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MIKE SHANNON INTERVIEW

[Artists]

Any historian who takes it upon themselves to pen the tale of Canadian electronic in the years to come will most certainly find the name Mike Shannon figures early and often in its telling. From his humble beginnings in the sleepy suburban town of Kitchener Ontario, the last 15 years have seen him become an internationally lauded producer with albums on 3 of the industrys most respected labels (Plus 8, Force Inc, ~Scape), as well as a steady stream of consistently charted singles and remixes. Hennessy Artistry snatched some time with the artist before he headed out to Bangalore for his gig on Saturday at CounterCulture to chat about early gigs, dance moves, his love for vinyl and Berlin.

What was it like being at raves and clubs as a 15-year-old? Anything that particularly sticks in the memory?

At 15, I was a tiny little guy that hadn’t really hit puberty still, running around with a wu-shu kung fu hair cut that had the sides shaved and painted silver. But it was such an over the top freak show that somehow I really just seemed to blend in and no one really frowned on the fact that I was so young. The strongest memories I have of those years are all about the dance floor.  Me and my friends had a little dance crew that would meet up at parties and really just push our limits on the floor. Let’s just say there’s enough evidence out there to finish my career in politics.

[text_post]Can you look back and say at what point you feel in love with vinyl? What are the three records you might show off from your crate?

Well, I fell in love with vinyl way back growing up as a kid. My mother always had a really diverse taste in music and that’s probably where I got my first influences in electronic music. When I was 15 the three records I loved the most in my collection that I still play today would be DJ Pierre’s ‘Dream Girl’ on Trax, ‘Freaky Deaky’ by Lex Loofa and Thomas Dolby’s ‘She Blinded with Science’.

Is the Canadian government particularly concerned about the migration of its artists to Berlin? What about the city convinced you about moving there?

[text_post]The weather for one is amazing…fine cuisine like “curry wurst” was a major factor in what brought myself and most Canadians here. We just had it too good in Canada with everything except our nightlife. Those good party days have been over in Canada for years now. There are obviously a lot of advantages for us to be living here a little closer to the action in the European scene. The North American circuit is growing strong again but it still will never compare to the majority of the venues in Europe.

For someone who’s from Kitchener, Ontario, how much time did you actually spend in the kitchen? More seriously, did the equidistance from Toronto and Detroit contribute to your musical upbringing?

Seriously, we did a Sunday after hour party back in the day called the Kitchen in Kitchener I spend some good time in that damn Kitchen. It was damn hot so yeah. Detroit and Toronto played a huge part in my influences growing up with house and techno. Toronto had the more UK sound influence and Detroit brought the deep house and techno up from Chicago. Listen to what I do and you can hear both cities influence my production sound. Detroit as a city just taught me not to take things for granted and Toronto taught me to enjoy the good things in life while it’s there.

Its been 14 years since you set up Cynosure, would you recommend setting up a label to anyone?

Setting up a label is a great thing for getting your music out there and reaching new people with your music. It’s a difficult thing to do these days with physical sales almost not existing and getting discovered in the giant sea of digital music is growing harder and harder. With our first releases we sold thousands of records. And we were nobody. Everything we put out 12 years ago did almost 100 times better than the numbers we do right now. Of course, the network of digital sales is there but this takes years to establish. Starting something new these days and getting the same results would be a big challenge.

Anything in particular Hennessy Artistry fans should watch out for next week in Bangalore?

Some flash backs in time to the days I mentioned earlier! Minus the silver hair and the breakdancing

 

 

 



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