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Shake: Levitate Venice 12" (Morphine Records)

This odd 12" by Anthony Shakir mixes the best of both worlds: functional dancefloor grooves and supremely weird genre-bending sounds. For a four-tracker you certainly get your money’s worth as each of these cuts is from a different world. (As an aside, how refreshing is it to buy a 12" and actually get 4 tracks these days? VERY!)

“Levitate” is a weird broken-beat track full of strange high-end squiggles, sort of like Pan Sonic with more of a sense of humor. It has no real melody or bassline, just purely percussive and rhythmic. “Indagoo” is ostensibly a house track, but it’s one with the visual tuned down slightly into a vague slow-motion. Weird pitched down claps, sequencing that isn’t quite fully in sync, a tentative piano riff – all the pieces and parts of there but it never quite clicks, and possibly for the first time I mean this in a good way. It’s slightly off – but it works.

On the flipside Shake gives us “Space Probes” which is another non-melodic track, uptempo and vaguely electro with its breaks and strange drones and flanger effects. It’s rounded out with “It Erases Me” which is the most straightforward track of the foursome, buoyant techno that moves at a pretty good clip, carried by a cascading series of droning tones.

It’s a very odd combination of sounds, but Shake knows his way around the studio enough to make these somewhat off-kilter tracks work both on headphones or on a dancefloor. I think more adventurous DJs could have a blast with this.

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