Dance 4 Delano : Irish DJs raise funds for Delano smith

Irish house and techno DJs, producers and labels are coming together to raise money for Detroit legend Delano Smith, who undergoes rare cancer treatment. From Friday 2 June at 10.00pm to Saturday 3 June 2023 03.30am at Wigwam. A generous gesture from Delano’s peers.

Dance 4 Delano

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Alan (on the left) and Greg O’Connell (on the right). Image by Maurice Thomas via Southbound Sound.

Dance 4 Delano will take place in the heart of Wigwam, a hip live music venue for DJs, house and techno acts that this event will take place. From Friday 2 June at 10:00pm to Saturday 3 June 2023 03:30am, Irish DJ’s will make people dance while also raising money towards an important cause.

DJ Greg O’Connell aka Balmer, started off with the idea of helping Delano Smith by raising funds with an event. “He sent a text in a group chat a few weeks ago, asking if a few DJs and Producers would like to get involved in a charity gig for Delano Smith. Then Paul Allen, who is a Dublin DJ asked the Bodytonic crew if they had any venues available, and they offered to give Wigwam in Dublin. Glenn Davis and Tr One got involved. Doug Conney from Realsound Records got involved and then we got a message from Subject. They pulled Mode_1 forward to play for the night”, explains DJ Alan Keane alias Deep Excavations.

Every member of this initiative is doing the event for free. Glenn Davis will start the night at 11pm and then Tr One is after him, then Mode_1 and Doug Conney are going to finish off the night. You can expect the music to go from house to techno. 

“I have a record label called Deeper Groove Recordings. I just offered my online platforms for the gig so they could use my Evenbrite and RA accounts. A lot of the guys have played for Deepergroove and have helped with the record label as well, and that’s when I came about”, says Alan Keane.

Delano Smith is an important figure of the techno world. “Greg is a massive fan of Detroit’s house and techno. Delano has a big influence on him and his music. Paul Allen was obviously a big fan as well, I am a big fan myself. We play Delano’s records at our gigs. We all have Delano’s records in our collections”, points out the DJ.

Delano himself reacted to this generous action on his Instagram account on May 15: “Special Thanks to Greg O’Connell and all the artists involved in Dublin, Ireland for their support! I am forever grateful!”

Delano Smith Rare Cancer Treatment Fundraiser

“In February 2022, Delano Smith’s doctors discovered a golf ball sized metastatic cancer tumour growing in front of his heart”, reveals the GoFundMe page set up by Smith’s family and friends. In that page we discover that after the surgery to remove the tumour, Delano has been subjected to chemotherapy and radiation treatment from April to October 2022. The doctors were optimistic about his recovery.

In October, it was found out that the treatment had been unsuccessful and that the cancer had spread to his lower back. Delano Smith was then diagnosed with a Thymic Carcinoma, a rare cancer that can form in the cells that cover the outside surface of the thymus.  He was sent back for more chemotherapy and radiation.

“Cancer treatment is rife with unpleasant side effects due to the chemotherapy drugs and radiation, which few patients tolerate well. Delano is currently taking 10 different medications daily for the cancer treatment and the side effects from the treatment, and he is experiencing extreme fatigue, muscle and joint pain, neuropathy in his feet, insomnia, and nausea, all of which have made it very difficult for Delano to work”, discloses the GoFundMe page.

“He has accepted a handful of gigs for this year for the need to have some income coming in even though the process of flying and performing has been extremely challenging.”

In May, more than $112,657 USD were raised of the $250,000 needed for the treatment by the Delano Smith Rare Cancer Treatment Fundraiser.

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Delano Smith in a DJ set. Image via delanosmithofficial.

“Of Detroit’s foundational DJs, reflecting on house and techno without Delano Smith’s influence would reveal a very different musical landscape today”, the GoFundMe page states furthermore.

While Detroit dance music post-1988 is well documented, the events that helped it synthesise have emerged only more recently. When party culture was taking its first tentative steps, Delano honed his skills under the guidance of the late Ken Collier. He stood up for permutations of the post-Disco era, a sound termed progressive before house and techno were officially created. Delano opened the way to the future generations by blending soul, disco and early electronic sounds. The DJ influenced names who later emerged under his aura to be legends themselves. His intriguing story began in Detroit basements and dance halls, then moving to his residencies at clubs across Detroit and into his later, acclaimed international career.

With the 1990s and Motown’s techno scene appeared a transitional era for the house artists who had cleared the way for them. As an answer, Delano joined the DJ collective- Detroit Beatdown with long-time associates Norm Talley and Mike “Agent X” Clark. The three offered a unique, slowed down, raw take on house. Delano started to release his own music in 2002. His albums ‘An Odyssey’, ‘Twilight’, and ‘Detroit Lost Tapes’, plus many more singles, gave a new and innovative direction for his music, mixing deep house, ambient and Detroit techno.

“As a house and techno artist, Delano Smith has been responsible for some of the most influential records of any generation and continues to carve this legacy only on his own terms. His DJ sets remain at the forefront of current musical trends while paying deep homage to the underground roots of electronic music culture”, claims theGoFundMe page.

The event:

From Friday 2 June at 10:00pm to Saturday 3 June 2023 03:30am 

Wigwam, 54 Middle Abbey Street, North City, Dublin

General admission: €11,50

Delano Smith Rare Cancer Treatment Fundraiser

Marylou Prevost
Marylou Prevost

After a Master's degree in journalism and one year as a journalist in France, I landed in Dublin to write for Babylon Radio. I mostly love writing about cultural events in Ireland.

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