Review: New music from Morgan Geist will always be celebrated thanks to his role in Metro Area, and more recently Storm Queen, and the New York producer is certainly on effervescent form with this debut 12" under his new project The Galleria. The four track Calling Card 12" finds Geist calling on the spirit of freestyle, club dubs, razor-edits and bubblegum-pop R&B there is something immediately satisfying to each one of them. Hyperdub artist Jessy Lanza provides some thrilling vocals to both original versions of "Calling Card" and "Mezzanine", the latter is a particularly sweet proposition, and Geist also contributes some superb '80s style dubs.
Review: A new digital release is as good an excuse as any for a reappraisal of the glorious sound of Metro Area. With the first four EPs taking a lot of the limelight for comprising the MA album, 5 and 6 in the 12" series are well-deserving of a second outing. As with all their output, Messrs Geist and Jesrani craft immaculate, warm and heartfelt disco-house nuggets devoid of any of the negative association that genre tag might imply. "Nerves" is a masterclass in uplifting but sorrowful strings, while "Proton Candy" is all quirky Italo flavour. "Honey Circuit" meanwhile sports a punchier electro strut, and "Things Fall" shows the modern contingent how to really do analogue deep house.
Review: Before nu-disco, there was Metro Area. We can't over-emphasize the influence that Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani's collaborative project had when it first appeared at the tail end of the 1990s. They were amongst the first to breathe new life into disco, largely by drawing on elements borrowed from extended boogie B-side dubs, analogue deep house and NYC's mid-'80s proto-house movement. Their eponymous debut album, first released in 2002, remains once of dance music's finest full-lengths, as this brilliant 15th anniversary reissue proves. The duo spent a significant amount of time re-mastering each of the 12 tracks from their original parts and stems, so all-time classics such as "Muira", "Pina", "Orange Alert" and "Caught Up" sound better than ever. In other words, you need this in your life.
Review: Following the success of his Storm Queen project a couple of years back, Morgan Geist has kept a low profile. Having returned to action earlier in the year with the Latin freestyle-inspired Calling Card 12" under The Galleria alias, the Metro Area man veers off in another direction with the architecture-inspired Megaprojects One. Created, in his words, using "cheap little drum machines and rejected old synths", the four tracks draw on his most famous early inspirations, most notably vintage Detroit techno and early Chicago house. Of course, the curious melodies of Metro Area are still present, but the quartet of dancefloor workouts - the futurist "Clarence", quirky "The Idiot Track" and bumpin' "Trackstar" being our picks - are arguably more in keeping with his earliest, mid 1990s releases.
Review: It would be fair to say that Morgan Geist's Megaprojects series is an attempt to go "back to basics". Not only are the tracks created using - in his words - "cheap drum machines and vintage synths", but also pay tribute to some of his earliest inspirations. In practice, that means doffing a cap to fluid and ear-pleasing early deep house on the glistening "Manic Cinq", pitched-down Italo-disco and bass-heavy early British techno ("Fuzzy Detail") and tactile, breakbeat-driven late '80s house (the rather wonderful "Buy Freedom"). Arguably best of all, though, is closer "OCGC", whose psychedelic acid lines, tactile synth bass and cheery synth melodies make the track sound like a cross between vintage Metro Area and Orbital's "Halcyon".
Review: It's been three years since Kelley Polar unleashed his second album, the superb space-pop opus I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling. Here Environ's eccentric viola master turned galactic pop maestro joins forces with two other vocalists for more bubbling analogue-and-strings fun. "I'm Not What You Want" is typical Polar, with the stylish vocals of Junior Boys front man Jeremy Greenspan lighting up a pleasing fusion of darting analogue synths and razor-sharp viola motifs. Emilia Logik joins in the action on "Nocturne", a joyously stripped-back duet that recalls previous Polar classic "Entropy Reigns". As accomplished and far-sighted as usual.
Review: As our speakers remain to reverberate from "Look Right Through" almost two years after its release, Morgan Geist and Damon Scott's Storm Queen continues its disco assault with typical understated decadence. Just like their previous works, Scott's voice cuts through the mix with deep, crisp authority and genuine soul while Geist's deft analogue synth mastery paints a groove that singes through the last few decades of disco and house. Make no mistakes, this is already causing so many hands to raise on dancefloors, deodorant sales have increased in certain clubbing destinations by over 4000%
Review: Given the runaway crossover success of the (utterly superb) Storm Queen debut "Look Right Through", it was inevitable that producer Morgan Geist and vocalist Damon C Scott would try and repeat the trick. This follow-up single treads similar ground to its illustrious predecessor, lacing Scott's evocative vocals over Geist's delightful vintage house grooves (which, of course, come blessed with the Metro Area man's usual 808 disco sheen). It's a touch deeper than the super-hooky "Look Right Through", but that's no bad thing. While it's unlikely to scale the heights of its predecessor, "It Goes On" is still an excellent record. The dub, in particular, is spot on.
Review: It was back in 2015 when Environ boss Morgan Geist debuted The Galleria project, a collaboration with vocalist Jessy Lanza that explored the pair's love of 1980s NYC freestyle. "Stop & Go" is the duo's first single since then, though it's arguably even better than their debut EP. The song itself is superb: a cheery chunk of synth-fired freestyle that's so authentic both rhythmically and stylistically that it could have been produced by the Latin Rascals in 1985 or '86. The original vocal mix comes backed by two similarly authentic revisions: a delay-laden "Drums" version full of sharp edits and extra drum machine hits, and an "Up The Wall Dub" that contains plenty of the vocal and is therefore almost an extended version. Either way, it's superb.