Thursday, March 31, 2005

An '80s Obscurity - Shake Shake!

Shake Shake! were pretty much a one off. As far as I can tell they put out only one single, 1981's Shake Shake!, released on Tot Taylor's ultra hip early '80s indie label The Compact Organization - home to swanky looking and sounding popsters like Mari Wilson. Google has very little info to offer on them. A group of musicians and studio engineers who previously had worked on Swedish singer Virna Lindt's Attention Stockholm single, they included multi-instrumentalists Jo Dworniak and Duncan Bridgeman. There is a lot more info available on these two as they have continued to be involved in music over the years. Their next project was I-Level, a Britfunk trio (who will be the subject of tomorrow's Funky Friday post), and they also worked as session musicians - they appear on John Foxx's The Garden LP. Duncan continues to record, most recently under the name 1 Giant Leap, who in 2001 released an LP of world music mixed with electronica and lot's of high profile guest vocalists - folks like Michael Stipe, Babaa Maal, Asha Bhosle, Neneh Cherry and Michael Franti. But I digress - the two songs recorded as Shake Shake! are B-52's inspired, sorta funky new wave - the sleeve touts the music as "new songs for a new route" and also informs us that "Shake Shake! play funktional music for every function". Shake Shake! is gloriously herky-jerky in it's rhythms, and features fun female-male vocal interplay spouting lyrics about getting down to the beat. I love the sparseness - drums, bass, keys and the vocals all nicely balanced. Flip it over to the B-side and you get Yellow Ditty, a lurching post-punk dub thing. This track actually kind of reminds me of the music of M (Pop Muzik) - slightly wacky, definitely danceable oddball new wave.


bumblepuppy said...

It's like the post-punk hokey-pokey!

Miami said...

was the track "shake shake" only issued on 7" ???? would love to find an original 12"..

Michael said...

Hey Miami - as far as I know this was only available as a 7".