Motor City Drum Ensemble is neither. It’s the primary alias of Danilo Plessow, a house producer and DJ from Stuttgart, Germany.
Prior to adolescence, Plessow took up the drums and eventually fell under the spell of jazz, which led him to soul, funk, rap, house, and a budding interest making dance music. His first releases were co-productions with Joachim Tobias; as Inverse Cinematics
, the duo debuted in 2001 and went on to release several 12” singles and one album, Passin’ Through. While Plessow would work briefly under a number of additional pseudonyms, Jayson Brothers and the questionable Aphro Pzyko
among them, he settled on MCDE for the bulk of his releases from 2007 onward, beginning with the Compost Black Label
12” Get Slapped Up. Plessow scattered the occasional MCDE 12” throughout the next few years, including the sample-based Raw Cuts series (which drew from two of his primary inspirations, Theo Parrish
and Kenny “Moodymann” Dixon Jr.
), compiled for compact disc release in 2009. In 2011, Plessow contributed to the !K7
label’s long-running DJ-Kicks mix series, pulling from just about every area of his background (including Sun Ra
, Mr. Fingers
, and Aphex Twin
). ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi