When Dan Shake stepped onto the scene last year, it couldn’t have been under better auspices: the first non-Detroiter to ever see release on Moodymann’s Mahogani Music imprint, and with a debut at that. The journalistic flurry about how it happened (a CD changed hands at a festival and the rest is history) somewhat overshadowed the release itself, the 3am Jazz Club 12”. It was a slice of smoky deep house with an effortless groove, and while it never veered far from the well-trodden path of MCDE or Moodymann himself, it was a supremely accomplished debut.
For his second outing, Mr Shake has taken to a very different stable: Fantastic Mr Fox’s Black Acre imprint, who have most recently been peddling juke, hip hop and sample-collage from the likes of Blue Daisy, Clap! Clap! and Romare. Soulful motor city house may seem like an odd fit, but Dan Shake’s latest is as classy and satisfying as his first.
On Out Of Sight the lightest of Rhodes melodies underpins a confection of live drums, sax trills and a big bass bounce that lends the affair some muscle. Traders II comes across as a variation on the title track’s themes: here the bassline is squeezed into an acid-flecked squelch, while the sax returns to dominate, wafting pleasantly over soft chords and dusty hi hats. It’s a release with a great deal of polish and proven mileage on the dancefloor, so while Shake may still cleave a little too faithfully to his inspirations to bear the mark of an original, it’s clear he knows how to craft a good tune. Lets hope he can put his considerable talents towards something a little more distinct next time.
Out Of Sight is out now, order a vinyl copy from Black Acre.
A. Out of Sight
B. Traders II (Feat. Rennie Foster)