BOOKA SHADE @ Prince of Wales, Melbourne. Jan 2011


Booka Shade are undeniably masters of their game. Highly intelligent, technically savvy and endearingly likeable artists, the duo from Frankfurt have been kicking metaphorical musical goals the globe over. Not only have they produced some of the most idiosyncratic tunes to emerge from their electro/ techno/ house genre.; they also possess a magnetic energy force when on stage. They are sensational live performers – they work hard to construct a flawless show. However complicated the music produced is, they manage it with effortless ease. It is more than evident that they thoroughly enjoy making music, and you can see this shine through with every beat created.

This was exhibited only too well on a balmy Monday night at the Prince of Wales Band Room, as a percentage of attendees were still somewhat dehydrated from the previous day’s Big Day Out heat extravaganza. Yet, this was only a catalyst to enjoy Booka Shade in their element.

Arno Kammermeier and Walter Merzinger, the two amiable Germans, took to the stage with quite a surplus of instruments to aid in their uniquely incredible sound. And for this reason it is clear that Booka Shade have perfected their craft of live shows. With Arno trashing out on his hybrid percussion drum kit and Walter managing everything else it would seem behind the decks, this synchronised couple is almost akin to a perfectly functioning organism, where the brain and body work as one in harmony. Arno and Walter have been making music together for the past 15 years, so it is little wonder that they make their live shows look so innate.

It is this very craftsmanship that punters appreciate and keep coming back to experience time and time again. In my opinion, Booka Shade truly are the benchmark for technical DJ-ing and are constantly looking towards ways of advancing and enhancing our musical experience.

Most of all, they know how to make us move. The Prince was heaving from the first pulsating beat, and Booka Shade couldn’t get enough of it. Although the venue was not at full capacity, everyone was dancing like crazy, as Walter kept flashing his cheeky smile as he bopped to the rhythm.

Apart from being out on a school night, there was something unmistakable in the vibe of those in attendance at Booka Shade’s gig. Some were younger kids, keen to get their first glimpse of the duo live. Others were there to reminisce about the last few times they saw Booka Shade blow their socks off, and this time was no different. Dropping their world famous tracks including Body Language, Night Falls, Charlotte and of course the sensational In White Rooms. Walter even encouraged the crowd to sing along to the beat of Mandarine Girl, which then became a chorus of ‘Dedededer-dedededer’ as loud of the track itself.

And to their credit, being the fine performers they are, they followed the encore code of many DJ’s and stayed on for an extra half an hour, as the crowd went absolutely bananas.

School night or not, those who came out of Booka Shade felt more elated and euphoric than when they went in, but a whole lot sweatier.


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