Plush reissue (remastered 3x12”, new artwork, download code) oF Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani’s plush neo-disco masterpiece. This 2002 record has been so imitated, it’s amazing that the lifeforce hasn’t been drained from it: on the contrary, it still sounds like nothing else. A love letter to the dubs and extended mixes of 70s/80s NYC club classics, Metro Area – consisting mainly of highlights from their eponymous 12” single series - combined the loved-up live instrumentation of golden-age disco with the arpeggiated synths and tuff basslines of italo and hi-NRG, binding it all together with the moodiness and precision of Detroit techno or late 90s Larry Heard. Crucially, in doing this they didn’t raise the tempos, or fall back on booming kickdrums, and nor did they dark things out or make it excessively trippy – instead they retained all the sweetness and delicacy and naivety, even tweeness, of their influences.
For all its swooning strings and grooving keys (what strings! What keys! The elegiac ‘Caught Up’ still blows me away), it’s music built for clubs, arranged and engineered with all the requisite space and weight, and still sounds devastating in that context - see especially the evergreen ‘Miura’ (the last song I remember the DJ playing at my wedding before we both passed out). This edition combines the tracklists from the different versions of the LP that were released in the US and licensed in Europe - I can’t remember which version I have, but it definitely didn’t have ‘Evidence’ on it. Good to meet its acquaintance here.
While it’s hardly cheap, this 15th anniversary edition feels definitive.