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Booka Shade at Forbidden Fruit Festival in 2015
|Genres||House, tech house, minimal|
|Labels||Get Physical Records (2002-present)|
Booka Shade is a German house duo. It is made up of Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier, described as veterans of the Frankfurt electronic music scene. They have released 7 studio albums including Memento (2004) Movements (2006), The Sun & The Neon Light (2008), More! (2010), Eve (2013), Galvany Street (2017), Cut The Strings (2018), various EPs and a mix album for DJ Kicks.
In the early 1990s, the duo made music under the name Planet Claire and released an album of the same name, produced by Peter Hayo. The duo have stated the name Planet Claire came from a B-52's song of the same name.
In the late 1990s, the duo collaborated with DJ T and together with friends Patrick Bodmer and Philipp Jung aka M.A.N.D.Y. established the record label Get Physical. The Get Physical label grew rapidly and quickly became a respected name in electronic music. In 2005, Mixmag voted Get Physical as 'label of the year' after it became the best selling label on Beatport across all genres. Artists that released on Get Physical include Trentemoller, Chelonis R.Jones, Damian Lazarus, Modeselektor and Junior Boys amongst many others Booka Shade themselves started to release records on Get Physical Music from 2004.
In 2004 Booka Shade released the album Memento on Get Physical.
Their collaboration with M.A.N.D.Y. then followed, with their single "Body Language" breaking through to a global audience. The track became a club hit, the "Ibiza Track of the Season". and led to Get Physical being awarded 'Label Of The Year" by DJ Magazine.Resident Advisor called the song Body Language "one of the biggest releases of the year.". Body Language has been used as a sample by will.i.am in the song Get Your Money from his album Songs About Girls. It also appears in the video game Forza Motorsport 2 for Xbox 360, as the M.A.N.D.Y. vs Booka Shade version. In 2016 Body Language got sampled again, this time in You Don't Know Me by Jax Jones featuring British singer Raye.
Their follow up single, Mandarine Girl, also gave them great success, to this date it is the best selling record at UK vinyl store Phonica. Their 2005 singles Mandarine Girl and Body Language (with M.A.N.D.Y.) were widely played in clubs. and licensed on many mix CDs.
At the same time, Booka Shade performed dance music live, with shows at Sonar Festival in Barcelona, with Mylo in London and a tour with Röyksopp. Booka Shade also were the opening act of a Depeche Mode concert in Berlin. This led to Resident Advisor awarding Booka Shade the honour of 'Best Live Act' in 2006, alongside 'Best Album' for their new Movements album.
The next album Movements was released in May 2006 and included the singles 'Night Falls", "In White Rooms" and "Darko". "In White Rooms" and "Night Falls" were the two best-selling EPs by the German distributor Intergrooves in 2006. The US music site Pitchfork placed "In White Rooms" in their Top 100 tracks of 2006, whilst in Germany the end of year poll by Groove magazine selected Booka Shade to be second best Producers of the year, and Movements as one of their best albums of the year. The song "In White Rooms" was featured on CSI: NY - Season 2 Episode 23.
In 2007, Booka Shade toured the world as part of their 'Movements' tour, playing 150 shows in almost 20 months. During this time, they released their singles "Tickle / Karma Car" and "Numbers", both of which found international acclaim. The latter was a single from DJ-Kicks compilation, also released in 2007 The album earned high praise, winning "Compilation of the Year" from DJ Mag, and coming second place in the same poll in Mixmag.
In February 2008, Booka Shade released the Movements Tour Edition, which featured the original album plus live versions of the original tracks. The live tracks were recorded at their show at Pukkelpop Festival, Belgium. The album also featured additional remixes by Hot Chip, Elektrochemie and more.
In May 2008, Booka Shade released their third studio album "The Sun & The Neon Light". The album featured 14 tracks, including new versions of 'Karma Car' and 'Planetary' which had previously been released on Get Physical. "Charlotte" was the lead single from the album, released worldwide on 14 May. Both the album and single were well received in media.
Two years later the duo released their next album 'More!' which received positive reviews in Resident Advisor,Pitchfork and Clash Magazine. In 2010 they also played at Red Rocks Amphitheater in the USA. The More! album was followed by a number of single releases. 'Home' was released with M.A.N.D.Y. on Get Physical. In 2012 Steve Aoki's Dim Mak Records released 'Honeyslave EP' which included the lead track Honeyslave plus 'Tomorrow Belongs To Us' and Booka's club interpretations of both tracks. These tracks also featured on Booka Shade's compilation with Pete Tong ' All Gone Ibiza'. The same year, Booka Shade played a sold-out show at London's Brixton Academy with Leftfield, Laurent Garnier and M.A.N.D.Y. as part of a show to support the charity War Child.
In late 2012, Booka Shade set up a new label imprint called 'Blaufield Music' . The track 'Haleshop' was given away for free via the band's website and limited edition white-label vinyl was made available to purchase, each of which were hand-stamped. As part of Record Store Day in 2013, they released a limited edition 12" vinyl which featured regular vocalist Chelonis R. Jones. Booka Shade made their Coachella Festival debut in 2013.
On November 1, 2013, the album Eve was released by Embassy Of Music in collaboration with the band's label 'Blaufield'. This included the singles 'Love Inc', 'Crossing Borders' featuring Fritz Kalkbrenner and 'Love Drug' featuring Fritz Helder of Azari & III. The artwork for the album and all singles was designed by La Boca. The band featured on BBC 6Music's '6 Mix' as part of their Christmas Special
In late 2014, Booka Shade released the EP Line of Fire. A new vocal version of the track following in early 2015 featuring the singer Karin Park. As part of the partnership with Karin, Booka Shade remixed her single 'Pandora Drive'. Following these singles, Booka Shade released an EP under the name Booka Shade Presents: Yaruba, which according to the band's Soundcloud "represents the dark and more clubby side of Booka Shade".
Booka Shade have released 7 albums of their own material, Memento, Movements,The Sun & the Neon Light, More!, EVE, Galvany Street and Cut The Strings. Arno has commented in several interviews that while Memento was seen as a more minimalist techno album, Movements pushed the boundaries of people's definition of genres, introducing certain vocal and synth sounds unheard of in Memento.