Booka Shade Interview


19 Monday 19th April 2010

You probably know the club smash Body Language but you may not know that Booka Shade have released three albums of melodic electronic grooves and have been packing out clubs, festivals and concert halls all over the world for the last five years. To celebrate the release of their fourth album More! they have embarked on a major world tour stopping in at London's KOKO on May 13. I spoke to Arno Kammermeier, one half of the production duo, in his Berlin studio last week to talk new music and the upcoming KOKO gig.

So, Arno youve come a long way since your Saturday night Fabric gig in 2006?

Yes, especially with this album, I think we've achieved a strong home listening appeal while still retaining what people recognise as the Booka Shade melodic club sound.

What roles do each of you have in the studio?

Well I am more the DJ and Walter [Merziger, bandmate] the songwriter. I keep my ear tuned into the groove and percussion, especially playing the drums on stage, where Walter is on the keys. It is very helpful as a DJ to bring the underground groove to a record and perceive arrangement from what works in the clubs.

How long have you been working on this album?

Sixteen months. We were touring non stop after the last album which has been amazing but it's now great to have new material and a break from the gigs to recharge our batteries and meet the crowds with fresh energy, especially at such a great venue as KOKO!

You seem to be working more with vocals now. Is this the direction you want to take with your live act?

Well, if a vocal works with the beats and melody then fine. We are an underground electonic music act so having singers on stage with us as the focal point is not what we want. We remix a lot of major singers but that is as far as our involvement goes.

How's it going in Berlin? Do you get to collaborate with any of the other hoardes of producers located there now?

We exist more or less in a bubble when we are there. In fact we are touring so much or in the studio that we hardly see the city. We spend time with the MANDY and the Get Physical team who are a great inspiration and support, but the rest is about the music.

What are your favourite places to perform?

We have started the tour in Australia which is always great for the fans and the weather! We are very privileged to be a German outfit so embraced around the world especially in the US and UK I remember the Fabric concert you mention that really did so much for our career outside Germany! We are looking forward to going back to Lovebox, Sonar and the Detroit Movement Festival this year.

Any new artists coming out you have been impressed with?

Tim Green from UK, Noze on Get Physical, Boy8Bit and actually Delphic from the UK also have updated the rave sound well I think.

And finally, do you have any advice for aspiring producers?

Work very hard as much as possible developing your own personality into the music and try to keep away from the formula. Also don't disregard an original idea too quickly. You may come back to something later and realise it is worth keeping.

Catch Booka Shade at Koko on May 13. Buy tickets here.

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