Even by Booka Shade’s unusually frenetic standards, the past two years have been intense. Since the release of their fourth album, ‘More!’, the Berlin-based duo, Arno Kammermeier and Walter Mer- ziger, have been touring almost non-stop. And loving every minute of it.
One of those rare electronic music acts who channel the spirit and sounds of underground techno, but who can rock any festival crowd, Booka Shade, increasingly find themselves winning over new fans across the rock and dance music tribes. In late 2010, for instance, as they prepared for a winter tour of Australia – with the mixed rock ‘n’ dance festival, Big Day Out – Booka Shade were voted one of the world’s Top 5 live acts by the cutting-edge electronic music hub, Resident Advisor. That perfectly illustrates how, in 2012, they tran- scend borders and genres.
In a way, that broad appeal is no surprise. Yes, Booka Shade make dance music, but it is dance music which audibly absorbs influences from everywhere: classical, rock, jazz, dubstep. Throughout their 25 years making music together, Arno and Walter have found it impos- sible to restrict themselves to one set sound or scene.
It wasn’t until 2002, when Booka Shade moved to Berlin and formed the label/ production house, Get Physical Music – with M.A.N.D.Y and the then Groove Magazine editor, Thomas ‘DJ T’ Koch – that Arno and Walter finally felt that they had total musical freedom. It was a creative rebirth. “Before,” says Arno, of their time as pop producers, “we didn’t give a shit. Now, every note counts.”
The story since then is one that many of you will know. Under Booka Shade ́s production aegis, Get Physical became one of modern Berlin’s key dance music labels, while, on their own artist albums, ‘Memento‘, ‘Move- ments’, ‘The Sun & The Neon Light‘ and most recently ‘More!’. They also became highly sought after remixers, lending their production magic to respected artists such as: Depeche Mode, Moby, Yello, Hot Chip, Roxy Music, Kings Of Leon, Tiga, Dave Gahan and The Knife. Booka Shade had developed a uniquely melodic and emotion- ally rich brand of contemporary techno. This was club music, but club music built to last.
After almost 10 years, Arno, Walter and DJ T recently handed over control of Get Physical to their co-founders Philipp Jung and Patrick Bodmer (aka M.A.N.D.Y) and Peter Hayo. Rest assured: there was no drama. No falling out. And Arno and Walter are still making music with M.A.N.D.Y (check the DJ-mix ‘Body Language Vol.10′ for a preview of their latest collaboration, ‘Home’).
Elsewhere, look out for fresh dates in Asia, Europe and the US, and, of course, a host of Booka Shade festival appearances through Summer 2012.