Friday marked the third time in almost 18 months that Metro Area's Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani have traveled from their natural concrete environment of New York to the fake plastic (palm)trees of Los Angeles. The previous two journeys were hosted by polysexual nightlife affair A Club Called Rhonda–an obvious destination for practitioners of a sound born in bathhouses. But this weekend's guest spot at Temporary Spaces 2 was hosted by Culprit, affiliates of the Droog clan, who typically function in the realm of techno (itself once a connoisseurs market, lately driven bizarrely into both underground happenings and megaclubs). Even the sharp difference in flier graphics from the various events bears witness to just how far disco has permeated this dance music zeitgeist.
Like generations of ravers before them, the latest batch of dance crazed youths have hit the adolescent stage when the childish sturm un drang of primal beats and boundless energy found in entry-level sub-genres (electro bangers, trance, party hip-hop) seek to mature into a style that satisfies the super-ego as well as the id. “Going house,” has long been a pupa-phase in which many clubbing caterpillars find themselves, and it is occurring with greater frequency as the crest of 2007's electro wave slowly retreats back into the sea.
More often than not, these advanced-placement sounds smartly regenerate the past, inducing a sort of trainspotter's arms race over who possesses the most obscure vinyl gems with which to wow the dance floor. And when it comes to the multi-epochal sound referred to presently as disco (ie- italo, deep house, nudisco, '80s electro), Metro Area are a nuclear state.
Of course, real dance-music heads [snobby as charged] will enlighten you to the fact that Geist has a long solo catalog of Detroit Techno influenced tracks beyond his more revered Metro Area work. To wit, he even played Orlando Voorn's “Flash,” a Motor City fave that–as could be expected –sapped the energy from the dance floor. Some sounds are still too time/place specific for left coast revelers. But for the rest of their 2+ hour set, Metro Area quickened pulses with each successive slab of wax (no computers here, my friend), each more obscure and thrilling than the one before.
And while no self respecting writer wished to be reduced to tracklisting DJ sets, the smart book-ending of 1982 proto-house classic “Get Down” by Connie Chase, played just after midnight, and Mory Kanté's “Yeke Yeke (Afro-Acid Remix)” well past 2AM, with their sharply similar chord progressions, shows just how sophisticated these two have become as DJs. It's nice to see Los Angeles dancers keeping pace.