Anthony Shake Shakir
Detroit producer Anthony “Shake” Shakir is one of the more underrecognized, underappreciated names in American techno. A bedroom producer since 1981, Shake had an important role in helping shape the early Motor City sound associated with artists such as Juan Atkins / Model 500 and Derrick May. He worked with May and Carl Craig as a producer, writer, or engineer on several early tracks on Metroplex, and worked in management and A&R for the label (as well, he’s often joked, as being the janitor) during its formative years. 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, Shake 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 more coveted sources of straight-up, no-bones Detroit techno.
– Sean Cooper