching the bassline from the original out over nine uneventful minutes, and ultimately seeming an unnecessary second option.
It doesn't affect what's a strong release for Environ though. The prospect of New York's finest and Craig together on one 12-inch was sure to get people buzzing. Thankfully, the music lives up the billing.
Buy Morgan Geist - Detroit EP at
Tracklist: Morgan Geist - Detroit EP A1 Detroit (c2RMX2)
B1 Detroit (c2RMX1)