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White Noise: Motor City Drum Ensemble – Send A Prayer

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Motor City Drum Ensemble – Send A Prayer

Label: Rush Hour / MCDE

He may hail from Stuttgart (birthplace of the automobile), but Danilo Plessow undoubtedly has the pulse of Detroit’s storied musical past running through his veins. It’s been more than a year since his excellent DJ Kicks mix and the gorgeous L.O.V.E, but in 2013 MCDE is back on the scene, offering a slick four-tracker that, while it may not deviate drastically from his established sound, certainly continues to prove why Plessow has achieved such a reputation – he can conjure a groove like no other.

Send A Prayer Pt. 2

Among the more exceptional producers who eschew the fetishistic element of classic house’s revival to focus on the groove and atmosphere found in those early 90s classics (along with the likes of Nicholas and Gerd), MCDE’s stellar Raw Cuts series finds a worthy successor on this gospel-referencing collection. Opener Send A Prayer Pt. 1 is a typical of his style: textured percussive layers evoke the ghosts of live music, enhanced by the reedy woodwind melody that interrupts the tune’s eyes-down groove. Part 2 steps things up a notch, indulging in gospel samples and crowd cheers to create an inimitable atmosphere which complements the tune’s more playful bounce and catchy synthwork.

Closer Sp11 keeps up the pace with warm synths and clattering beats, but it’s on excellent third cut The Stranger that Plessow steps a little bit further from his comfort zone. This percussive workout rejects formal beat patterns to explore a moodier sound, all reigned over by that supreme bassline that injects just the right amount of grit and mystery into proceedings. If there were any fans expecting a dramatic shift in Plessow’s sound they’ll go away disappointed, but for us another great selection of blissful grooves is more than enough, and it’s great just to see MCDE back on the scene.


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