Following one of the most watched Boiler Room sets of all time, tickets for Motor City Drum Ensemble were scarce before term had even started. The hugely anticipated event celebrated the fourth anniversary of one of Leeds’ most well-loved nights, Butter Side Up, matched, if not surpassed, last years’ birthday bash featuring Chicago House legend, Theo Parrish.
Expanding on the foundations Butter Side Up has built for itself over the years, Danilo Plessow a.k.a Motor City Drum Ensemble seemed like the perfect booking. A luminary of house and disco, the German-born producer and DJ has crafted his own analogue sound from aged 11, receiving praise from Gilles Peterson, and his incredibly sought after Raw Cuts series has become one of the most renowned 12″ series of our generation. The opportunity to see him is a rare one, a fact that was clearly acknowledged by the elevated crowd who could appreciate how special it was to occupy the intimate walls of Wire that night.
Blessing us with funk and disco classics, like Gwen McCrae’s Keep The Fire Burning and Logg’s much-loved Dancing Into The Stars, Plessow’s set emulated everything that Butter Side Up has come to stand for: good quality music, influenced by funk, soul, house, jazz and disco. The whole night was a testament to both the curators and the unparalleled DJ selection, and as the buttery-smooth vocals of Chez Damier’s Never Knew Love echoed throughout the crowd like a chorus, it was clear the night had been a success. MCDE’s stellar set continued beyond the arranged 4 hours, slipping in new material from Aphex Twin as well as his own Raw Cuts releases, which were met with excited recognition from the crowd by way of enthusiastic pointing and nodding.
The whole night felt like a magical once-in-a-lifetime experience, bringing together great people and even better music. In the words of Louche, Butter Side Up have ”matured from Butter into a Fine Gourmet Cheese”. We can’t wait for the next one.
Photo: Butter Side Up