Icee Hot Brings Shake To The Bay

Anthony Shakir, often known as ‘Shake,’ is a Detroit techno artist who you might not be as familiar with as the Belleville Three (Atkins,┬áSaunderson and May) or Carl Craig, but his contribution to that city’s distinctive techno sound is undeniable. Shakir also has the distinction of having been a bedroom producer for years before the first wave of Motor City techno hit the UK and mainland Europe with a colossal force.

His first solo track was “Sequence 10” as Shakir on the famous 1988 UK-pressed compilation, “Techno! The Dance Sound of Detroit.” This was the collection that gave techno its genre name; Juan Atkins’ track “Techno Music” was used by the compiler Neil Rushton (Northern Soul nut and head of cult British label, Kool Kat Music, later known as Network) to define this alien funk music from Detroit, and to differentiate it from the house music that was flowing out of Chicago. Though the term techno had shown up before in music out of the US and Europe, its application to this new form of dance music from Detroit stuck.

In this late ’80s and early ’90s period Shakir was working at Juan Atkins’ Metroplex label in an A&R and management capacity and remixing material on the KMS, Transmat, Interface and 430 West labels. This all set the stage for him to start his own labels, Frictional and Puzzlebox in the mid ’90s; the latter with Keith Tucker of Aux 88. While Juan Atkins, Eddie “Flashin'” Fowlkes, Derrick May and other Detroit artists had become legendary in Europe and beyond, Anthony Shakir eschewed the fame and stayed in Detroit, crafting a hard, minimalist form of electronic funk that had a sound more akin to Jeff Mills and Underground Resistance (from the second wave of Detroit techno) than it had with the early phase that he pre-dated and initially aligned himself with.

In the last year and a half Dutch label Rush Hour Recordings have re-issued a large body of Shakir’s work on the Frictional label in vinyl, cd and digital form. Those who are new to his work can brush up on what they have missed. And they can also augment their discoveries by attending Icee Hot on Sunday, May 29th (Memorial Day weekend) to hear Shakir rocking the Works alongside Scratcha DVA and NY indie-electro poppers Creep.

Vee Dubya