Anthony Shakir’s contribution to techno cannot be emphasized enough. Unfortunately, as it is stated on his discogs page, he “is one of the more underrecognized, underappreciated names in American techno.” I first came across Anthony Shakir in 1988 as the producer of “Sequence 10” on the Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit compilation — The track “Techno Music” by Juan Atkins, which also appeared on Neil Rushton’s collection, branded Atkin’s Detroit vision for decades to come. Shakir popped up as a producer, remixer, drum programmer and in other capacities in the credits of releases on KMS Records, 430 West, Tresor and too many other labels to list here.
Shakir’s own label, Frictional Recordings, released some excellent techno in the ’90s and on into the two decades that followed. The one reviewed below is no exception to the quality that flowed from his imprint. It is a casebook study of the territory where house connects with techno. Strand was a collaboration between Brian Bonds, brother of Reel By Real’s Martin Bonds, Brian Boyer, who recorded for Serious Grooves as T.H.D., and Kech Harrington, also a member of T.H.D, and who produced as Kech.
My most vivid memory of Anthony Shakir is when he walked into a club in San Francisco on a holiday weekend Sunday night in 2011. He was bespectacled, walking with the aid of a stick and had a wheely record box rolling behind him. As he walked in some smart ass commented, “Oh someone’s dad is here to DJ tonight.” I remember thinking to myself, “This man is a legend and he is going to school your stupid ass and every other kid in this room tonight.”
That he did, within three records Shakir had the assembled crowd throwing their hands in the air, cheering, as he effortlessly glided through disco, techno, MK dubs and his own trademark break beat, funk-infused techno, creating a fluid DJ mix that sounded not a million miles away from a fusion of house, techno and extremely upfront and abstract UK garage (the breaks will do that). The man is a true professional and no discussion of Detroit, or techno as a whole, is complete without his inclusion.
Floyd Cramer’s Revenge
Tricky, techy house and tricky techno from Shake’s label. This EP really covers a lot of ground for those who like a bit of value for their six and half bucks. Side A contains the twisted jazz house of ” Heavy Action” and the dreamy techno of “Zephyr” by Kech and B Bonds, which some of you will remember from the “True People” box set last year. On the flipside the tempo and density steps up a bit with Shake treating us to the hard, but atmospheric minimalism of “Bloated (Juggernaut Mix)” followed by some handy bonus beats and then a groovier mix of “Bloated.” Should be tracked down by DJs of varied leanings. Chris Orr