Le Bain: You have been very busy lately with creating your own label Startree and releasing your new project Siren, a duo with NYC producer Dennis Kane. What has been your biggest satisfaction with those 2 projects in the last weeks?
DARSHAN JESRANI: Siren just released its first single on October 17th, which is a tune called Gauntlet. It's a very intense, chugging disco-rock jam which another DJ compared to an 'underwater locomotive'. Not mad at that! Also just finished Startree's second single, called Disco Engine by Cylinder, which is myself and vocalist Chelsea Adewunmi, who sounds a bit like a young Stephanie Mills to me. This song is a kind of futuristic, soulful thing with some late 80's and early 90's techno references. Still very disco though, if you can imagine that!
Siren Gauntlet (Vocal Version)
It sounds like you've been working hard!
Things have been good. For the past year or so there's been a good flow. Of course it has all been lots and lots of work, but with a new-found confidence in my studio's sound and my engineering.
What has been your biggest frustration?
I think my biggest frustrations may be behind me for the time being, thankfully, hopefully. For the longest time it was that my studio wasn't finished. Long story very short, I moved to this big commercial loft in Brooklyn years ago, which I lived in at the time, and worked in, but it was completely raw - just a big box. So I designed this studio for myself, which I then had to build. It was expensive and a boatload of work.
Nina Kravis Love Or Go (Darshan Jesrani Steppin'Out Mix)
Is your studio finished now?
I had to do it in chunks and it took ages, and the whole space is still not 100% built out, but at least I have a very solid, peaceful, great-feeling place to make music, which is my own, and it's been producing good output lately. Kind of a crude version of what I imagine it could all be, but definitely getting there.
From Metro Area to Siren and the remixes you do, there definitely is a common vibe and sound in your work: some kind of ‘New York modern Disco'. It’s pretty obvious on ‘Gauntlet’. The Disco genre seems to keep on mutating in New York, it never dies. Do you agree with that?
That's the idea. That was our whole thing with Metro Area. We wanted to get away from the crutch and monotony of the kick drum and the constant loop, and I think that if you take any house or techno track and introduce more of a structure and an arrangement to it, you'll end up with some flavor of disco. To me, based on what I've learned from others, and from reading, disco has always been a very broad-minded idea, embracing all kinds of musical references with the unifying goal of making people feel good in the club.
Disco Doubles Demons (Darshan Jesrani Spit-Roast Dub)
Which record or artist really impressed you lately?
Gerd Janson's label, Mondo, is a new take on mellow music like library records. It's really nice! Morgan (Geist) has a tasty new project coming up. Siren's next record is shaping up to be a real goodie!
You just toured Mexico and Colombia. How was the mood there?
Oh it was great. People were so fun to play for, and so open to house and disco in the way I like to play it. All kinds of situations too, from a big room in Medellin to a cozy spot in Monterrey. Really fun.
It's just nice to see what I think of as a NY way of playing club music translate to other dancefloors so nicely. There IS something nice about globalization after all. Also, NY is a pain in the ass. I don't play here nearly as much as I'd like to, so even the aspect of getting to a play a bunch of great parties in a row was super cool.
Funn City All-Night People (Disco Mix)
What’s up with Metro Area?
Nothing on the horizon right now. We've both been really focused on solo stuff. We've never stopped DJ'ing together and hanging out though, so who knows.