'Miura' Metro Area  (Metro Area, Environ, 2002)

Named as the second best album of the decade by Resident Advisor, while also getting recognition from Fact this release by the Brooklyn-based DJ duo - Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani's Metro Area maps out the sinister-sweet territory, perfectly.

Filtering down, distilling the essence of disco, within a strong 80s paradigm; never letting it turn too saccharine (the strings are brief, when they appear) or drowning it in irony. ‘Miura’ maintains a strong sense of itself as a piece of music, while allowing for the echoes.

Not too heavy, not too light - no need to go all-out epic. 

How to sustain that quality of naïveté in music, especially when referencing a style that was so embedded in a particular moment, without making it so self-conscious that it loses that original spark? What you find here is an act of homage via the cleverly constructed shifts, most notably at 2 minutes in. It’s the cutting back to display that demonstrates a kind of musical innocence to me. Darshan Jesrani considered these issues in an interview not so long ago, when asked:  

'Disco music has seen a significant resurgence of late, albeit in the form of edits and hybrid combinations of disco influences and other forms of dance; something that you've been famous for, among other things. What are your thoughts on the genre and its nuance?

I think the renewed interest in disco and the idea of disco represents a desire for something more from a night out and something more from the music that's played at nightclubs. However, I think it's important that people tune in and try to understand the spirit of the music in all its forms, and the social context and values that birthed disco, and the idea of dancing to mixed music in clubs. Too often the form and fashion is co-opted and the heart of the matter is lost. That wouldn't make for any kind of real revival.'

‘The heart of the matter …’  (that this music is one of community, of youth and memory). You could perhaps make a parallel with the early pre-man-in-hat-crooner Daft Punk; their early music had a spirit that was similarly enthusiastic and sweet: all about the influences.    

But it was always much more manufactured, part of a showy performance.

Here's a description of the Metro Area release from AllMusic to close, the record is ‘so rich with immediate pleasures that it would be understandable to take the craft and precision with which they were made for granted. This record is a deceptively intricate maze of tight machine rhythms, tumbling bongos, smacking handclaps, warm keyboard stabs, zapping synths, tickling pianos, lively loops of flute, guitar flicks, and seesawing strings. It's just shy of being an embarrassment of riches.’

Coda: