Metro Area - Fabric 43Metro Area's music is so basically tasteful that the beginning of Fabric 43 threw me off at first. Over "Ghar Aya Mera Pardesi (Intro)" by Babla's Disco Sensation, Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani don't just get on the mike to introduce themselves and their mix: They narrate the proceedings. Geist: "Yeah, ladies, clap, clap! Clap, clap, clap, clap! The disco experience is all about the claps." Jesrani: "Yeah! And as a matter of fact, we're about to give you your very own disco experience." Then they pretend they're playing the lead instrumental parts: "That was the horn that Fabric gave us instead of our advance money . . . It was an incredible deal—we totally showed them." When the hell did these guys turn into comedians, anyway?
The answer, of course, is lighten up. Especially since the next hour-plus—which, rest assured, passes without anymore jokes from the DJs—is, like the best of Geist and Jesrani's music, as singular and direct as biting into an orange. Even within the refined conceptual framework of the Fabric mix series as opposed to the more eclectic FabricLive sets, this is an impressively laser-focused mix. Its one major shift comes when Gary's Gang's "Makin' Music (Dub Mix)" climaxes the electro-ish opening third and slides beautifully into Voyage's "Souvenirs," whose light wah-wah guitars and sun-kissed piano line do the Hustle on the Carnival Cruise Line's swingers' convention special of your dreams. But even that transition has the linear consistency of a freshly honed knife.
After that, the music expands: Five Special's hairy funk, the pseudo-jungle (Tarzan, not Metalheadz) "The Natives Are Restless" by Ray Martinez; a bizarre electro-dub version of the Temptations' "Cloud Nine" by Play by Numbers; fellow '80s-nostalgic Baby Oliver's "Feelings 2." All of it moves so sinuously you won't even notice if you aren't watching the numbers. And when they exit on Devo's "Freedom of Choice," it's a left turn into rockier terrain that its selectors don't seem especially impressed with themselves for finding—which doesn't mean you shouldn't be, or won't.
Metro Area brings back the soulful experimentation of the early club classics, mixing live and electronic instruments. Simultaneously, the mood and minimalism of more recent dance music forms creep into the mix: Detroit's cold futurism, Chicago's abstract track-modes, and the warmth of New York and New Jersey's deep house. View the full artist profile