Shawecape aritcle written by Gregory Merritt aka DJ Disc
Jeremiah Shaw is a man of many names including Shawscape Renegade, J Shaw Electro or SpaceDrifter3000. His style of choice is electro, with early influences like Dopplereffekt, Drexciya, Aux 88 and more. His 2018 classic release Destination Space received international acclaim and more are coming in the very near future.
Dj Disc Detroit: Happy to have you on board for the interview. I’ve always wanted to ask you a few interesting questions and get to know more about the mysterious Shawescape.
Shawescape:Happy to be here and happy that DEQ has me on board. Fire away.
Dj Disc Detroit: Of course, and you have a track coming out on the DEQ compilation, right?
Shawescape:Yes, the track is called “Other Worlds.” I chose this track for DEQ as it was one of my less aggressive tracks while I have been in such a aggressive mood lately [laughs.] The track is about finding other worlds to peacefully journey to and live on and expand our knowledge of the universe. It’s a world away from this one to do better by.
Dj Disc Detroit: How did it all start for you?
Shawescape:I was a kid sneaking in the basement to listen to the radio when I should have been getting ready for school. Had no idea I was listening to Electrifying Mojo at the time. I want to say it was 96.3FM, I think? And there was another station 88 point or 89 point something FM? For me it was late ‘80s mid ‘90s or so. I can’t recall, but I know it was two stations I would switch between. During that time I was hearing him and other DJs on the radio play stuff from Aux88, Alien FM, Juan Atkins, Kraftwerk and others. Of course some house and some techno, but my ear was more stimulated from the electro. I always listened to it throughout elementary, middle and high school. When I got a bit older I decided to dig into it. Fast forward, once I got a little serious about learning more, I ended up at Submerge for 4 years in what was called like a UR BootCamp. It was a beautiful experience with great people. It was where I learned a lot of what I didn’t know in regards to production and production of vinyl.
Dj Disc Detroit: There is a saying, “what came first the chicken or the egg?” My question for you Shawescape is, what came first for you digital or analog?
Shawescape:My eyes were first on analog as a child because my father was a vinyl guy. However, my first USE of any of it was digital. I started out using a program called Virtual DJ via laptop where I kinda got the concept of Djing. From there I used a controller, then from controller to CDJs and from CDJs to vinyl. I’ve been on vinyl ever since. I love the thrill of it and what comes out of the mixes while using vinyl. Even in production, I started out digital first before getting my synthesizers.
Dj Disc Detroit: Your journey started as a DJ or producer?
Shawescape:Producer. I slowly started learning around high school, but with so many distractions, I didn’t get heavy into it until about 2008. I had other priorities back then and it wasn’t until recently that I refocused.
Dj Disc Detroit: What is your motivation?
Shawescape:My son, Jaiden, firstly. My father, Byron, also was a motivation as he was a music head in his day. For myself (and others) it is an escape for the reality we live in and being able to move others who are in a different part of the world. This world is beautiful and brutal. We all can use an escape that’s soothing, healing or stimulating.
Dj Disc Detroit: Mr. Shawescape who are your people?
Shawescape: I would say my people are those who love my sound as much as I do. Electro is something brilliant. The way we manifest and compile our sounds together in ways that will alwaysbe futuristic.
Dj Disc Detroit: When it comes to your music motivation who do you gravitate towards the most?
Shawescape: I would say many people. Sometimes it’s those I look up to that I also call friends and I don’t want to name drop [laughs.] Other times it’s my imagination or where my mind goes either in sound or often times when I am gaming, ‘cause I do get into video games. It’s something about the night for me. That’s my most creative time. But if you’re speaking literally of ear dynamic, I would say those with imagination, mostly.
Dj Disc Detroit: Your Discogs catalog is growing. Will there be a full album coming?
Shawescape:Yes, soon, actually. I’ve recently been asked to do an LP so I’m working on that now. Currently I’m finishing up a personal EP of mine as well as an EP with Dirt Tech Reck and Electro Records.
Dj Disc Detroit: Do you have a set routine that vibe you or do you just go with the flow?
Shawescape:It depends on my mood. Routine helps me get it done, but sometimes you have to wing it.
Dj Disc Detroit: Do you remember your first gig?
Shawescape:My first actual gig was with E. Spleece at TV Bar Detroit before it was remodeled. I hope I’m not wrong, but it was a memorable night because Detroit In Effect came out to see me as well. Good people.
Dj Disc Detroit: Your view on the underground scene?
Shawescape:The underground scene, in my view, could use a lot more electro. It’s mainly techno and house, which is great and there’s an abundance of it. I will say that when it bangs it bangs, you know? The artists really bring it. Everyone strives to keep the bar high, which I like. There are a lot of beautiful people in the underground scene and beautiful happenings.
Dj Disc Detroit: Your view on the politics of normalcy in Detroit Music
Shawescape:I don’t really get into music politics anymore. My head isn’t in the sand but I don’t really focus on it. My job is the sound. It’s the pound and woofing of those woofers while at the same time not losing any dignity or self-respect and upholding the respect of others. I keep things about the music now.
Dj Disc Detroit: A little bird chirped that Shawescape once danced for the ladies? Where? Why? Do you still?
Shawescape:Ah, [laughs] not so much “for the ladies” but more so for myself. I didn’t care who was watching but, yeah, as a kid, dancing was always my thing. It was a hobby that later became a serious part of my life and it was something I was good at. The name of the dance is Detroit Jit and there’s an entire dance community. You know how there would be break dance groups, B-boys and pop locker cliques? Well there are groups of Detroit Jitters or Jit groups. Maybe about 10 or 20 groups throughout the time or history of Jit, such as the Dream Team, Mad Dancers, X-Menn, A-Team Apes, Def Squad, Polo Boys, House Of JiT, JitMasters and JitHappens to name a few. There are jitters from the East Side and West Side of Detroit, in between and outskirts in neighboring cities. All with different styles and techniques. It’s really a good show and it’s currently being recognized a lot more now.
Dj Disc Detroit: I understand your footwork is nice as an Detroit Jitter.
Shawescape:I don’t really like to brag, musically or dance wise [laughs.] I was introduced to it in the 90s. Ironically the dance was literally to techno music. It was dubbed Detroit Techno’s dance once upon a time. It was to tracks from artist like Juan Atkins, Aux88, Alien FM, Underground Resistance, Kraftwerk, Ectomorph or records from Databass, Twilight76, tracks from Reckless Ron and many others that could be named. Detroit Techno or more so, Detroit Electro, techno bass and ghettotech literally had their own style of dance and I don’t even think the artists knew. I think when I was in the sixth grade, my friend Keith High introduced it to me and it was a dance kids and adults would do. But as you got older, of course, the dance would get more advanced, competitive and technical. It’s amazing to see today in rare form. The first group I was in was a group named Sweet Tech in the 9th grade and after that a group named Triple Threat. The dance kept a lot of people out of trouble because, in Detroit, there was so much trouble you could get into. Instead of getting into some of those possible troubles, we were dance battling or practicing, staying out of the way of the dangers that would linger.
Dj Disc Detroit: What messages do your tracks send? Or is there some contradicting drawing in those ears to search for the deep meaning in your tracks (subliminal messages?)
Shawescape:A bit of both. There’s a light and dark side of me. It depends on my mood. The Reconstruct EP(coming this year) is about reconstructing your mind, separating from toxic things that we learned. It’s unlearning and relearning. It’s deciphering things that never get questioned.
At the start of 2019, I began to question a lot of things. I had a wake up call that, even now, I am still waking up from. I literally had my eyelids peeled open to certain realities [laughs.] In 2020 I really started to study a lot of things, like where we go wrong as humans. This is my mind state right now. I’m hungry for more understanding. There’s so much we ignore that we shouldn’t. You reach a point in life where you begin to question the reality of where you came from and where you’re headed. Every release going forward will have encrypted messages.
Dj Disc Detroit: What is the favorite track that you produced and why?
Shawescape:There are two of them: “Alienetic” and “Beautiful Darkness.” I love Alienetic because I was entering a different field of sound that I am now journeying more into. It was like I was literally writing what was in my head. Beautiful Darkness because of the personal connection I have with it. I won’t go into it because again, it’s personal. Let’s just say seeing the beauty through the dark stages of life. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and what doesn’t break you makes you wiser. If things you try don’t work, it doesn’t mean you failed. It’s just simply that you have to try a different way and continue to have patience.
Dj Disc Detroit: Your tracks are very deep. They could bring out the aliens of the Silent Sea. Do you believe in aliens?
Shawescape:Absolutely. I believe there are aliens at sea, land, and in the air. Even above our atmosphere and other worlds and galactic spaces. When we think species that have been documented so far, from insects, to mammals, to sea creatures to the different kinds of reptiles or birds. With all of the different formalities and constructs of beings, you don’t think that maybe there are species we haven’t been introduced to yet? Or maybe some humans came in contact with but of course many selfish human beings are keeping secret that they exist? Or what about the aliens that spoke with The Exaltics & Paris The Black Fu project?
Dj Disc Detroit: What five (5) tracks would you send to outer space to communicate with aliens?
Shawescape:They haven’t been released as of yet…tracks that really rattle some cages yet are truth.
Dj Disc Detroit: Are you an day or night producer?
Shawescape:Goodness, night! I have tried in the day, but it just doesn’t work. I can master and EQ in the day, but the initial writing has to be after the sun goes down.
Dj Disc Detroit: Imagine it is the year 2028 where are you and your music?
Shawescape:Hopefully in another dimension.
Dj Disc Detroit: Off your head sir no thinking….GO! Controller or vinyl?
Shawescape:Vinyl, however, I’m versed in most formats.
Dj Disc Detroit: Coffee House Speaker Box or Starbucks?
Dj Disc Detroit: Best place to play Tangent Gallery or The Works?
Shawescape:[laughs] Both bring good vibes of the underground.
Dj Disc Detroit: Best music festivals?
Shawescape:DEMF, Tec-Troit and Movement.
Dj Disc Detroit: Best house DJs?
Shawescape:Well, Nas said it best, “Who’s the best Pac, Nas or Big, ain’t no best,” but my heart would love to pay my respects to Mike Huckaby and Aaron Carl because when house music is mentioned I think of them. Aaron Carl was the one that actually encouraged me to just be who I am, myself, no gimmicks. Just me. And Huckaby was one of the few who would encourage me not to hold back. He was the first to distribute my first EP to Europe and also helped with getting it placed in record stores in Japan. There are many greats in the house world that I like. From K. Hand, to Rick Wilhite, to Norm Talley, all of them have been putting out some blazing EP’s the past year or so. Sean Tate as well and he is versed between house and techno…Los Hermanos, Waajeed, Kyle Hall and many more. Charnell Williams is new and she’s really good with a nice flow on her productions.
Dj Disc Detroit: Best techno DJs?
Shawescape:The person who actually gotten me into techno, or 4/4 as some like to call it, is DJ Roach of Nuestro Futuro Recrods. He showed me a different side of techno, like Rob Hood, Mark Flash, and others. I once went to a DJ Bone set and it was absolutely amazing… I remember his set like it was last week and he’s a great guy. There’s Derrick Thompson of Soiree (Records) as well. Moses Malone has a unique style and he is also versed in multiple genres. Again, there are many I could name. I even feel like I’m probably forgetting someone.
Dj Disc Detroit: Best electro DJs?
Shawescape:Off he top, DJ Stingray and he stands alone, to me, in his own lane. He’s vicious and holds no prisoners. Julian Shamou (as I’ve recently came across an EPM mix of his), DJ Di’jital, DJ Maaco, Lloyd Stellar, Jan D, AlienSexToy, DJ Psycho, DJ Seoul and T. Linder of Detroit Techno Militia (as I have always enjoyed when they hit down on the Electro),Will Web… like I wouldn’t be able to name just one and I could take up the entire interview naming even more [laughs.]
Dj Disc Detroit: Best Liquid DnB DJs?
Shawescape:Well, the main one that I know is you, DJ Disc and would also say Mike Parallax and Kiel Fauxton. I don’t know of many but I’ve been to their sets and have enjoyed them. But I would say, I have heard sets from you, DJ Disc, that opened my likings to some styles of it. You reminded me of some songs I would come across as a kid, when I would hear DNB here and there.
Dj Disc Detroit:Best electro artists?
Shawescape:K1, Alien FM, DJ Stingray, Anthony Rother, Steve Allman, Gosub, The Exaltics, DJ Maaco, Aux88, Headnoaks, N-Ter or Bojan Jascur, Nullptr, Fastgraph, Los Hermanos, Dopplereffekt, Drexciya, B. Calloway, X-Beat, =UHU= or Gatis Pastars, James Pennington and many more that I can name. My crates have many more. I have a lot of different electro artists in my record crates [laughs.]
Dj Disc Detroit:Best unknown DJs?
Shawescape:I would say Rashaan Ace Jackson, DJtwosheezy, Kevin Unger, Jeremy JT Ternovanto name a few.
Dj Disc Detroit: Best Record Shops?
Shawescape:Detroit Threads, Peoples Records, Rick Wilhite’s VIBES, Submerge, Waajeed has a record store (Dirt Tech Reck), Gramaphone Records (Chicago), Electro Records (Spain) and Clone.
Follow Shawesacape : www.facebook.com/shawescape313808909 : twitter: ShawscapeR : Tik Tok @shawescape, soundcloud : Shawscape Renegade