Iconic German duo Booka Shade, aka Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier, have carved out a reputation as one of the most celebrated electronic acts to come out of Europe over the past two decades. From their seminal underground releases in the ’90s through to their recent GRAMMY nomination, the duo continue to prove exactly why they remain at the heart of electronic music.
With their beginnings in Frankfurt and their sights originally on synth-pop, Booka Shade quickly gained a strong following within electronic music,founding the now legendary dance label Get Physical Music (with M.A.N.D.Y.,Thomas’ DJ T.’ Koch and Peter Hayo) in 2002. Three years later, their EP’s ‘Mandarine EP’ and ‘Body Language’ – the latter co-produced with M.A.N.D.Y. -launched Booka Shade into the stratosphere, while the following years welcomed an extensive body of stand out albums and singles that quickly achieved further global success.
Since their break-through performance at Sónar in 2005, Booka Shade have earned huge recognition with their innovative live shows, being named one of Resident Advisor’s Top 5 live acts in the world in 2010. They have opened for legendary acts such as Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk, whilst headlining stages at Coachella, Glastonbury, Rock Werchter, and Red Rocks, to name a few. In recent years, the band has appeared amongst the likes of DJ Mag’s ‘Alternative Top 100 DJ List’ (2018), while unique live sets have led to inclusions amongst ahost of distinguished festival reviews and round-ups, including DJ Mag’s ‘10Unforgettable Sets From The History Of Exit Festival’.
The duo’s fan base isn’t just electronic music enthusiasts, with slots at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Lollapalooza, and more showcasing their undeniable crossover potential. This is also evident within their remix credits, including Depeche Mode, Moby, Hot Chip, Kings of Leon, Woodkid, The Knife and many more.
The duo were also inducted into Pete Tong’s BBC Radio 1 Hall of Fame, having received strong support from the station across their career. In addition, they also played at the ’40 Years of Radio 1’ celebration with Annie Nightingale and the ‘20 Years of Essential Mix’ party, alongside mixing Pete Tong’s ‘All Gone Ibiza’ compilation album.
Add to the mix their Blaufield Music imprint, founded in 2013, and it’s clear to see the pairing’s musical knowledge not only as producers but as adept A&R’s.Releasing material from emerging and established talent alongside their own productions, the label can be regularly found amongst the upper end of Beatport’s Top 100 charts and is championed by many of the industry’s biggest names.
Alongside being leaders within their musical realm, the duo have also continued to push and utilize technological developments. A perfect example is their ongoing relationship with Dolby and Dolby Atmos, a collaboration thatbegan in 2017 as the pairing reproduced ‘Galvany Street’ for a special Dolby Atmos 3D Audio Bluray edition. Mixed by Fritz Hilpert, whose projects also include Kraftwerk’s own concept ‘3D – Der Katalog’, this fruitful partnership continued with a new version of their ‘Dear Future Self’ LP – nominated as Best Immersive Audio Album at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards.
Twenty years, dozens of EP’s and nine albums later, Booka Shade have become more than a household name. They have become synonymous with the spirit which drives electronic music and have set a precedent to which electronic music is still held today.