Next month Rush Hour is releasing an Anthony 'Shake' Shakir retrospective called 'Frictionalism' on 3XCD, 4X limited edition vinyl 12"s, and digital. Shake started Frictional Records in 1994 with musical comrade Claude Young, putting out fifteen ambitious Detroit Techno 12" releases over the years.
Shake has been an inspiration and a friend since we met in the middle late 1990s in Detroit. I was just starting out releasing music for Planet E and getting a first hand crash course into the Detroit electronic music scene. Shake's records quickly lured my ear to his personal production style. It had all the traits of Detroit techno up to that point- dark, melancholy, funk-driven, synthetic but soulful. But on top of these Motor City trademarks there was something distinct about Shake's sound- it skillfully melded not only percussive layers of synths and drum machines but also had a pronounced hip-hop aesthetic to it, especially in its use of sampling.
My fondest memories of Shake took place at Detroit's own daily music convention center- Record Time in Roseville. This is where all the local records would come out on a weekly basis and there was always a crew of DJs looking to get their hands on the new stuff on the day the orders would come in. Shake was usually up there unofficially leading the proceedings. He'd have a stack of 12"s in front of him and wasn't shy about hijacking the house system to listen to his pickings. Shake is a guy who doesn't mince his words- he was always brutally honest and usually pretty hilarious in what he thought about what he laid his ears on. I'm just lucky I avoided Roseville the day my records dropped on the release sheet...
Shake was also the guy who I first heard use the term 'life issues' and their power to compel better music out of an artist (no doubt a recurring theme for most people from the city of Detroit). While we didn't talk about it much in our conversation, Shake is no stranger to his own life issues, having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000, today left unable to walk and faced with the daily struggle of paying for medicine in a country that has had little interest in looking after its own. As debilitating as this disease is, it hasn't kept him down- he's back in the studio and was heading to Germany for a tour the day after our conversation took place.
Not only does Shake remain to be Detroit's most innovative and unsung techno producer, he is also renowned for having an opinion on just about everything, which no doubt made for a great interview.
I'll be posting the FULL unedited interview later this week but thought I'd get this up in the meantime for you. Note, it starts about 45 minutes in. Enjoy...
HIQI Dec. 14, 2009 Playlist
JuJu & Jordash- "Deep Blue Meanies"
Frank Booker - "Universal Drive"
MXM - "Jazz Seducer"
The Oliverwho Factory - "Never Say Never"
Linkwood - "RIP (Original Mix)"
- "Say A Prayer For Two"
Sounds Superb - "Sip Lace"
Rahaan - "Musik (edit)"
TJ Swann - "And You Know That"
Motor City Drum Ensemble - "Raw Cuts #5"
Shake - "The Other One"
Shake - "Arise"
- "Cosmic Raindance"
Shake - "Fact Of The Matter"
Shake - "Simpatico"
Shake - "For the Lamented"
Shake - "The 5% Solution"
- "Changing Factors"
Shake - "March into Darkness"
Shake - "Live For Friction"
Shake - "One Beat (Just Wont Do)"
Riuichi Sakamoto - "The Garden Of Poppies"
Tom Browne - "Midnight Interlude"