Chicago based dance music artists Andy Holbrook and Martin Detrois form Le Shake, an 80’s inspired dance music group who recently released their single “By The Way” featuring Chuck New on vocals. The collective offer us a 5-minute snapshot of their musical world on this track – the neon, glittery, night-time-is-the-right-time world where disco never stops having an immediate impact on the hits of today. The throwback 80s sound is extremely popular right now, and few bands are doing it better than these guys. The funky strummed guitar on “By The Way” evokes such a feeling of nostalgia that only groups like Daft Punk and Chromeo have really bothered to replicate with any authenticity today.
“By The Way” isn’t meant to be as pure a visitation of ‘70s and ‘80s funk/disco flash points as Random Access Memories, because it also infuses Italo Disco and French House, but it comes close to that album’s ambition—this is a fully-realized attempt to exist in the collective imagination next to their forebears, not a tepid, ironic distillation of the past, a mode that’s been way too potent among indie circles for the last several years.
Pretty advanced musicality and solid compositional chops, allow Le Shake to exist on a higher plane than most of the duo’s similarly Hype-indebted peers. The archives of many music blogs are littered with acts whose lack of nuance or understanding of what’s what in 80’s inspired dance music composition explain why they never achieve more than being the heroes of their local nightclub circuits.
Le Shake are trying to preserve their authenticity without coming off like clones. And on “By The Way” they seem to have got off to a flying start.
Technically, “By The Way” is a living, breathing testament to the duo’s resourcefulness. Though only on their debut release, Le Shake already seem quite aware of the things they do really well. The most critical point is the songwriting and the widespread depth therein.
Pulling from a variety of influences could easily have resulted in a confusing crossover mess. Instead Le Shake firmly build the core of the track on nu-disco funkiness and lightly flavor it with their other influences, hence maintaining a cohesive recording that doesn’t pull in too many directions.
Le Shake music is meant to be listened to in high fidelity, through real speakers so you can capture its existential purpose. “By The Way” is impeccably fun, lush, and catchy with sparkling composition, a heart-thumping beat and a deliciously funky rhythm. Le Shake’s production is subtly intelligent, consistently artful, and wildly infectious.