A faithful tribute to Detroit electro.
Nino Šebelić – Jupiter EP
The new electro producers of the past couple years have tended to focus on the dark, sci-fi-inspired end of the genre, leaving the more playful, electro-funk-inspired side— exemplified by Detroit acts like Aux 88, B. Calloway and Mr. De’—less explored. Both the Serbian artist Nino Šebelić and the Vienna label Pomelo seem well placed to address this imbalance. Plenty of the music Pomelo has released over the past 25 years has drawn from the Motor City, while in recent years Šebelić has released some pretty capable Underground Resistance-indebted techno. If you’re OK with loving tributes to this funky type of electro rather than modern reinterpretations, Jupiter EP is worth your attention.
The tributes are so loving, in fact, that one of the record’s tracks, “14357.977km,” tells us the distance of a roundtrip between Belgrade and Detroit. It’s the cut that’s most closely connected to the soulful, melodic techno Šebelić used to make, its shimmering synth evoking old Galaxy 2 Galaxy. The other four tracks show that Šebelić has done his homework when it comes to electro basslines—they often double as the track’s main melody. On “This Is For My Hood” and “Geto Brate,” this means huge, funk-fuelled lines that are backed up by sharp strings and bold drums.
Where those two tracks shout for attention, “Church Of Tasmania” and “Baltimore” are slyer and subtler. The toned-down bassline on “Baltimore” could make it attractive to house and techno DJs who pack some electro in their bag. Cybotron’s “Clear” looms large on “Church Of Tasmania,” though the former is more urgent and paranoid than the track it inspired. It’s a fitting feature of an EP that could have been called I Love Detroit.