Some more Detroit techno for you. From an unrecognised originator.
Detroit producer Anthony “Shake” Shakir is one of the more under-recognised, underappreciated names in American techno. A bedroom producer since 1981, he had an important role in helping shape the early sound associated with artists such as Juan Atkins / Model 500 and Derrick May.

His first solo material appeared on Virgin’s seminal Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit compilation with ‘Sequence 10’. Known as something of a techno purist, he has distanced himself from the European scene many of his colleagues have turned to for support (this accounts somewhat for his continuing obscurity), and his music is stylistically closer to second wave artists such as “Mad Mike” Banks and Claude Young — hard, stripped-down tracks which owe equally to techno, electro, hip-hop, and funk.

Shake’s visibility and reputation have risen in more recent years as a result of his Frictional and Puzzlebox labels, the latter of which he formed in 1996 with fellow Detroit electro / techno producer Keith Tucker (formerly of Aux 88). Releasing a series of records both solo and in combination (usually under the name Da Sampla), Shake and Tucker’s Puzzlebox Records has, along with Underground Resistance and Guidance Recordings, become one of the sources of straight-up Detroit techno.

Unfortunately, in 2000, Shake was disagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. From an interview in 2002:


It’s 4 p.m. on an overcast, cold Friday in early April. DJ Anthony “Shake” Shakir answers the door, cane in hand. 

I’ve no idea how he’s doing now.


Anthony Shakir – The Stab


Anthony Shakir – The Rah Rah


Anthony Shakir – The Life of a Planet Raider


Anthony Shakir MySpace


His house looks like a lot of older Detroit homes — lived-in and worn, not messy. This is the house Shake grew up in, one that he shares with his mother. Shake’s room and studio are both on the second floor and going up and down the stairs is always difficult for him. Often, the disease has him stuck in bed for a day — sometimes for up to two weeks.

Shake’s sister is visiting, ranting full-throttle with his mother about the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. They pause and say “hello” with warm smiles. Theresa Hill’s “After-School Groove” mix show on WDTR-FM 90.9 is playing in the background. Shake listens every day.

When asked how he’s doing, Shake replies assertively, “I’m OK. I’m not stoppin’ till God says ‘Time’s out.’” It’s clear that he’s talking about his music and his health. Just prior to his appearance at the first DEMF in 2000 (he’s played the festival both times), Shake was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. “My affliction has made me take things more seriously,” he says, settling into his makeshift studio. “I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.”

~ by acidted on April 15, 2008.

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