Tag Archive: shake

BBH: Various Artists, Detroit: Beyond the Third Wave

There have been plenty of Detroit techno compilations over the years; True People would probably rate as my favorite for its sheer comprehensiveness and myriad pieces of vinyl, though its spot at number one has often been contested in my mind by this compilation on Astralwerks which came out the same year in 1996. Packed with ten tracks of exclusive material from the creme of Detroit’s third wave of techno producers, it showcases their many different sides, from deep and hypnotic through to raw, jacking soul and clinical, electro funk. Though many of the producers on the album were familiar to me already, there were others like Ectomorph, Will Web, and Mode Selector I was discovering for the first time. Throughout it all can be heard strains from their mentors mixed in with the new directions in which these younger guns were taking the music.

LWE’s Top 5 Reissues of 2009

When contributors to LWE were discussing end of year lists amongst ourselves, a colleague commented that “this past year has seemed so exciting to me, it’s amazing how much of what’s got me revved up has been compilations and reissues.” I found myself agreeing with him — It might have been a pointed comment about the perceived weakness of much of this year’s output, but it might just as easily be read as praise for the huge quantity of impressive reissues, represses and other re-presentations that have been released this year. For that reason, this list is far from exhaustive and merely offers a personal perspective on what has been a fantastic year for house and techno historians.

Shake, Levitate Venice

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.