Profile - Booka Shade
Name Booka Shade
Also known as Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier.
Occupation Ever-increasingly fashionable Frankfurt electro-house duo, who wrap a measure of typically Teutonic electronic austerity in an often glossy disco-house sheen. They’ve got all their bases covered, in other words. Oh, and they also run the Get Physical label.
Where did they come from? From playing in a school band together, which eventually morphed into Planet Claire. Unfeasibly, this band – who had a little German success in the early 90s – were a synth-pop outfit whose influences included Erasure and Tears For Fears. The pair missed the first explosion of techno in ‘88, but towards the mid-90s had begun to go to raves and draw influence from the dance scene. Their earliest releases as Booka Shade were unreconstructed trance and progressive floorfillers, although they did appear on respected labels like R&S, Touch and Sven Vath’s Harthouse.
Where have they ended up? Despite grinding out a low-key career for the best part of a decade, it wasn’t until they decided to unite with MANDY (Patrick Bodmer and Philipp Jung) and DJ T (Thomas Koch) to create Get Physical in 2002 that Booka Shade came into their own. Over their three subsequent albums Memento, Movements and this month’s The Sun and the Neon Light – and particularly the single ‘Body Language’, with MANDY – they’ve perfected a glossy but finely-tuned set of minimal house which is revered by the Ibiza crowd. They’re also premier league remixers, having worked on tracks by Hot Chip, The Knife, Tiga and Tiefschwarz.
Any other business? Get Physical protégé Williams will be playing the official aftershow for the Shade’s Glasgow set, at the Sub Club’s Subculture on Saturday 24 May.
Booka Shade play Muzika and Stereotype’s Bank Holiday Special at the Liquid Room, Edinburgh, Sun 25 May. They also play an early evening set at the Arches, Glasgow, Sat 24 May.