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12. Who or what is Sharevari? << prev next >>

Also related to "What was the first Detroit techno record?" and one for the [313] spelling primer.

First thing's first.

a) is a French word meaning "hullabaloo" or "commotion,"
b) is a chain of clothing stores in New York City.
c) was a high-school based "party club" in Detroit in the early '80s.

a) is the name of a song.
b) is a tribute to the aforementioned club.
c) bears some resemblance to Kano's "Holly Dolly," especially when the chorus is played repeatedly, bouncing from one turntable to the next.

The group that recorded it was called "A Number Of Names," whose members were Paul Lesley, Sterling Jones and Roderick Simpson. Until recently, no photos of the band or interviews have ever been published. Paul Lesley has recently emerged and is working with Puzzlebox Records to release the single and a batch of remixes from techno and electro artists.

Some collectors and enthusiasts claim that 1981's "Sharevari" was the first Detroit techno song, while others contend that Cybotron's "Alleys Of Your Mind" came first in the same year. According to Lesley, "Sharevari" was probably recorded well before "Alleys," but the latter was released to the public first.

At the very least, it is an important step in the evolution of Detroit techno: an early externalization and reinterpretation by the city's African-American youth of electronic European sounds.
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