Motor City Drum Ensemble - DJ-Kicks

  • Share
  • Look at the delicate pallor—the near-effeminacy—of Danilo Plessow on the cover shot for his entry in !K7's DJ-Kicks series; the Cologne-transplant is still pretty young. And yet, he's been on dance floors and home stereos alike from the age of 16, when his cut "Slow Swing" as Inverse Cinematics opened up the Fabric 07 mix. But it was with his Raw Cuts series starting in 2008 as Motor City Drum Ensemble that Plessow matured into a producer capable of muscular but elegant, almost swoony deep house. Now, Plessow's been tagged for his first commercial mix by !K7, several years after his high-profile—and well not to toot our own horn but fabulous—entry in our own podcast series. MCDE's debut follows as one of the more intriguing in a series that's been on a quiet run since the Saturn-ringed kosmische of James Holden's mix, with notable contributions from Kode9, Apparat and Wolf & Lamb/Soul Clap. Instead of turning in a set of oddball disco finds or dusty house nuggets, Plessow's clearly made a conscious effort with this mix to spotlight the width of his influences. Though it may serve as a detriment to listeners who prefer the narrative take on the mix—with ascents, retreats, and sly advances—MCDE's DJ-Kicks is decidedly even-tempered for the most part. Plessow highlights the formative influences and genres that were so instrumental in the evolution of his more direct dance lineage and works as a kind of third-hand thank you to jazz, soul, African music and, of course, Chicago house. Opening with the bright handclap-lined jazz of Sun Ra's "Door to the Cosmos" before quickly segueing to the Curtis Mayfield-crooning Scratch 22 remix of Electric Wire Hustle's "Again," Plessow slowly, patiently winds his way through the stubby Afrobeat of Tony Allen's "Ariya," the warbling strutty house of Mr. Fingers' "The Juice" and newer touches on those same sounds like the whirlpooling synths and insistent pump of Fred P's "On This Vibe." After submerging into the deep-space hypnotism of Phillippe Sarde's "Le Cortege Et Course," Robert Hood's "The Pace" and Loose Joints' "Pop That Funk," Plessow breaks into the light again starting with the hand-drum polyester disco of Walter Gibbons' mix of Arts & Crafts' "I've Been Searching." It's the beginning of the most loose-limbed passage, one that continues—and perhaps peaks—with MCDE's own "L.O.V.E." Though it streaks from the stereo immediately as a Plessow production—a dizzying, glittery bounce with a propulsive rhythm that takes cues from Thriller-era MJ—it's a testament to Plessow's skills that it can slide so cozily into a love letter of sorts to his heroes and still highlight that very homage (it's also easily the brawniest beast included). In fact, as he dries off to the subterranean electronica of Aphex Twin's "Actium" and the dubby twitch-house of Isolee's now-classic refix of Recloose's "Cardiology," it's the one track you need to hear anew, alone, devoid of sequence or tracklist binding. MCDE's DJ-Kicks won't sway those who've proclaimed the death of the commercial mix, but for the rest of us, collectors and home-stereo-bodies alike, it's another standout in a growing streak of DJ-Kicks curios.
  • Tracklist
      01. Sun Ra - Door To The Cosmos 02. Electric Wire Hustle - Again (Scratch 22 Remix) 03. Rhythm & Sound - Mango Drive 04. Tony Allen - Ariya 05. Peven Everett - Stuck 06. Bad Jazz Troupe - Breakdown Treat (Dusty Rework) (MCDE Edit) 07. Mr. Fingers - The Juice 08. Rick "Poppa" Howard - Can Your Love Find Its Way (Club Vocal) 09. Stone - Girl I Like the Way That You Move (Dub) 10. Fred P - On This Vibe 11. Creative Swing Alliance - Don't Forget Your Keyz 12. Geraldo Pino & The Heartbeats - Black Woman Experience 13. Philippe Sarde - Le Cortège Et Course 14. Robert Hood - The Pace 15. Loose Joints - Pop Your Funk (Vocal Version) 16. Arts & Crafts - I've Been Searching (Walter Gibbons 12-inch Mix) 17. Motor City Drum Ensemble - L.O.V.E. 18. Aphex Twin - Actium 19. Recloose - Cardiology (Isolée Mix) 20. Latecomer - Cosmic Cart 21. Timo Lassy - African Rumble 22. James Mason - Sweet Power, Your Embrace