Whether out of self-censorship or plain old yacht rock ignorance, almost none of the press surrounding Anthony “Shake” Shakir’s Frictionalism 1994-2009 has mentioned that “Arise,” one of the retrospective’s standout inclusions, is basically just a beefed-up edit of the closing drum break from Steely Dan’s “Aja.” That’s right, techno brethren: Shake just made you listen to Steely Dan. Featuring the percussion acrobatics of legendary session drummer Steve Gadd (who, rock ‘n roll lore has it, pulled off his contribution to the eight-minute track in a single take), the title cut from the band’s 1977 album has always felt like something more than a guilty pleasure, a soft rock epic with enough funk and stoney strangeness to win over even the Dan’s most humorless anti-fans. And on a 1998’s …Waiting For Russell 12″ for his Frictional imprint, he officially brought Walter Becker’s and Donald Fagen’’s irony machine — perhaps the smoothest conceptual art project of all time — into the fold of his myriad influences.
Having already crossed paths a couple times on wax, by way of splits and remixes and label connections, the team-up of collabo-keen auteurs David Moufang (Move D) and Michael Baumann (Soulphiction/ Jackmate) doesn’t come as much surprise. The first fruits of their labor (with further releases already mooted) find the duo mining a shared musical heritage for a miniature set of mild-tempered, organic house.