Booka Shade Track By Track

Arno Kammermeier talks 'More!'
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The album title came about when we sat in the studio and discussed what we wanted to do with the album, and what we wanted to achieve and where we wanted to go.

We always went like “we need more club beats, and we need more emotion, and we need more melodies and more strength” – the word more came up again and again so we thought we might just as well call the album that. When you listen to the album I feel it’s a lot like the refinement or the definition of the Booka Shade sound. It’s our fourth album so we tried out a couple of angles for the Booka Shade sound, but on this album we are a lot more sure about where we want to go and what we want to do.

This is why the work on this album was a lot more enjoyable than the work on the last album, where there was a lot of bad energy because we had shows booked already, a tour booked already and we didn’t have time to finish the album properly. This time around we took all the time we needed, and we worked two months alone on the tracklisting. We used all the time we needed and that’s why this album is a lot more enjoyable and up. I think you can hear on the album that there is a really good positive energy about it.

‘Havana Sex Dwarf’
It’s a radical change to what we did before, especially for album openers. If you take the first three albums you have moody, epic tracks which brought you into the album. There was a similar way of approaching the album, so this time round we thought that we definitely needed a change. We wanted an energetic album so we thought it would be good to immediately smash people’s heads – to say “woah here is something different here comes the energy”. It’s a wild track, it’s a fun track. Why it’s called ‘Havana Sex Dwarf’ is because of the melody – it reminded us of dwarves walking through the woods, like in ‘Cinderella’. So the working title was always ‘Dwarf’ and then we added something more around it with ‘Havana Sex Dwarf’.

‘Donut Interpretation’
Of course this first came out on a compilation a year and a half ago and it never came out as a single. We got a very good response on the original version of ‘Donut’ and then a guy came along, a long time companion, and he thought it didn’t match it’s potential as a track on a compilation. He wanted to bring it out as a single with remixes so that’s what did. We got Radio 1 airplay, it was played a lot in Australia, for example. It was a real relief. We have our own Booka Shade interpretation on the album.

M.A.N.D.Y. vs Booka Shade - Donut (Original Version)



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‘Regenerate’
‘Regenerate’ is one of our favourites on the album. It’s a very strong track. When we discussed giving away one track for free, we thought we should show people the potential of the album. This is a song you can listen to at home, but it’s also a very nice, atmospheric club track. The way it works is very nice because it stays in this moody atmosphere for a long part of the song, very dubby with these ragga, dubstep elements and then there’s this huge breakdown before it explodes at the end of the song. We like it a lot, we got really good feedback on the website. We’re going to include it on the live show for the tour in Spring.

‘The Door’
To me this is another real fun song. It brings in another angle to the beats as it has a broken beat, a real hip hop feel. Very old school. It then has a breakdown with a Kraftwerk influenced melody, to have a little reminder of Kraftwerk and how a lot of electronic music came about. We lower out hats, we say hello to Kraftwerk and what they have done.

‘Teenage Spaceman’
We get a really, really good response at the live shows for this track. When we play the tracks it’s important to get a response from the crowd, and ‘Teenage Spaceman’ is one of those songs where people react really positively. It’s a typical Booka Shade track, for me, it’s a very emotional, touching atmosphere in this song. The working title was always ‘Spaceman’ but then we came up with this idea. A friend of ours, she looks after our website, and she has a son who likes our music a lot. His voice is the one at the start of the song, so we just told him “come up with something else, call it something”. So he went to his room and recorded an hour and a half of just him talking, reflecting and imaging how it would be to be a spaceman. We could only use a couple of seconds at the beginning, but he was very inspired by this idea, what it would be like to be a spaceman.

‘Divine’
This is one of the tracks where we collaborate with vocalists. It was really a bit of a departure for us to do so, as up until now it was always instrumental music or us providing the vocals. We felt thought we should introduce some people, because we want the audience to know that it’s not only us. When we invite people we want it to be natural.

‘Scaramanga’
Last year we were on tour in Brazil, and we had a couple of days of. Walter felt quite sick at the time so he had to stay at the hotel while I did a tour through a gold mine, I remember. When I returned he played me this song, and it’s got this great old school trance chords in there. We have to make sure it is out for DJs before the summer as I think it’s got a chance of being played on the terraces – I think it’s going to work brilliantly there.

‘Lately’
Much like ‘Scaramanga’ this is one of the more club orientated tracks, I think ‘Lately’ is a pure club track. I really like the shuffle feel, it’s got a great atmosphere. It doesn’t have a huge breakdown and it’s not really emotional but it’s got this atmosphere and that’s what I like about this song.

‘Bad Love’
‘Bad Love’ is the other collaboration with the singer Chelonis. He was one of the first people to join Get Physical and he was one of the first artists we released. We produced his first album and songs like ‘I Don’t Know’which did very well in the clubs. When we thought about vocalists we said “yeah Chelonis is definitely one of those people we should work with”. We know each other very well, he knows what Get Physicial and Booka Shade are about. On the ‘Momentum’ album there was a few snippets of him, so we thought it would be a good idea to bring him in.

‘No Difference’
In this version the track is the only song without beats, without drums which was always important to us, to have one song without any rhythm. When we first recorded it was a real club track, so when we potentially do other versions of this song we’ll make a club version. But the track you hear on the album is like a movie soundtrack, it reminds us of an earlier time when we would watch DVDs and make music. There is some John Carpenter, for example, in this song.

‘This Is Not Time’
Again like the way we started the album, we have a certain way we would end a record. We would have slow, epic songs which would sum up the album in a certain way. This time we wanted to end the album with rhythm. If you take the album as a while night, with music which you would listen to at certain points in the night – there are songs you listen to when you’re getting ready and the energy level is high. Then there are songs which you listen to when you’re out. This song is when the sun comes up. A new day comes and it’s a very positive day – it’s not like sometimes when you go out and it ends in darkness! This time it’s really sunny and it’s a new day, and you feel the sun on your skin. It’s very ecstatic. There’s a lot of love in this song. We thought that it would be a nice way to end the album, with a lot of positive energy.

Booka Shade - 'More!' is due to be released on May 3rd

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