Album Reviews

Metro Area – Metro Area

(Environ) UK release date: 21 October 2002

Metro Area - Metro Area Arriving in 1999, acclaimed writers and producers Darshan Jesrani and Morgan Geist in their Metro Area guise were immediately pounced upon by DJs around the world. Four groundbreaking 12-inches were released over the next two years, all of which immediately became much sought-after collector items, and the two men responsible were catapulted to almost iconic status around the world of House and Dance.

This album contains the tracks from these 12″s, with the addition of three eagerly awaited new songs. Peeling strips from artists and sounds that have influenced the duo, and mixing them with their own originality and refreshing experimentation, Jesrani and Geist have produced a fabulous album. And any fears about this sounding like a collection of songs rather than a flowing album can immediately be dashed, for each track clicks together so finely and (seemingly) effortlessly.

After the rather annoying Intro track, the first song proper, Dance Reaction, displays the duo’s talent. The throbbing funky bass lines are combined with some classic ’70s disco beats with a similar rhythm, but different instrumentation, being carried forward to the third track Miura. It is with this song that the influence of ’80s American funk is easily detectable.

The Spanish feel in Pina, backed with a rather more standard House groove, provides an excellent stop-gap and is a variation from the otherwise primarily disco/house songs. Soft Hoop starts off rather slowly, with layer after layer of beats being slowly and discreetly added, building up to a crescendo that made me pounce from my chair, dig out my Dad’s purple flares and twirl around the room.

Atmosphrique was featured on the first 12-inch, Metroland, put out back in ’99. For many, this one song displayed Metro Area’s talent for producing addictive tunes that at first listen may sound a little too repetitive but, nearly four years later, still manage to sound as fresh. That is the real reason why this duo is so lauded.

Track 10, Orange Alert, finally does cross the cheesy line they always seemed to be bordering on. The tacky keyboards sound like they would be more suited to a cheap Dance Instruction video from the 70’s, than this otherwise sparkling CD. The last song is the long, winding Caught Up. It sounds like an extended intro to a song. I spent the whole time waiting for the track to begin.

And then suddenly it was all over. It left me slightly frustrated, yet yearning for more. How many other dance albums released this year can truly say that?

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