Darshan Jesrani – ‘Monday Is Ok’ Ransom Note Mix


We've got the great honour of having Metro Area's Darshan Jesrani present us with this week's Monday Is OK mixtape who takes us down paths less travelled to ease us into this rather grey beginning to the week and bring some much needed sunshine into our lives.

Darshan's new Cylinder moniker – imagined as a sharp contrast and complement to Funn City's trashy vintage vibes – sets out to "explore the more streamlined, forward-facing side of his Startree label vision" whilst sacrificing none of the warmth or funk of its classic influences.

Let's get this mix on first then get into how he feels about Mondays… and lots of other things too.

Please introduce yourself…

Who are you?

Darshan M. Jesrani, Producer and Presenter of Music.

Where are you?

Brooklyn, New York, USA, Planet Earth

What are you?

Homo Sapiens Sapiens by scientific classification, flawed-but-gifted receiver and transmitter of musical ideas by self-classification.

Tell us about the Monday mixtape you’ve put together for us. 

Just a series of unusually-pretty jams strung together in an arc which hopefully leads you somewhere.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

Probably somewhere quiet in the beginning, but you can listen to it wherever as it gets going.  Bedroom, living room, engine room, dark room, panic room.

What should we be wearing?

Footie pajamas with a buttoned flap at the bum, you know, just in case. Just in case of what, I'm not sure.

Where was it recorded?

At my studio in Brooklyn with two turntables, a DJ mixer and my mixing console and computer.

Are you on the same wavelength as the boomtown rats or do you actually like Mondays?

Nah, I like Mondays – I enjoy my work. Sometimes I see weekends as an unwelcome pause in the progress of things. Is that nuts? I like a good break every now and then but yeah, Monday is definitely OK.

Who got you hooked on electronic music?

I don't know, to tell you the truth.  A lot of people and things played a part, but if I had to name someone specifically it might be Mrs. Jankowsky, my 4th grade elementary school teacher, who brought an original Casablanca 12" of Giorgio Moroder's "The Chase" to class one day and then let me borrow it for weeks because I was so into it.

Who would you say are your biggest influences and what are you hoping to achieve with your music?

God, my biggest influences are some huge shoes to fill – I'm embarrassed to even say.  Just total creative monsters; Gino Soccio, David Bowie and Tony Visconti, Martin Hannett, Larry Levan, Marvin Gaye, Walter Gibbons, Francois Kevorkian's Prelude era, Depeche Mode, Trevor Horn, Ron Trent & Chez D.

What were your original aspirations as a producer and how do you think you're shaping up?

I never had any aspirations as a producer, only an ideal sonic and musical world where I want to live.  I guess things are going pretty well because I feel more at home with every record I make.

Some self help questions for a Monday: 

Am I excited to dive into the challenges that i have lined up for the week?

Every job has its challenges and I'll happily take these.

Am I looking forward to engaging with the people i am meeting or working with?

Yes sir.

Am I going to my dream job?

I'm going to a job I never dared to dream.

Am I being compensated fairly for the value I bring to my job?

Depends on when you ask. Lately, no, you're getting me, literally, "for a song."

Do I feel energised, rested, and confident?

Generally speaking, yes, thankfully.

You just had a fight with the person you are closest to. Do you not speak to them until they apologise…or do you apologise first?

If I'm feeling small and self-pitying, I'll let it hang and let that person apologize first. I really don't like the way that feels though, so I try my best to keep in mind what I love about that person and make the first move toward reconciliation.

If you were trapped on a desert island with one other person, who would you choose? How long would it be before you eat them?

I dunno, John D. Rockefeller?  I don't eat much meat at all anymore, but I would – with the help of my newly-acquired archery skills (doctor's orders, see below) – make him fish and forage for me all day long. Then I'd share with him as little as I could get away with, such that he would have just enough energy to do it all again for me the next day.  

Your doctor says you need more exercise….what do you take up for exercise?


If you could travel in time…where in time would you go? Why? 

Dynastic Africa, North America pre-European settlement, New York in the 1920s and early 70s, human-settled Andromeda FA34, year 2673. Just to be a part of culture functioning to the max.

What was the first electronic record you heard and how did it make you feel?

Entirely electronic record? Maybe my dad's "Switched on Bach" LP. The sounds were comforting. They weren't exactly playing what I wanted to hear, but I loved their alien roundness and playfulness.

How does your brain work when making music? How does it work when you aren’t?

When I'm making music my brain is trying to tell my body how to approximate what it "hears." It can be hard. When I'm not making music my brain is playful and jumps around from thing to thing.  

What were the first and last records you bought?

My first record was a double LP of the band Sha Na Na, which I bought at a store called Book & Record. I bought it because I saw them on TV. It was a late 70s variety show, but the band copped this 50s greaser rock and roll thing. God only knows why I was drawn to that.

I'm now learning that they began as a Columbia University a cappella group called The Kingsmen and played at Woodstock. Apparently their second lead guitarist, Vinnie Taylor, died of a drug overdose in 1974 which allowed escaped child-killer Elmer Edward Solly (what a name!) to assume his identity and perform as him (though not with the whole band, for obvious reasons) which eventually led to his capture.

The last records I bought were a few old 12"s at a new-ish store here in Brooklyn – a Began Cekic version of "Weekend" by Patrick Adams & Leroy Burgess, "Your Sweetness is my Weakness" by Barry White, some other stuff, no big deal.  

What are you obsessed with at the moment?

Making as much music as I can, getting better at realizing my imagination.

What's your answer to everything?

Love and will, and perseverance, and good health.

Anything else we need to discuss?

Nope, I think that covers the waterfront.

'Disco Engine' by Cylinder (Darshan Jesrani) is out now via Startree.

Catch Darshan at this year's final edition of The Garden Festival, more information here.