We get Beatdown by Detroit's master of hypnotic deep house.
After releasing his first solo EP, Feel This, Delano Smith got a call from Panorama Bar in 2005. It was the Detroit artist's first gig in Europe, but it wouldn't be his last. Smith's lean, tracky take on deep house and dub techno found him a firm place in the heart of European DJs, a love affair that hit overdrive after the release of his first album, An Odyssey, on Sushitech in 2012. Judging from the dates, you'd assume Smith was a new Detroit export but in fact he's one of its elder statesmen. He was DJing in Detroit on belt-drive turntables and mobile soundsystems before house or techno even existed, and came up under the wing of Ken Collier, one of the Motor City's most significant DJ pioneers.
Despite his early start, Smith stepped away from dance music for many years but returned alongside Norm Talley and Mike "Agent X" Clark with a new aesthetic dubbed Beatdown. His eventual emergence as a producer in the early 2000s came off the back of being made redundant, giving an indication of the man's drive and resilience. Coming in the wake of his third album for Sushitech, Detroit Lost Tapes, Smith sat down with Matt Unicomb in Berlin, giving us an insight into what it was like in the earliest days of Detroit dance music and the production methods behind some of his key tracks.