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Thread: Anthony "Shake" Shakir - "All we did was put a black face on it"

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    Default Anthony "Shake" Shakir - "All we did was put a black face on it"

    Excellent interview and a lovely mix over at LWE

    Does it bug you that there’s a market for what you do overseas, but not as much here?

    Nope. I’m glad it’s like that. I’m glad they don’t like it here. The thing about techno music in Detroit, Detroit gets the credit for inventing it, which we didn’t do. I would say Kraftwerk kind of invented it as a pop music form. All we did was put a black face on it. That’s part of what enables it to still thrive to this day.

    What did Detroit add to it?

    I know what I did to it. I applied a hip-hop approach to the music. So technically if you take Kraftwerk as a basis, look at Afrika Bambaataa and Soul Sonic Force with “Planet Rock,” which took two of their songs and combined for that electro record. But I applied that rap musical idea to techno music. I think that’s what helped me set myself apart from everybody else I was working with.

    Certainly some interesting fuel for the continued debates on here about unwarranted Eurocentrism in discussions of the origins of Techno.


    http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/lw...-shake-shakir/

    The mix is absolutely firing too...

    01. Patrice Scott, “Do You Feel Me” [Sistrum Recordings]
    02. Norm Talley, “The Journey” [Third Ear Recordings]
    03. Marcello Napaloteno, “Amici” [Mathematics Recordings]
    04. Mike Huckaby, “Jupiter” [S Y N T H]
    05. Scott Grooves, “Only 500″ [Natural Midi]
    06. Disco Nihilist, “B2″ [Love What You Feel]
    07. Billie Jewell & Peven Everett, “All The Time” [Trippin Records]
    08. Confetti Bomb, “Fladdermus” [Autoreply Music]
    09. Jolka, “Dreamful” [Sect Records]
    10. Jeff Mills, “Rich” [Axis]
    11. Wax, “No. 10001-A1″ [Wax]
    12. Unknown artist, “Untitled” [white]

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    Zhao's not going to be happy about this!


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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    Zhao's not going to be happy about this!

    This was literally my first thought.

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    its almost like he said it deliberately to annoy/undermine zhao!

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    Shake is the man. He's one of the only detroit guys who sounds properly humble as well as being totally into the tunes on a ridiculous level. Any interview I've read he always sounds bang on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    its almost like he said it deliberately to annoy/undermine zhao!


    How dare you Sir!

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    Realllly nice mix!

    Hey, I have this record he did on Klang Electronic years back - it's all hip-hop tempos and so on. Has he done any other stuff like that? Quite like it.

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    you can find someone who will say anything you can imagine.

    i disagree on a fundamental level with what he is saying, and while i have some theories, but can only guess at the reasons for him saying it.

    Kraftwerk would not exist without Funk, Soul, or Motown in the first place. all they did was make these dance music forms more mechanical. so the stripped down disco-funk-hiphop happening in the US was influenced by the machine sounds coming from Europe, great. but what Shake is saying is ludicrous.

    let me forward this to my detroit buddy and see what he thinks.

    (and that papercut never answered for his accusing UR of racism - i sent a PM asking, nothing in response)
    Last edited by zhao; 09-02-2010 at 08:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zhao View Post

    Kraftwerk would not exist without Funk, Soul, or Motown in the first place. all they did was make these dance music forms more mechanical. so the stripped down disco-funk-hiphop happening in the US was influenced by the machine sounds coming from Europe, great. but what Shake is saying is ludicrous.
    Not this again You know the above statement isn't true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zhao View Post


    you can find someone who will say anything you can imagine.
    this isn't just someone though is it? It's Anthony "Shake" Shakir

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    It's pretty well established the original Detroit techno bods were influenced by white european synth pop and black american funk, disco and soul. That's what makes their music so interesting in the first place, ffs.

    Although I do think the mythology surrounding Detroit's first wave is a bit ridiculous, tbh. Techno, or something similar would have existed without them, just in a different (less moody, elegant) form.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfons View Post
    this isn't just someone though is it? It's Anthony "Shake" Shakir
    Shake is an immense talent, and also, for lack of better, from what i know, an idiosyncratic character in terms of both music and personality. i have on many occasions heard mention of personal problems from his friends and people who have worked with him, as well as, if not major beef, certainly antagonism and conflict between him and other artists.

    just theorizing, but there are probably personal reasons for Shake to make a statement like this, which is almost certainly a reaction against what might be the prevalent attitude of a lot of detroit artists (an attitude he might be simply tired of), an example that readily comes to mind is DJ bones:

    Over the years many European labels and producers studied Detroit music and its makers. A few sad souls took it upon themselves to rip-off many of the Detroit guys and make an effort to take control of the music. They licensed as much music as they could, taking away from the independent labels that kept Detroit strong. Once they thought they had figured out the formula to making the "Detroit sound" they ignored the artists that made them rich and began cultivating their own version of the sound stripping it of its original soul. Then they re-packaged it, branded it and marketed it to MTV minded consumers.

    Like Jazz and Rock n’ Roll, Detroit Techno creators and innovators were pushed out by corporations and imitators. This left the world with knock-off versions of the originals. The sound was watered down to make it easier to digest and sell to the masses. They had the means to throw a ton of money and promotion behind it to mask the lack of soul and spirit in the music.

    I came up with A.B.M. to make sure that the musical history of Subject Detroit never gets twisted or co-opted. It’s not just about black people but it is about the roots of it being black and how those black roots grew into inspiration for others to only have people ending up ignoring the source.
    http://www.electronicdir.jp/2008/08/...e-interview-2/

    sorry for the fucked up characters but i'm not about to correct them:
    But I think people use Detroit -- they may not see it this way, a lot of people say, ��we use it as inspiration�� -- but explain to me why 80% of techno that��s coming out right now, they��re using the sounds that we used 20 years ago. The dubby-type, heavy Korg�� and they want to claim it as something new. If you use the sounds in a new manner then yes, but if you��re just almost, almost imitating what��s been done 15 years ago, then there��s nothing new about that.

    There are some innovative people who use older sounds. So, I��m not against using those sounds in general. I��m against the mindset ��I��m Detroit�� when you��re not from Detroit. I��m ��Detroit-esque��. I��m ��Detroit-inspired��, but you never visited the city.

    How can you be inspired by something that you��ve never even seen first hand. That��s ridiculous to me. Ridiculous. To be inspired is to be there and have an encounter, and that��s not the case for a lot of these guys.

    I mean something that��s classic will never die and you can always innovate. When I DJ, when I make music, it��s inspiration. I was inspired by Jeff [Millls], UR, Mojo, Kenny Larkin, Carl Craig, but Detroit is different and a lot of what happens in Europe -- and I see this first hand so I can speak on it -- I see a lot of guys trying, trying their best to sound like someone from Detroit. I��m not saying all of them but a lot of people try to sound like someone from Detroit.

    To me, that��s not progression, that��s not innovation, that��s copying. If you are inspired by someone then you take the best qualities and improve on what inspired you. In Detroit, even to this day, if you make a track and it sounds like someone else and everyone you played it for said it sounds like someone else, you throw that track away. You��re not proud. You don��t say ��oh sweet, I got a track that sounds like Rob Hood��. You throw it away because you��re embarrassed to sound like someone else in Detroit.

    If you think about all the prominent guys from Detroit, you can��t take two and say that ��these two guys sound alike.�� Play a Kenny Larkin track, then play a Rob Hood, then play UR, then play DJ Bone, then play Carl Craig, then play Shake. None of those sound alike. We strive to be different.

    So when someone says ��I��m Detoit-esque�� or ��this record is in the Detroit style�� -- the Detroit style is light years ahead, so how can you be the Detroit style. Detroit is the next shit and it always has been. It��s around the corner, down the block and when people catch up, they catch up.

    Inspired by Detroit. Okay. So people don��t get upset, here��s some: D-tron, Phase -- when I hear his music I hear Detroit, but it��s a new version, its something that��s progression. It��s not some copy cat shit. It��s genuine progression.
    http://www.smartshanghai.com/blog/13...:_DJ_Bone.html

    so as much as i love Shake's music, in no way am i going to take what he is saying as the gospel, or even at face value.
    Last edited by zhao; 09-02-2010 at 02:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swears View Post
    It's pretty well established the original Detroit techno bods were influenced by white european synth pop and black american funk, disco and soul. That's what makes their music so interesting in the first place
    of course. Jeff Mills being into Belgian New Beat at the time of UR's inception is well known.

    but the problem here is one of primacy, and the central genetic axis of this music.

    if anyone thinks the 4 on the floor beat and the basslines and the groove and keys and structure of techno mainly comes from Europe, and not Funk, Soul, Motown and Gospel, he is out of his FUCKING mind. like Shake was at the moment he said what he said.
    Last edited by zhao; 09-02-2010 at 03:00 PM.

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    FWIW Giorgio Moroder claims that he started using four on the floor beats after hearing a German oompah band at a wedding. IIRC he claims that he'd been trying to figure out how to get european kids dancing to black american sounds when they couldn't get their head around the beats, and suddenly realized that if german grannies could get down to a big bass drum going oonce oonce oonce oonce then european discos would go mad for it.

    I don't really know the pre-history of 4x4, though, and how and when it came into disco and what was the original spark for the use of it in detroit and chicago. Motown's all offbeats and (proto) breakbeats, isn't it?

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