dancedancedance xx: Booka Shade


I was lucky enough to dance to a legend this past week.  Amidst the many electro acts at Coachella, there is always one every year that I deem the “secret, super-Euro set”, which brings a surprise sound that Coachella’s other electro acts lack, and, frankly, America in general.  It’s the hour of the weekend that I always wish I could relive.  Or eat like a Popsicle.

2013 belongs to Booka Shade, the ultra percussive, a little oddball, and sonically experimental duo hailing from Berlin – the electro-party capital of the world.


You like to party?

In 2002, five German DJs/clubbing aficionados began Get Physical Music, a record label aimed at bringing the explosive underground culture of Berlin’s party scene to the ears it deserved.  The scene radiated from the deep darkness of industrial spaces – parties began in abandoned warehouses left vacant after the fall of the Berlin wall – yet it also served as a statement of newly found political and social freedom, togetherness, and what dance music is really all about – love.

Booka Shade, comprised of Arno Kammermeier and Walter Merziger, the duo M.A.N.D.Y., and DJ T built Get Physical Music on the belief that “the groove is the most important element” – a god damn good mission statement for a house music label.

With eclectic elements upon a distinct Berlin sound, the intensely rhythmic nature of Booka Shade’s music, their rich use of acoustic instruments in combination with unconventional and textured synths, can be enthusiastically nodded to through headphones anytime, anywhere on their 2006 release, Movements.  Their live show, however, can really make you groove.  With Arno on the drums and Walter on the keyboard and synth, there is such a driving nature to the performance, an electric current caused by the clash of cymbals, carried over the crowd with a gravitating, dropped in loop.


So that was my Saturday night last week.  And – surprise – my past Friday in San Francisco.  Got to love friends and road trips. House music, too.

Berlin or bust,

PS – Also from Coachella, Berlin, and in my bank of best moments ever lived: Cassy. Deep.

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