Shake, Levitate Venice

[Morphine Records]

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Anthony “Shake” Shakir told Detroit’s Metro Times in 2002 he sometimes felt “like the invisible man of techno.” This rueful admission may well be partly true. While Shake’s first track was included on the compilation that coined the genre name (Techno: The New Dance Sound Of Detroit), he’s never had the high profile other Detroit first wavers have enjoyed. This outsider status is in some ways self imposed. Shake’s music has always been too idiosyncratic, too eclectic, too damn futuristic to fit in with any hype, trend or zeitgeist. Compare this to the single-minded approach of peers such as schoolmate Mike Huckaby or fellow drumming student Robert Hood, and it’s apparent that maybe a lack of a signature sound resulted in this long-term under appreciation. A typical Shake release, if there is such a thing, traverses genres, tempos and moods without even blinking. So it is with “Levitate Venice,” his first record for some four years.

“Levitate” opens the EP in fine style, with a galloping bass drum that’s only slightly less unhinged than the borderline ridiculous distorted bleeps that overrun the track. “Indagoo” drops the tempo considerably, with an almost slinky four note synth line partnered with an eerie melody that echoes through your mind for days afterwords. As “Levitate Venice”‘s finest moment, it compares favorably with the lonely house of STL or early Omar-S. The flip side brings a further diversification of styles. Call it what you want, hip-hop on 45 or quasi-dub-step, “Space Probes” is both the fastest and most far-out track on the record. Stuttering percussion runs headlong into a wall of static, with the ensuing collision coming to a shuddering halt of clanging dub echo. “It Erased Me,” by contrast, is the most conventional track here, minimal techno with little more than a thudding bass drum for which Radio Slave would probably sell his grandmother. Welcome back Shake; let’s hope “Levitate Venice” proves his self-deprecation wrong.

ballyhoo  on April 16, 2009 at 10:51 PM

shit is gangsta! this track brims with insane energy. will definitely seek this out.

struggle  on April 17, 2009 at 12:30 AM

can’t get “Indagoo” out of my head. any word on full release date. wasn’t able to nab a copy of the promo.

Peder  on April 17, 2009 at 8:55 AM

not sure on full release date… morphine said “april” so i guess pretty soon.. you can preorder on the rushhour website linked above.

Gamall  on April 25, 2009 at 6:25 AM

INCREDIBLE record – I got the white label from Rush Hour because it’s so damn irresistable – one of top 12″s of 2009 no doubt

Todd S  on May 3, 2009 at 7:14 AM

I’m not totally convinced by the review, ‘Indagoo’ sounds like an amateur trying to get to grips with Fruity Studio or something… he knows how to automate the pitch of the clap so he isn’t a total newbie but based on this release I personally think he needs a few more lessons before putting his stuff out there.

littlewhiteearbuds  on May 3, 2009 at 9:55 AM

I highly doubt Shake got anywhere near a computer when making these tracks; almost certain they were made with an analog sequencer. When all you’re familiar with is perfectly quantized techno this is going to sound different and, ultimately, human.

Youknowitman  on May 3, 2009 at 9:59 AM

Shake was making techno music when you were in diapers. Take that into consideration before you suggest a master of techno “needs a few more lessons.”

Todd S  on May 3, 2009 at 1:56 PM

What he made the track with is not really the point, some of my friends only use analogue gear and they know alot about the technical side of production. I also embrace well-done unquantized techno (I’m a Dave Aju fan)… and to ‘Youknowitman’: If Shake is a master of Techno then I mastered it when I first started producing about 12 years ago but I thought I was making Trance. This release is definately not for me.

kuri  on May 4, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Don’t hate on Shake. The man produces quality music regardless of style. If it ain’t your thing step off and stick to the “minimal” dance tracks of the moment you prefer. Just because you can’t understand it doesn’t mean it’s not good.

struggle  on May 5, 2009 at 5:02 AM

oh man..Anthony “Shake” Shakir “needs lessons.” that is some funny shit.

peter sutcliffe  on July 19, 2009 at 10:59 AM

@ todd s: you’re a complete fucking ignoramus. as was stated upthread, shake was making records when you were swimming around in your daddy’s balls. listen to his older work on frictional and 7th city, and you’ll hear the work of a master…although maybe you’d better stick to some cheap ‘lifestyle music’, that’s probably more your speed.

tom/pipecock  on July 22, 2009 at 10:54 PM

wow, this comments thread turned hilarious with the presence of that Todd S guy. it only becomes funnier when you listen to the track on his link. wow.

Sephiroth_X  on July 24, 2009 at 2:38 PM

To be honest with most “techno masters” its allways “hit or miss” just check the new stuff from Jeff Mills, yes is garbage no matter how much you love the guy.

I liked this release but not all the tunes are great, that`s a fact as well.

gmos  on July 25, 2009 at 2:07 PM

the full release is out now people

Shake’s also got a new one coming on Frictional, check the soundclips at Rushhour, sounds great

Todd S  on July 28, 2009 at 9:17 AM

Well I did what people suggested on here and checked out about 20 of his older tracks and none are as bad as Indagoo, I even liked a couple of the deep ones(not bumming the diet Autechre stuff though).
Maybe this release isn’t a good place for people to start with Shake because no matter how hard I try to see something positive about Indagoo I just can’t get my head around the fact that it sounds like the shit I used to make when I was trying to recreate John Digweeds new stuff when I first started producing with a music programme that came free with a box of cereal.
Maybe I’ve come to Shake abit too late, I’m just going to put this down to something I’ll never get and move on.

Chris Burkhalter  on July 29, 2009 at 2:10 AM

“no matter how hard I try to see something positive about Indagoo I just can’t get my head around the fact that it sounds like the shit I used to make when I was trying to recreate John Digweeds new stuff when I first started producing with a music programme”

No it doesn’t. I get that you aren’t feeling this track, that you even think it’s a poor record, but don’t let’s get ridiculous.

Peder  on August 3, 2009 at 8:30 AM
Sephiroth_X  on August 10, 2009 at 7:41 PM

mills just redeemed himself!

Sephiroth_X  on August 10, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Oh & yes, the whole ep from shake should be in the “indagoo” style, the other tunes are of no use for a dancefloor (not bad tho)

peter sutcliffe  on August 12, 2009 at 2:19 PM

@ todd s:

the”diet autechre” stuff? you’re a real piece of work, you know that? i listened to your tracks, and because i’m feeling charitable, i’ll leave it at this: they’re fucking embarrassing. of course, imbeciles like like you are everywhere these days, and obviously you’re into all this fake “mnml” garbage made with cheap, stock digital presets, because you were a progressive-house /trance buffoon from way back, and that’s what all those shitheads are into now, BECAUSE THE SHIT IS VIRTUALLY THE SAME. formula music made by pricks more interested in lifestyle than craft. stick to doing what you do best, which is being a completely ignorant, talentless asshole, and keep your opinions to yourself.

and “sephiroth x”:

the whole ep should be in that style? says who? you? what’s wrong with escewing genre conventions? shake’s always done that, he doesn’t GIVE A FUCK, and he’s gonna keep on doing it. we need more anthony shakirs, and fewer marc houles.

now, who else wants some?

peter sutcliffe  on August 12, 2009 at 3:08 PM

oh, and i meant “eschewing”. also, todd s.: you’re not “bumming” the “diet autechre” stuff? what?

tom/pipecock  on August 13, 2009 at 8:38 PM



Sephiroth_X  on August 15, 2009 at 7:17 PM

“we need more anthony shakirs, and fewer marc houles.”

Sure! Altho i don`t see marc houle as such a bad producer, he has a couple of good ones.

The artists owe himself to his audience, specially in such a collective style as techno, if he wants to make his “own” music then don`t sell it like a product (so it don`t get criticized, like many great producers out there) i specified the other tunes are ok (no more than ok), they just have NOTHING to do conceptually & quality wise compared to “indagoo” a tune that leaves u craving for more of that obscure jazzy style) sure i like shakir more than marc houle & there`s also 1000 better producers than both of them, no one has the monopoly of how a tune has to sound for sure!

(nothing bad if you make an album with many genres, i dream of the day that a producer makes an album with idm/techno/house/electro/disco, etc). if the tunes are GOOD.
In this particular case, i got the feeling he just thrown in those to fill the ep. They are clearly inferior to indagoo.
(& MAYBE done in a very diferent time)

Indagoo is the only reason to buy that ep, for the other tunes there`s maybe a thousand of unknown guys doing better stuff :)

Says who? a person who knows pretty much every single techno producer from 1988 to this day 😉


littlewhiteearbuds  on August 15, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Dare the commenter with the video game-referencing username reveal who is responsible for the biggest non-namedrop namedrop in recent techno comment history?

Says who? a person who knows pretty much every single techno producer from 1988 to this day

Sephiroth_X  on August 16, 2009 at 1:51 AM

sorry don`t understand what you asked :)

About my nickname google “tree of life” please :)

You want me to give you names of good producers?

mmm let me try to remember some tunes i`ve liked over the years :)

e.r.p. – oretha
b12 – slope
the connection machine – molly is autowarping
max404 – not if i see you first
florence – a touch of heaven
psyance – andromedas dance
convextion – sulpher vent
convextion – premiata
elliot dodge – function return
slg – fridge funk
graphite – image shift
baruka – Play It Loud (FX Mix)
Utroid machine missions – echoes from tau city
yennek – serena x (emperical realityfake piano mix)
neuropolitique – bananagate re edit
sub space – jolie choses
beaumont hannant – sprint (a87 mud)
mark archer – dream plant
kirk degiorgio – nairobi [carl craig mix]
Technose_distrikt – track2
open_house (feat placid angles) – aquatic
alpha delta division – outer rim
auto kinetic – symetry (sensurreal’s resong)
guillome la tortue – salinas
yantra – 360 (flutter_mix)
dan curtin – interphasic metaphasic
cab drivers – ewilco
balil – glassolalia
shake – dreamlights
clint foster – patterns
drexciya – Aqua Worm Hole
suburban knight – predator’s language
john shananigans – syndicator
7th plain – trite (live at the raw club)
lost trax – the saturiun system
freddie fresh – aristotle
drexciya – sea snake
tang – translucence
elliott dodge – iota
matt o’brien – serotone
Ortanique – nomadic
Clint foster – indiums
Jeff mills – Gamma player
Subspace – orbital
Oliverwho factory – solitaire
archetype – circles of energy
levon vincent – the medium is the message
tom trago – brothers of the string
stinkworx – mkb
hauntologists – ep2 b1
robert hood – teflon
robert hood – one touch
silent servant – disciline
traversable wormhole – where 2d meets 3d
lory d – disso bass
redshape – 2010
deuce – twerp wiz
Stewart Walker – Nausea
theo parrish – space station
Levon Vincent – 1000 Miles From Home
wax – a1
jeroen search – radiate

If you know these tunes you have great taste & knowledge too :) welcome to the club.


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