It’s been 10 years since John Shananigan aka Mike Shannon started making a name for himself on the international techno scene as a DJ, producer and label owner. Now, having relocated to Berlin from Valencia via Montreal in 2007 he’s about to crown his first decade of active service with Memory Tree, his third full length to date, and his debut for another notable Canadian export – Richie Hawtin’s Plus 8 Records. Over the years, Mike has well proven that it’s not just his music that makes him such a valuable asset to the techno community, it’s his total dedication to the cause. Whether finding him standing behind a record shop counter or searching out new talent for his labels, it’s always been about bringing people together and investing in the future of the scene.
Mike first got the vinyl bug at the tender age of 12, buying house and techno tunes at Play de Record in Toronto and by 15 his turntable skills were already landing him gigs at local underground parties and clubs. From then on, Mike’s musical world expanded rapidly thanks in no small part to Detroit’s influential WJLB radio station which turned him on to U.R., Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson – influences that still play a big role in his approach to music today. To satisfy his appetite for all things Techno, he was soon managing the orders at Speed Records in his hometown of Kitchener, Ontario where he continued his education; importing cutting edge sounds from across Europe.
Throughout that time, Mike was out DJing and clubbing from Detroit to Toronto, making connections and building up a solid network of producers and artists, which led to the inevitable formation of his own label Cynosure in 1999. A couple of years later, he teamed up with Jeff Milligan on the more experimental Revolver Canada imprint. Both labels have since developed into highly respected and trusted sources, subsequently raising the profile of Canada’s electronic music scene by providing then unknown producers such as Akufen and Deadbeat an international platform to spread their distinctive sound throughout the world. Beyond developing homegrown talent, both imprints continue to invite an inspired selection of international artists including Pier Bucci, Monolake and Brett Johnson to name a few.
For Mike it’s always been a question of choosing uncompromising artists who possess a unique and original voice – an attitude that also defines his own work whether recording as John Shananigans, The Sunaj Assassins or under his own name. There’s a distinctive feel to his music that’s both dark and soulful, that stays true to his roots while embracing the future and never fails to deliver a flurry of kick-ass, funk infected beats easily proven by a volley of timeless singles over the years and his two previous full lengths. Take 2001’s Slight of Hand on Force Inc – an album that cemented his reputation as an up-and-coming Minimal Techno producer and 2005’s Possible Conclusions to Stories That Never End – a collection of chilled-out Electronica inspired by his musical odyssey through out Chile in 2003.
Mike’s recent move to Berlin represents the fulfillment of another chapter in his musical career and with so many influential Canadian producers having taken up residence in the German capital over the last few years, it’s a chance to hook up with old friends again and start collaborating on new plans and ideas, just like the old days. Then of course there’s the new album, the accompanying remix projects and the immediate matter of fatherhood to make 2008 something of a milestone both professionally and personally.