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A Magazine for Sheffield


Considering the fact that Danilo Plessow's insanely well-produced Raw Cuts series was entirely sample-based, it is little wonder his astute skill in assembling fresh and authentic sounds from the black wax of the past has been recognised for the prestigious DJ Kicks mix series.

In a landscape where the value of crate digging looms large, the relevancy and success of compilations like this one will only increase. Add to this the fact that a lot of contemporary music is fundamentally retrospective, throw in the limitless archives of the internet, and you have an audience primed for revelling in the nostalgia of the producer. But this nostalgia only becomes interesting when the producer forges something new and interesting. With his DJ Kicks mix, Plessow does just that.

In the first ten minutes he traverses jazz, soul, reggae and afro-beat, creating a formidable build with Scratch 22's remix of Electric Wire Hustle's 'Again', the bass of which reverberates around the introduction wonderfully well, leading to Sun Ra's 'Door of The Cosmos' and Rhythm and Sound's 'Mango Drive' until we're brought into a playful groove in the form of Tony Allen's 'Ariya'. The vocals extend nicely into Peven Everett's 'Stuck', the track that in the first half comes closest to Plessow's own productions. Plessow eases the transition between Everett's soulful number and Larry Heard's (aka Mr Fingers) emphatic brand of Chicago house with Bad Jazz Troupe's aptly named 'Breakdown Treat'. Rick 'Poppa' Howard's 'Can Your Love Find Its Way?' demonstrates Plessow's unsurprising affinity with highly percussive, warm and accessible house music.

Fred P in 'On This Vibe' is on a very deep vibe, with undulating swirls adding another dimension to the mix before we reach familiar territory again with Creative Swing Alliance's 'Don't Forget Your Keyz', which creates a mirthful clamour. Philippe Sarde's 'Le Cortege et Course' adds grandeur before Robert Hood's acid house kicks the intensity back up. The vocals of Loose Joints (a vehicle for Arthur Russell's productions) 'Pop Your Funk' prevent the tedium that might ensue if Hood's relentless offering went on much longer. Arts and Crafts 'I've Been Searching' (produced by Walter Gibbons) excellently accentuates the drop of Plessow's cut 'L.O.V.E.', a magnificent homage to all things Detroit. Familiar faces follow in Aphex Twin and Recloose, with Isolee's remix of the latter sounding as sublime as it originally did. 'Cosmic Cart' by Latecomer is delightfully ominous and the addition of Timo Lassy and James Mason after feels slightly superfluous.

Ultimately, Plessow combines his nostalgic inclinations for Detroit and Chicago with a mix encapsulating a multitude of moods. Although you feel the shifts, you're content to experience them as the mix unfolds in a natural, charming way.