New Music Of The Day: Moon King – ‘Hamtramck ’16’ EP

Lo-fi synth-pop laced with funk-house rhythms

Hamtramck is a musically fertile, offbeat neighbourhood just outside of Detroit. Crawling with musicians and performers, it’s not surprising that Daniel Benjamin, aka proto-house synth-pop outfit Moon King, decided to set up shop there.

Born in chilly Toronto, he grew obsessed with the Motor City’s vibrant underground dance scene and moved there last year to collaborate with local artists. Out of this creative environment came ‘Hamtramck ’16’, his new disco-flecked EP that fuses The Bee Gees’ catchy melodies with Prince’s jazz-pop rhythms.

‘In & Out’, the first single from the record isa far cry from Moon King’s past output as a shoegaze dream-pop duo – instead morphing into a thumping nu-soul jam à la Sister Sledge and Chic.


Speaking about the EP, Benjamin revealed, “I made this in a little apartment in Hamtramck that I shared with my friend Mark, who introduced me to all these amazing records.” He added, “it’s totally inspired by coming to Detroit, the music I’m hearing, and the people I’m meeting.”

Hamtramck ’16 is out now via Arbutus records. Buy it on cassette or as a digital download.