by Motor City Drum EnsembleMotor City Drum Ensemble


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For the 36th edition of their venerable DJ Kicks series, K7 Records tapped producer/DJ Danilo Plessow, alias Motor City Drum Ensemble, an individual who hails not from Detroit but from the German automotive center of Stuttgart (home to Mercedes and Porsche). Though his fondness for the manifold classic grooves of America's Motown is amply evident in his own productions and remixes -- including, notably, the jazzy, funky Moodymann-indebted house workouts of his Raw Cuts series -- that's hardly the extent of his inspirations, as this mix makes clear. Indeed, Plessow's brought together a dizzying array of tracks in nearly as many different styles: after an opening invocation from Sun Ra, he leads us on a freewheeling trip through soul (New Zealand's Electric Wire Hustle, via an irresistibly slinky Scratch 22 remix), dub (Rhythm & Sound), Afro-beat (Tony Allen, Geraldo Pino), classic Chicago acid trax (Mr. Fingers), and Detroit techno (Robert Hood), deep house (Fred P.), funky disco (a Walter Gibbons mix of Arts & Crafts' "I've Been Searching"), jazz (Timo Lassy), film music (Philippe Sarde's chugging "Le Cortège et Course"), and even an unexpectedly funky, early Aphex Twin "ambient" work. Of course, genre names are just so many words, and these cuts all basically have more in common than they do differentiating them: shared roots in African-American musical vernacular, of course, for one thing, but above all, in a word: groove. As you might imagine, Plessow simply finds that shared groove (at least, he makes it sound simple) and runs with it, keeping his transitions fluid, clean, and remarkably smooth. Actually, if there's a complaint to be lodged here it's that the mix is a little too seamless: too few tracks really manage to stick out above the generally high-quality, head-nodding flow, especially after about 20 minutes when things really start to simmer. In fact, perhaps the most startling, ear-catching moment here -- the acid-squelch synth that unexpectedly burbles up in Isolée's monstrously funky mix of Recloose's "Cardiology" -- turns out to belong to the original track. In keeping with DJ Kicks tradition, MCDE also contribute a bespoke new production, "L.O.V.E.," a no-nonsense funky strutter that effectively distills the essence of the entire affair, minimal and a bit murky, but still grittily satisfying. Perhaps most readily comparable to Henrik Schwarz's 2006 installment in the series (though it doesn't quite reach that mix's level of soulful spirituality, focusing more exclusively on groove and moody ambience), Plessow clinches yet another feather in K7's towering cap: one that's smartly assembled, artfully sequenced, impeccably tasteful, and indelibly tasty.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/19/2011
Label: K7
UPC: 0730003728525
catalogNumber: 285
Rank: 56487

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Motor City Drum Ensemble   Primary Artist,DJ
George Kontrafouris   Piano
Teppo Mäkynen   Percussion,Drums
Timo Lassy   Saxophone
Antti Lötjönen   Bass
Willie Daniels   Vocals

Technical Credits

Arthur Russell   Producer
Richard D. James   Composer,Producer
Fred Peterkin   Composer
Sun Ra   Arranger,Composer
Philippe Sarde   Composer
Robert Hood   Composer
Larry Heard   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer
Moritz von Oswald   Composer
Steve d'Aquisto   Producer
Isolée   Remixing
Peven Everett   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Mark Ernestus   Composer
Mbewe Ninoska Escobar   Composer
Dwayne King   Composer
Teppo Mäkynen   Composer,Producer
Malik Alston   Composer
George Logios   Producer
Timo Lassy   Composer
Steven Joyce Ames   Composer,Producer
D. Terry   Composer
Geraldo Pino   Composer
Tony Allen   Composer,Producer
Danilo Plessow   Composer,Producer
Matthew Chicoine   Composer,Producer
Arts & Crafts   Composer
Jerker Kluge   Composer,Engineer
Tevo Howard   Composer,Producer
Pablo Valentino   Composer,Producer
Rick Poppa Howard   Composer
Rodi Kirkcaldy   Composer,Producer
D. Howard   Composer
Kara Evgeniy   Composer,Producer
M. Tekahika   Composer
R. Nembward   Composer
A. Gilchrist   Composer,Producer
James Mason   Composer

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