Berlin duo Booka Shade has broken out of the Berlin underground and into The New York Times with its accessibly melodic techno and mesmerizing stage presence. The pair that started out with groovy choons found mostly via online outlets such as Beatport has become a big-league electronic act known to perform to sold-out venues.
Its cinematic new album, More, seems tailor-made for live performance. Booka performs at two Southern California dates over the weekend, including tonight at The Music Box in Hollywood and Friday at Lightning In A Bottle in Irvine. We caught up with one-half of Booka, Arno Kammermeier, and asked him a few questions:
LA Weekly: Your new album seems tailor made for playing live. Was that the intent?
Kammermeier: Yes, one of the aims we wanted to reach with the album was to bring the energy of the live show to the CD -- to have some new songs we present at the live show. The live show is the most important way of promoting our music these days.
Is it more important for dance acts today to consider live performance when crafting albums, as opposed to making tracks that DJs would want to spin?
I think we are quite unique in the way we work now. What's being played in the clubs is important to us but we have built up such a reputation as a live band. We have a unique standing as a live act that makes us different and stand out from a lot of other things going on. The dance floor is important in production but for us it's the live show.
Much of the focus on cutting-edge dance music has moved to your neck of the woods. Can you honestly assess how Los Angeles measures up on the global dance music map?
Yes, Berlin is seen as a center of electronic music these days and we are quite happy to be part of a movement that carries our vision of it into the world. Its such an international place -- people from all over the world move there. I'm sure that people from L.A. move to Berlin so that's part of it too.
Can you name three tracks (artist, title, label) that are rocking your world these days?
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Delphic "Doubt," (Polydor)
Booka Shade "Bad Love (Kaiser Disco Mix)," (Get Physical)
Gorillaz "Stylo," (Virgin)