Da Sampla, Westside Sessions

[Wild Oats]

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Anthony “Shake” Shakir is well known for his versatility, having always operated in a wide range of genres. Still, his work as Da Sampla in many ways touches on something quintessentially Shake. As the moniker suggests, the project displays his deft way with samples, contorting them into potent, looped-out dance floor bombs. And unlike much of the rest of Shake’s back catalog, the Da Sampla records aren’t impossible to find — aside from 1997’s M3 Sessions, that is, the crown jewel. Luckily, Kyle Hall has decided to reissue that EP via his Wild Oats label, and its four tracks, alongside a 7″ of newly released material, constitute Westside Sessions.

Shake has been on top of his game lately, so it should come as little surprise that the new material stands up to the old. “G.J.” melds a vocal stuttering the title with wildly undulating and presumably Brazilian — judging by the cuica — percussion, while Kyle Hall’s squirming, bare-bones dub of “Frictional Beat #6″ accentuates the track’s swing, placing it in line with the mechanical palette Shake’s recently been working with. As for the 12”, it’s safe to say the tracks sound as great as ever, with Hall contributing a “nice and loud” mastering job. Particular highlights include “Over,” a ridiculously tight disco burner that’s both cheery and pummeling, replete with heavy, charging kicks and crafty soul samples, and “Track 4,” which is similarly repetitive but deployed on a more punishing tack. As usual, Shake’s tracks retain an endearingly awkward, human touch, creaking and groaning with the sound of machines pushed to their limits.

Joseph Hallam  on April 13, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Very nice.

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