Various Artists Selectors 001 – Motorcity Drum Ensemble Dekmantel
Whatever else they might tell you, there’s an ego in every DJ. Each time they play, the DJ is effectively saying, ‘I have the best taste in this room. Now listen to me prove it.’ Danilo Plessow has been proving it for years, and now he’s shared a few of his favourites from his 15,000-strong record collection for the first of Dekmantel’s new ‘Selectors’ compilation series.
Opener DJ Slym Fas’ Luv Music is classic Plessow: dusty Rhodes sample, crisp live-sounding percussion, and a vocal so sunny it’s probably hastening climate change. Risque III’s Essence of a Dream is an interesting choice, leaning as it does to the freakier end of Chicago house, while we get some of Plessow’s sharpest, sassiest disco cuts in Bill Deal’s Freak n Freeze and Raphael Green’s Don’t Mess With The Devil. The latter even comes with an interesting story: Green is now a bishop involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, and Plessow had to personally call up a St. Louis church to get permission to include the song. It’s a nice vignette, indicative of the lengths to which Plessow will go to impress and entertain.
Unusually for something like this, it’s an unmixed compilation of songs, rather than a mix. But as well as being excellent in their own right, the selections cohere satisfyingly, making sense in the context of Plessow’s career as a selector. His absence in the production makes his presence in the selection all the more detectable; he’s hidden in plain sight, manoeuvring behind the journey from A1 to D2, quietly confident he has the best taste in the room.