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Double Night Time

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Album Review

At the outset, Double Night Time might be met with some degree of slight, partially greed-related aggravation. Morgan Geist's first true solo album since 1997's lost classic The Driving Memoirs, nearly half of it is made from previously released material, and its featured vocalist is Jeremy Greenspan, whose Junior Boys — more so than ever here — are stylistic peers. It could be speculated that, several years removed from peaking in notoriety with the Metro Area full-length, Geist wanted to make a Junior Boys album, yet the seed for this set was more likely planted with "Ghost Trains." A darkly shimmering track Geist produced for Erlend Øye's Unrest album, that song predated the JBs' debut, indicating Geist's shift from Metro Area's modern post-disco/pre-house to winsome electronic pop with vocals. Five years later, he finally explores the form to its full album-length extent. Ultimately a modest and compulsively listenable set of nocturnal electronic lullabies, Double Night Time's use of two- and seven-year-old tracks is not unwarranted. Opener "Detroit" cleverly incorporates the zapping/prickling glow of 2001's "24K," while Greenspan, barely above a whisper, sets the album's tone by romanticizing night drives to a vibrant motor city clubbing scene. Both sides of the 2006 "Most of All" 12" are tucked in the middle, like an old XTC reissue, but they slip snugly into the album's fabric; in fact, the reprised A-side is as representative of Geist's approach as anything else he has released, fitting several ideas into a direct and compact piece that could be heard as glum just as easily as giddy, and not without evidence of twisted humor. "Lullaby," from the same Environ 12" as "24K," is Kraftwerk's "Numbers" made florid (with surprisingly congruent trumpet), where Geist is at his most emotionally sweet. The new tracks are equally insidious and moving, with "The Shore" coming on like a more active version of "Ghost Trains" and "Ruthless City" a roguishly charming heartbreak ballad: "When I woke up the next day, bleeding on the sidewalk/It was then I knew, without a doubt/I had finally found a mate."

Biography

Born: New Jersey

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A New Jersey boy initially inspired by Great Britain's take on the sound of Detroit, Morgan Geist eventually tracked the roots of techno back to Motor City innovators like Derrick May. Unlike many influenced by tracks like "Strings of Life" and "Nude Photo," Geist placed equal weight on the emotional power of Detroit techno as well as tight programming and combustive percussion. When he began listening to music, however, it was the sound of early-'80s synth pop heroes like Devo, Severed Heads, and...
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