Danilo Plessow may be best known for the Raw Cuts sound he has pursued on his own MCDE imprint, but his deeper work under the Motor City Drum Ensemble name is just as worthy of consideration. It's a scrubbed-up version of the gritty Underground Quality vibe popularized by Jus-Ed and others, a slowed-down house sound that revels in analogue synths in the same way that Lawrence and Efdemin have done for years now.
It's been mighty popular over the past few months and the early adopters outside of the core scene are just now swooping in to grab up the mightiest of its talents, Plessow included. That's why you'll see unlikely labels like 20:20 Vision—home to Crazy P, The Youngsters and Mark Broom to name a few—offering up 12-inches. Plessow's first for the label leads off with "Lonely One," a patient plodder that features a wordless moaning of the titular lonely man. Like all of Plessow's slo-mo house work, it builds smoothly as though every element was simply waiting in the wings to make its appearance at the proper moment, and—after it finishes up—descends silently into the ether.
"Frontin'" arrives with more purpose, a charming four-note riff in tow, that pulses as much as it delivers melody. A soul sample repeats for much of the track, an echo of Plessow's Raw Cuts EPs, but the focus here is on warmth, not "spontaneous" loops. "Keep Up" feels the same way, with an organ riff cutting across to offer up some variety. But it's not quite as smooth as its predecessors and suffers in comparison, a mediocre ending to an otherwise strong outing on a new label.
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Tracklist: Motor City Drum Ensemble - Lonely One A Lonely One
B2 Keep Up