Despite all his activity over the past few years, Darshan Jesrani is still best known for his Metro Area collaboration with Morgan Geist. This is far too bad, as he has been behind much great music, especially on the Startree label where he explores more song oriented disco under the aliases Funn City and Cylinder. His Siren project with Dennis Kane has also excelled in creating sweet balearic vibes.
If people want more of that familiar sound they associate with Darshan, his new record “Mirror Test/Replace Yourself” should quench that thirst. That distinct combination of funky italo, early garage, and deep house is executed to perfection on “Mirror Test”, feeling like a modern version of a dub or instrumental Easy Street Records track you’d hear in an old Shep Pettibone or Tony Humphries Kiss-FM mix from the early 80s. Despite all the copycats’ efforts over the past nearly two decades, none can match that simple but elegant formula that Darshan clearly knows so well. No note is wasted, each sound has just the right amount of musicality, and each part works in sync with each other to create an impressive whole. With the crowd reaction when I played this the other night at a loft party in Pittsburgh, I expect “Mirror Test” to be a big jam on tasteful dancefloors all over the world.
On the flipside “Replace Yourself” is another funky little number, leaning a bit more towards italo with its apeggiated synths. The percussion gives it an organic twist that recalls some of the later Metro Area records (that have been kinda slept on compared to the “classic” hits). This is another track that would be very difficult to pull off for most producers, and would probably be a highlight on any other record but due to its more restrained nature it is almost guaranteed to play second fiddle to the A side. Together, they make for a very nice two track record that can be used in a variety of situations.