Those who insist on being bitter when techno journalism continues to focus on Detroit might as well complain historians of impressionist painting overemphasize Paris, or that fans of martial arts films give too much credit to China. With locally known but globally unsung veteran producers like Patrice Scott, Mike Huckaby, Scott Grooves, and now Delano Smith continuing to release some of the best tracks of recent memory, it’s just an unavoidable subject. So don’t be surprised to hear a voice point out on “Something for Myself,” the lead track from the “Sunrise EP,” that Smith is “from Detroit, from Detroit, from Detroit.” When he adds that “there’s so many sounds; it’s limitless,” it doesn’t just apply to his hometown’s cultural heritage — he might as well be talking about this record.
Smith’s oeuvre is full of grooves that manage to simultaneously soothe and invigorate, and “Sunrise EP” is no different. “Something for Myself” layers its vocals over a two-note bass line that sounds different with just about every repetition — funky one moment, melancholy the next. “Cosmos Revisited” follows an abrasive, modulating synth line across celestial chords and a seismic bass line. It’s as likely to make you contemplate the vastness of the universe as it is to make you dance, but no one said you can’t do both at once. The darkly melodic “Synergy” is something like thumb piano house, while the nearly overwhelming “Trans” floods your eardrums with an infusion of harmonic textures. Reminiscent of Juan Atkins’ most introspective productions, with the meticulous simplicity of Robert Hood’s minimalism, these tracks make you feel like a dance floor has just lifted off the ground and taken you with it.