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DJB Podcast - Mike Shannon

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DJB Podcast
Mike Shannon

Mike Shannon’s Cynosure imprint has been one of the leading international leaders in tech house, techno and just all-round, great club music. Originally set up in Toronto, the label helped spark the careers of fellow Canadians Adam Marshall and Deadbeat, as well as other international artists including Ernesto Fereyra, Andrea Fiorito and others.

Shannon’s experience in DJing is second to none. His finely tuned ears have evolved into expert receptors that can spot hit records and exciting talent with the greatest of ease. His aptness in crafting crushing records and dynamic DJ mixes has become Shannon’s trade mark. With the release of his new 12”, Reset, Bleep, on the rejuvenated Cynosure imprint; the label’s first release in over two years, we thought it about time to get the Canadian superstar to contribute to DJB’s podcast series. Whatever you do though, don’t accuse him of making a ‘throw-back’ record!

Is this the rebirth of Cynosure?
More like the re-activation of Cynosure. I just read this pathetic review the other day of the record, you know the kind where the journalist basically copies the info text saying that the sound was a throwback to what we were doing earlier and that the last thing that we need is another throw back to the '90s - really? Just cause it's called Reset, Bleep doesn't mean it's a throw back!

This is absolutely incorrect; the sound of Reset, Bleep is far from a throw back and in-fact a record full of forward sounds in my opinion. Of course we've got our formulas and patterns but I'd like to think that the label can continue on making the type of techno and house that I play in my sets and like to hear in others. I'm really excited to have it back and running again.  

Can we expect more from the label, who else will release through the label, will you be reviving any of the old Cynosure crew?
The label will continue on but mainly as a vehicle for my own productions and collaborations. You can expect some some releases of studio projects with myself and Dewalta, Guille Miranda (Monoblock) and Andrea Fiorito. Of course there are other things in the works for next year too but things still have to take some shape before we can start announcements.

What's going to happen to Haunt?
Haunt will continue its work from the shadows as usual.  We've just released an EP from Dewalta and Myself called the All inclusive EP that is a bit of a 'throw back' to the jazz-house sound that you might have heard on Nervous Records back in the day but with more of a techno edge. The tracks were both great jams for the summer time and can be quite explosive if your play them at the right time and place. The recording is basically a one take jam between Dewalta and Danual Tate. I had this chunky groove and a few mods bubbling away and the guys basically just battled each other; Dewalta on the sax and Danuel playing the keys. It's pure magic watching these two play off each other.

And this November we have the Royal Dust remixes coming out with remix work from Ricardo Villalobos and the Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble. Super exciting stuff, maybe the most special sound that the label has ever released.  

How is your approach changing to production, did you get some new studio toys, a new space, new minds to collaborate with?
My approach to working in the studio has grown to be more collaborative since moving into a studio space with Lee Jones and Walker Bernard. It's really an amazing sounding room, maybe the nicest sounding studio acoustically that I've ever had; with a ton of nice toys to play with. We've got a great combination of gear and a very relaxed space to record in, there's not much more you can ask for really. I've really been enjoying the studio jam sessions that have been going down lately, some great recordings have come out of the studio space already, one of them being the last Haunt011 release with Danuel Tate and DeWalta

With the emphasis on analogue on the new record, do you have any intentions to do any live performances?
Yes, Dewalta and I are going to start working on a new live show together over the fall, with plans to start performing it everywhere for 2014.  

Who's on the mix and why?
I choose to do a raw techno and house mix for you guys that I mixed with two turntables and a CD player, recorded at the Watergate club in Berlin. I like to studio mixes sometimes but at my place at the moment it's just not enough bass to really get into playing harder tracks. So the guys said, 'yeah come down and mix it here and be as loud as you want.'  So I included some of my all time favourite tracks with some new things that I'm really digging at the moment.  You'll hear the mix start off with one my favourite tracks of all time from 3MB (Mauritz Von Oswald, Thomas Feldmann and Juan Atkins) called Jazz is the Teacher, the rest of the mix features new tracks from Marcel Dettmann, Robert Hood, Guilaume Coutu Dumonts and Dewalta to name a few.

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