It’s been about five years since this live electronic music act has cranked out anything of great mention. While the world has since become replete with dance-band acts from here to Passion Pit, it’s safe to say that Booka Shade was likely the most successful pioneers of the trend. As for More!, it’s an album the way a band would do it, meticulously mixed together by two of Germany’s best electronic producers.
In a recent interview, Arno Kammermeier stated that the reason for naming Booka Shade’s fifth full length release More! was because he and Merziger decided 'we need more club beats, and we need more emotion, and we need more melodies and more strength', and named the album over this desire for more, more, more. Desire and ambition are two of the things which have elevated this German duo to the forefront of their field, releasing two of the best electronic albums of the last decade as well as setting up one of electronic music’s most groundbreaking and prolific labels, Get Physical. This move to do more and outdo themselves has thus far served Kammermeier and Merziger well.
German electronic mainstays Booka Shade (Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier) return with their latest dance floor-ready album. More! is a sophisticated house record delivering danceable tunes that work on a packed dance floor as well as on your iPod. This means that you'll also be hearing such out-there tracks as funky opener "Havanna Sex Dwarf" that have just the right amount of weird to keep things interesting.
Booka Shade have reached a point where pretty much everything they do-- both as musicians and heads of dance imprint Get Physical-- are scrutinized. And in the past few years, the scrutiny hasn't always been positive. The duo's last record, The Sun & Neon Light, found them out in front of the decks aiming to craft a crossover techno-pop album. Depending on who you asked it was either a brave experiment and stab at something new or a frustrating move from a duo responsible for some of techno's best 21st century tracks.
It’s got to be hard being a straight-up house or techno act in 2010. With the commercial and arguably the artistic peak of that type of music more than ten years in the past, there’s a strong sense that everything there is to say has been said already. DJs and record labels keep adding adjectives like “minimal” and “tech”, just barely staying ahead of the backlash.
Those expecting a worthy if belated sequel to 2006’s Movements will be disappointed. Chris Power 2010 Era-defining records, especially in terms of the hyper-accelerated eras of dance music, can often become an albatross around their creators' necks: last season's essential tune is today's sonic throwback. But completely changing tack between albums can be treacherous, too, as Booka Shade discovered when they followed up their acclaimed second album Movements (2006) with The Sun & the Neon Light (2008).