Locals to Detroit have recognized the name for years, one-third of the oft-overlooked house trio Beatdown Brothers, whose members include Norm Talley and Mike Clark. But those unfamiliar should be quick to note his more than two decade long DJ career in the Great Lakes region, and partner and protege to legendary Detroit house godfather Ken Collier. With a resume that impressive, it's no wonder he's regularly kicking out solid tracks that DJs the world over are scrambling to obtain.
"Nebula" begins things properly—its standout shuffle and warmth typical of Delano's production style. The intricate plucked bassline gets the feet moving, freeform keys laid over top garner dance floor appreciation, but it's the compositional perfection that proves its creator was paying attention while attending mass at The Music Institute or Heaven Club in his hometown. "Road to Nowhere," leading off the flip side, is the move towards relaxation. The deepness invoked by the combination of the bass and pads nod politely at friends and neighbors such as Norm Talley and Carl Craig, with a bubbling, filtered synth setting Smith apart from his contemporaries.
Where things really get interesting, though, is in its finale. As minimal as it is driving, and as house as it is techno, Delano has found a recipe for the perfect peak-time mindbender. Already garnering support by minimal house masters like Daniel Bell and Steve Bug, the looped bliss of "This Heart" shows that Smith not only has a firm grasp on his past but is paying close attention to the current affairs of the scene.