Track By Track -Booka Shade

For their fifth studio album Booka Shade wanted to tell a new story, a story which represented a new beginning for them after they had almost split up during the first half of the production. In order to create something exciting they needed to be somewhere exciting and in search of inspiration headed to the UK home of electronic music, Manchester, to record at the acclaimed Eve studios, a residential vintage recording studio. This is where they found themselves together again, where the music came to life and why the album is named after the studio.

The 12 track album includes special guests Fritz Helder (Azari & III), Fritz Kalkbrenner, and Groove Armadas Andy Cato on trombone.  Artwork was conceived and designed by La Boca to provide a rich and vivid visual accompaniment to Eve.

We asked Arno and Walter to give us the back story behind each track on the album, here’s the story of how it came together… 

Many Rivers

One of the first songs we have written for the album.the original version was called Rusty Glaze and it was darker with a moody atmosphere.  At the end of the album production it was obvious that the dark demo version didn’t fit to the rest of the album so we produced a ‘lighter’ version of the song with a different groove but still with the same catchy bassline. Finally we found an old vocal we recorded in the late nineties, it was a cover version of ‘Many Rivers To Cross’ from Jimmy Cliff, and the vocal worked perfect with the music so we decided to leave it on the song.

Love Inc

A song originally written for our last album “More !” but in a completely different arrangement,production, key and mood.

We’re big fans of heroic melodies with an anthem character,so we took the  melody of  the demo from 2009 ,let it play from a brass section and created a new chord structure around it.

The story behind the sample is that in 1997 we were in New York for the first time and found this record store with old vinyls and one corner of the shop we found some records with a capella versions of house and discotracks.  A few month ago when we moved in our new studio we found the records again and on one was the sample ‘say are you happy’ from Lil Louis.  It has this special nineties touch that we like so much and fits perfectly to the song.

Love Inc is the most typical Booka Shade song on the album.


It is together with Maifeld the song that was made shortly before the album was finished.

In the beginning it was more a transition part to Leema or let’s say an interlude but more and more nice elements that came up made it the song that you hear on the album now.


Leema was originally written in a hotel room in lima / peru during our south america tour in 2012.

It is more a fragment than a song but we thought that it is a great transition to the darkest song on the album Maifeld


This is a song which was inspired by a documentary that i saw on the French TV channel Arte.

It was a film about the architects of Hitler in Berlin like Albert Speer or Willhelm Kreis and the crazy plan to build the world capital Germania.

It was fascinating to see how impressive and monumental these buildings were .you still can see a lot of them in Berlin.

With these pictures in my head I wrote the song Maifeld which is by far the darkest on the album.

We called the song Maifeld cos it’s the name of the the big open space next to the Olympic stadium in Berlin and was the place were Hitler made his propaganda events.

Perfect Time

Another typical Booka Shade song. Melodic bassline with a driving beat and an athmospheric breakpart. After the darkness of Maifeld it was a nice way to bring the album back in the light.

The song had a lot of transformation until we had the feeling that we found the right version. The atmospheric intro was recorded at a funfair on the Brighton Pier in South England.

Time’s On My Side

Another very old song that we wrote together with Philipp Jung from M.A.N.D.Y….actually it was written for their album but it never made it on to their releases.

After we listened to a few old demos from the early times of our ex record label Get Physical, we found this sweet guitar riff again .

We reworked the whole song and ask our friend Chi Thanh if he could play the guitar and replace the synthetic guitar from the demo. We love the harmony between electronic sounds and acoustic instruments (guitar, acoustic hi-hats).

Crossing Borders

In 2011 we did a remix for Fritz Kalkbrenner and ask him if he could write a song on one of our tracks.

The demo was very different in comparison to the final version you can hear on the album.

In summer of 2011 we met in our studio in berlin and recorded his voice but it took us two years to finish the song and I don’t know how many versions we did until we found a version that we really like.

It was a long and painful process but we think it was worth it.

Crossing Borders will be the second single of the album.

Love Drug

Another Fritz and one of our favourite songs from the album.

The contact to Fritz Helder from Azari and III came via our mangement.

We sent him a demoversion of the song, he liked it and we recorded the vocals in a studio in berlin.

The song was more or less written during the vocal recording session and of course we made another ten versions until we found the right one.

Most of the time the first idea is not the best idea.

Only When You Wake Up

Another broken beat song.very athmospheric and deep.

It was the time when we listened to uk dubstep and electronica.

In the last second we put it on the album cos it was the perfect fit to the next song

Ballad of the East

An interlude and the shortest song on the album.

Inspired by one of the best songs every written and produced ‘ Alberto Balsam’ from Aphex Twin.

In the beginning we had a full drumversion but in the end we decided the to go for the less beat version.


Originaly written in another hotelroom in the Italian city of Jesolo.

We loved the deep pulsating bassline and the tension atmosphere of the song from the start. In the Eve studios in Manchester where we recorded a lot of the drums and sent our instruments through the weirdest effect boxes,guitar amps or compressors and EQs we added the tomdrum rhythm and the analog sequence at the end.

It has this UK rave feeling on a low tempo with a final big riff at the end.

We wanted an ending on a high tone and that is Jesolo.

Eve is released on 1st November through Embassy One/Blaufield, get it on Itunes.

Booka Shade play live at The Oval Space on 14th November. More info here…

All other info over on the Booka Shade website.