Darshan Jesrani's musical journey started at the age of six with an early fascination for record-players, tape decks, rock'n'roll and guitars, and it didn't take him long to enter the digital realm with the acquisition of his first sampler and sequencing software aged 16 to accommodate his already substantial, self-taught production skills.
Born and raised in Poughkeepsie New York, he found a musical home in the R&B, disco, dance/club and early hip-hop programming of New York City radio stations such as 98.7 KISS-FM, 107.5 WBLS and 103.5 (then HOT-103) and was enriched still further at high-school by extended listening and taping of nearby Vassar College's 91.3 WVKR with its cross-section of new wave, industrial, import dance, reggae and punk rock. During his college years, Darshan got involved with college radio, serving as a DJ, staff-member and music director for Colgate University radio station 90.1 WRCU, updating their control room to be more DJ friendly and adding new dance, electronic and world music to the station's play lists.
Encouraged by positive feedback to his own and friends' early productions, he began to release his material in 1993, using a hodge-podge of approaches, project names and sounds to experiment, learn and refine his musical ideas. Some of these tracks eventually found their way onto a handful of underground dance compilations and 12" releases on small labels as well as the soundtrack of Iara Lee's "Synthetic Pleasures" documentary (Caipirinha Productions).
In the mid-nineties, in an attempt to re-explore and re-capture some of the moods and soulful sounds which had first sparked his love for dance music, Darshan immersed himself in old records, R&B/classic soul radio listening and trips to Manhattan club nights like "Sugar Babies" with Troy Parrish and "Body & Soul" with Danny Krivit, Francois K and Joe Claussell. His semi-regular deep house-and-classics sets at Vassar College's on-campus bar and club helped to hone his sense of what dance floors responded to in music, a period which also saw Darshan first make contact with eventual friend and production partner Morgan Geist. The duo quickly clicked after working together on a couple of tracks as "Phenom" before moving to lower Manhattan, establishing a studio and starting Metro Area in 1998.
Darshan and Morgan have together left a mark on the dance music landscape with their unique, soulful, experimental style, reaping praise from DJs, listeners, clubbers, critics and industry-folk alike. Each of the first five Metro Area EPs have achieved cult/collector status, and their 2002 eponymous debut album was dubbed one of the year's top 50 albums by Rolling Stone, the "dance album of the year" by BBC Radio 1 and the "best new artist album" by DanceStar/American Dance Awards amidst countless other accolades.
Friday July 9 will mark Darshan's first visit to Tank where you can expect him to infuse the dance floor with his cool, classy, house-funked grooves.