Motor City Drum Ensemble – Send A Prayer EP

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It is hard to review any release from Danilo Plessow without making mention of the Berlin house producer’s celebrated Raw Cuts series, a string of sample-heavy soul edits. ‘Send A Prayer’ is the 26-year old’s return to this tried and tested formula. It might not be as exuberant, but, like Raw Cuts, it wears its Detroit and Chicago influences on its sleeve and is in no short supply of rustic samples, this time mining the world of gospel.

‘Send A Prayer Pt 1’ is a chord-driven piece of off-kilter funk, laying gospel vocal snippets over a terse percussive beat. A sudden saxophone break brings an element of unpredictability to proceedings, but unfortunately doesn’t re-emerge. It’s a lovely track, with all the staple MCDE elements firmly in place, but it would be nice to see it actually go somewhere.

Grizzled gospel chants and crowd noise are used very nicely in the next track, ‘Send A Prayer Pt 2’; the rapturous sentiment usually associated with gospel subdued by MCDE’s organ chords, ever warm and lumbering. ‘The Stranger’ strays furthest from Plessow’s congenial sound and sadly ends up the least arresting. Yelping sirens jump about a rubbery bassline that is still faintly reminiscent (of his dub mix of DJ Sprinkles).

Baring the most similarity to the Raw Cuts edits, perhaps unsurprisingly, ‘SP11’ comes out on top. It’s a fantastically loop-driven and soulful number, its initial upbeat veneer countenanced by a sharp Detroit edge that stems from some unrelenting hi-hats – destined for classic MCDE status.

Nothing new here then, but, as they say, if it aint broke don’t fix it.

MCDE | Released: February

01. Send A Prayer Pt 1

02. Send A Prayer Pt 2

03. The Stranger

04. SP11


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