If you could peek 12 years back through the mists of time, you'd find Arno Kammermeier and Walter Merziger, two pop producers by day, plastered with goofy grins as they danced away the hours in a 300-capacity club in Frankfurt, Germany. It was called Monza. The resident DJ was one DJ T, and the guys who just started to call themselves Booka Shade would head there every night they could.
"This was our living room so to speak," Kammermeier says. "All we wanted to do was create music that could be played in this small discotheque."
When the work day was finished, the pair would turn away from the daily grind and create something different, something totally their own. Their first album, Memento, was an introspective and experimental bit of fun. It brought Booka Shade some attention, and they started touring. The album that followed was a result of that travel, a reaction to those first small audiences and the uninhibited nights at Monza. It was a playful, silly thing called Movements, and today, it celebrates 10-years as one of the most influential and beloved albums of the current dance music scene.
"It was never aimed to be played to loads of people or to festival stages," Kammermeier says. "This is why the drumming in particular was always very small, laid back, and thin. It wasn't this big techno bass drum that you have for 10,000 people at a festival stage. It was more like for a small room, and all of a sudden, it just exploded. It went around the world. We were very surprised.
Movements is honored with a 10-year anniversary, limited edition deluxe 3-LP vinyl release. The package comes with a fold-out poster, vinyl-only remixes from Eats Everything, M.A.N.D.Y., Jonas Rathsman, and more, as well as an exclusive download card for even more unknown treats. Dubbed Movements 10, the package is available for purchase today.
It's a full-circle moment that inspires as much thoughtful reflection as excitement for the future. Listening to its 12 tracks, Movements sounds as cool and darkly vibrant as it ever did in 2006. Hits like "Mandarine Girl" and "Bogy Language" could easily be heard in any modern tech house set, and often are. "Paper Moon" plays like a how-to guide for every Dirtybird artist fans flock to today. It's full of fun textures and sounds, its beats are groovy without ever feeling overbearing.
"We wanted to create sexy music," Kammermeier says, "not the hard techno that was predominant still at that time, minimal and trance with no harmonies - no smiles basically. We had a different approach to a good night, to a party night. We wanted to have fun, and we wanted to embrace the night, have a good time with other people."
The up-tempo vibe was quite intentional. The duo found its performances of first album Memento lacked more danceable moments, and Movements' first writing sessions began as a way to simple enliven those shows. How could they have known that ultimate result would bring them to audiences far larger and wider than they'd ever imagined?
"For a German musician to be successful in England, and then later on to be invited to play in America, that was something very special," Kammermeier says, but it wasn't all glitz and glamor. Booka Shade toured the States, but they toured in small bars. Outside of Chicago, Miami, and New York, there wasn't much of an electronic scene, but Booka Shade's position was the perfect place from which to watch the disruptive and phenomenal rise of "EDM."
"(The venues) always got a little bit bigger, and then we started to play festivals, and then we came even to the point that we headlined a stage at Coachella," Kammermeier says. "All these things, and then of course the massive change came with EDM and before that it was the dubstep craziness … That was the moment when I understood how the U.S. and North America would take their hip hop style and the electronic music and create something new. It was quite exciting."
Not necessarily a fan of the bombastic, loud-for-the-sake-of-loudness aspects of the American genres, Kammermeier is forever thankful for the doors it opened for Booka Shade and its peers.
"I think it seems like we've survived EDM as well, as far as I can tell in America," he says. "Now comes the next steps in electronic music."
Booka Shade plan to very much be a part of that wave. Movements 10 is to be celebrated with a world tour that hits select dates throughout Booka Shade's native Europe, North America, and Australia. It gives the live act a chance to share this music on a much grander scale than was possible a decade before, but the duo is already looking quite eagerly toward its next chapter.
"In early January, we will be finished with the Movements concept, and then we can start straight away with rehearsals for the new album," he says. "It is still very electronic, but it is more stuff we can play on the stage, and it features more vocals - but that's a different story."
Movements 10 Track list:
CD1 (2016 re-master)
01 Night Falls
02 Body Language (Interpretation)
03 Paper Moon
04 The Birds & The Beats / At The Window
06 Pong Pang
07 Mandarine Girl
08 Take A Ride
09 Wasting Time
10 In White Rooms
11 Hallelujah USA
12 Lost High
01 Night Falls (Nils Frahm Rework)
02 In White Rooms - Jonas Rathsman Reprise
03 Lost High (Dennis Ferrer Remix)
04 Body Language (Interpretation) (Chi Thanh Remix)
05 Lost High (andhim Remix)
06 Mandarine Girl (Deetron Remix)
07 Wasting Time (M.A.N.D.Y. Remix)
08 Mandarine Girl (Eats 'Twisted' Remake)
09 In White Rooms (Hunter/Game Remix)
10 Night Falls (Patrick Topping Remix)
MOVEMENTS 10 USA Tour Dates
November 25, The Exchange, LA, USA (MOVEMENTS 10)
November 26, The Midway, San Francisco, USA (MOVEMENTS 10)
November 27, Gothic Theater, Denver, USA (MOVEMENTS 10)
November 28, The Showbox, Seattle, USA (MOVEMENTS 10)
November 30, The Hoxton, Toronto, Canada (MOVEMENTS 10)
December 01, Concord Music Hall, Chicago, USA (MOVEMENTS 10)
December 02, Brooklyn's Masonic Temple, New York, USA (MOVEMENTS 10)
December 03, Club Soda, Montreal, Canada (MOVEMENTS 10)
MOVEMENTS 10 EU Tour Dates
June 18 Sonar By Night, Barcelona, Spain (MOVEMENTS 10 SHOW)
July 16 Beat Herder Festival, Lancashire, UK (MOVEMENTS 10 SHOW)
Aug 27 Zurich Open Air Festival, Switzerland (MOVEMENTS 10 SHOW)
Aug 28 SW4, London, UK (MOVEMENTS 10 SHOW)
November 04 Heimathafen, Neukölln, Berlin, Germany (MOVEMENTS 10 headline)
November 05 Metropolis Festival, Dublin, Ireland (MOVEMENTS 10)
Novenber 22 Royal Festival Hall, London, England (MOVEMENTS 10)
AUSTRALIA TOUR TBA SOO