METRO AREA at Una Mas (422 Adelaide West), Friday (August 10). $12 advance. 416-202-8839. www.milkevents.com Rating: NNNNN
Metro Area sound like a memory of a distant, idealized disco.
Consisting of Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani, the project has quietly released three albums over the past few years on Geist's Environ Records.
The discs are a forum for their shared love of old R&B, disco and techno, and they've struck a chord worldwide.
"There's this sense that people want to get back to musicality," Jesrani explains from their New Jersey studio. "It's a reaction against house tracks that are based on filtered disco loops, which can get really monotonous after a while.
"We started talking about older songs and classics, and we got excited about trying to bring back those sounds.
"But it's not totally about nostalgia," Geist adds. "We're trying to make something that sounds, if not brand new, then at least different. It's not a retro thing. It's about the philosophy of older productions as well as the production methods."
Like many producers looking for that classic sound, they've enlisted musicians to flesh out the sonics.
"There's a rotating group of musicians with us at the core," Geist explains. "We don't really sample much. We'll literally use less then a second of samples per song -- just a kick and a snare."
"We either have other people play it or we play it ourselves," Jesrani adds. "We've written parts with mock-up sounds and then got someone to play them, and sometimes we've just instructed them on what we're going for, and when they hit on it we start recording."
Metro Area perform live at Una Mas Friday. While some studio projects have opted to hire session players to tour, they're leaving the band at home and bringing the studio instead.
"We do an old disco-style thing live and dub it out by playing the mixing board and effects, adding parts," Geist says. "It sounds different than the records, but we try to keep the Metro Area feel."