Metro Area: Fabric 43
New York nu-disco production duo Metro Area begin their entry into the venerable Fabric DJ mix series with the second funniest intro I've heard in a while. (The top spot goes to Modeselektor's Boogybytes Vol. 3, which begins with a glitchy sample of a Henry Rollins's spoken-word rant against techno: "Which came first, the shitty music or the drugs?") Over the opening congas and finger cymbals of a track credited to Babla's Disco Sensation, mixers Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani exchange notes on the track:
"Ah, yeah. What's that?"
"Sounds like a beat."
"Ah, I like the way this is sounding, MG."
"Yeah, me too, DJ. I like that bass."
Geist observes that the track could use some "girly vocals," and some appear, as though the DJs had just brought up a fader on some mixing board. Jesrani "plays" a little flute melody. Geist "plays" a cheesy, synthesized horn:
"That was fantastic!"
"That is deep."
"That was the horn Fabric gave us instead of our advance money."
"That was a pretty good deal."
"It was an incredible deal—we totally showed them—but we should get out of here and let this mix roll...."
And the mix does roll, through slightly over an hour of the kind of stylish, underground NYC disco (mostly dubs and instrumentals) that, while currently in vogue, has been championed by Metro Area since before the turn of the millennium via their Environ Records (from which label only one track, Baby Oliver's "Feelings 2," appears here). Also included are some not-disco numbers, strange new-wave neighbors or synth-pop successors of disco: Ministry's "Work for Love," Heaven 17's "Penthouse and Pavement," and finally Devo's "Freedom of Choice," all of which are expertly blended into the mix's progressively mutating groove. It plays out like a faultless night at the disco, a fine companion to last year's James Murphy & Pat Mahoney Fabriclive mix or this year's Hercules and Love Affair. Still, in a way, it's all downhill from that intro.