Throwback: Motor City Drum Ensemble – Raw Cuts #6

Last week saw represses of selected records from Motor City Drum Ensemble’s Raw Cuts Series. Originally released in 2009, Raw Cuts #6 is exactly the kind of jazzy slow-burner that Danilo Plessow is renowned for.

The track’s centrepiece is its playful Rhodes chord sequence which sounds as if it could have been taken from a golden era hip hop record: the gritty, transposed-chord sound recalls the sampling influences of the likes of Dilla and DJ Shadow. Gradually filtered in over the kick drum, the keys are slowly augmented by percussion and various strange, cut-off vocal samples which slide discretely in between the other elements, providing both melodic interest and an uneasy, drone-like texture to the track.

While Raw Cuts #6 clearly draws heavily on the past, MCDE’s production skills ensure that the song does not sound like a pastiche of what has gone before. In fact, the track remains remarkably fresh and its repress will be undoubtedly be wholly welcomed by fans of MCDE’s unique take on soulful house.

– Ben Scott

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