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Booka Shade talk Privilege opening party 2017

The Berlin-based duo to open Privilege with their club-steady Hybrid Set. Will you be there?

So far this season we've hunted down the beats at Pacha, DC10, Ushuaïa, Sankeys, Amnesia, Eden and Es Paradis. That then leaves us with only a few to be reawakened for the summer, and one of those spots is reserved for Privilege. But this is no ordinary season for the San Rafael superclub. This is predicted to be a game changing year for the monolithic haunt, with a major facelift set to bolster its celebrated status as the world's biggest nightclub, and we're damn excited to tear into it.

Tomorrow we have the opening slammer to the club's 24th season on the island, meaning our anticipation levels are at their peak. We're ready for that Funktion One soundsystem, it's game on for the unruly behaviour, and we're gunning to see the artists set to trigger dance floor heat - particularly Booka Shade.

The Berlin-based electronic duo is at the top of Thursday's line-up bill, with the pair set to present their Hybrid Set. Booka Shade return to the island after what has been a noteworthy 12 months in terms of career-defining ventures. Their seminal album Movements celebrated its 10th anniversary in October of last year, with the original album being remastered alongside an additional disc that had the classics remixed by a solid cast of creators, including Nils Frahm, Deetron, Eats Everything and Dennis Ferrer. Movements 10 was then toured across the globe, from Europe to Australia, which gave them one final opportunity to revisit their legacy before closing that chapter. And this year, they released their sixth studio album, Galvany Street, which the duo described as marking a “new beginning” for the band.

We grabbed Booka Shade in the days before the Privilege opening bash for the lowdown on their new sound, and why they're itching to see the sleeping giant reawakened to storm 2017.


Your new album, Galvany Street, introduces you as having a distinct new sound, with more of an indie influence. Can you tell us about the creative direction you had and the processes behind the album's creation?

Galvany Street is the album we wanted to write and produce for a long time. Booka Shade has a distinct, recognisable sound that's based on the synth riffs and bass lines. When we started the writing sessions for the album three years ago, we were looking for new perspectives and new inspiration. We wanted to experiment with song structures and vocals, and when we met Craig Walker - former singer of the band Archive - we knew that we could come up with something cool. Our directive for the album was to not sound like typical Booka Shade and don't use tech house beats. This doesn´t mean that we walk away from dance grooves completely. Songs like ´Numb The Pain´ or ´Loneliest Boy´ have a disco beat that connects with our past, but they are still much more indie pop.

In April you kicked off the Galvany Street album tour. It's a new live show and you have a different setup from the classic Booka Shades. How have you found the process of bringing this album to life, especially as you have a switch up in dynamic with introducing collaborator Craig Walker to the stage?

The live presentation for the album works best in a typical live show concert surrounding, early evening, or on rock/indie festivals. We did a European headline tour in April, May and we´ll play festivals over the summer, starting with Forbidden Fruit in Ireland, and including festivals in England, as well as EXIT Serbia. Those shows are great fun for us because with Craig on vocals and also bass guitar, the songs from the new album and the classic tunes have a stronger band sound.

With Booka Shade having sought and found a new sound that represents you, will that in any way influence who you sign on your label, Blaufield?

We are music producers, not so much A&Rs. Our label Blaufield is mainly the playground for our own music. We don´t sign a lot of external artists. It's different to our former label Get Physical. We keep it open - when something great comes along and we feel we can contribute and help an artist on his way, we´ll sign him.

The Privilege opening lands. What are we getting from you guys, in terms of material?

For the opening fiesta at Privilege we'll present our Hybrid Set, which focusses more on the dance aspect of our music. This is what works at 3AM at this club. It's our weapon of choice for the late-night dance surrounding. We play new songs and some unreleased material that is especially written for the show. And, of course, we´ll play some classic tunes that we know the audience loves.

On the Galvany Street album you had said that you wanted to move away from the club environment. Would you say that this comment purely refers to who you currently are as producers when in the studio?

As mentioned before, Galvany Street is a special album and is important for us as writers and producers. As an artist you have to challenge yourself and not go the old paths. What comes next, we don´t know. We´ll have to see where inspiration comes from next.

You've been a regular fixture in Ibiza for close to 10 years now, so do you have some perspective on how with renovations and Carl Cox, Sasha and John Digweed coming in, this could be a game changing year for Privilege?

There´s constant change on the island since we started playing at Booka Shade and before that, we came for private holiday since the mid '90s. With Carl Cox, Sasha and John Digweed's residencies, that´s a great step. We grew up with these guys and played for their events many times. They are always an inspiration.

A lot of us drop in Manumission when we think of Privilege's best years. Have you yourselves been clubbers at Manumission?

Sorry, we never made the Manumission experience. What a shame. We were probably too shy.

You're back at Sónar this year with the 15 years of Get Physical party. It's in the former bullring of Barcelona, which is pretty damn cool. Do you keep up to date with what the Get Physical guys are doing now?

Yes the family will get together to celebrate the 15th birthday of the former ´baby´ Get Physical which is now a teenager. We´re still close friends with Patrick and Philipp from M.A.N.D.Y. and we´re happy that the label is alive. Barcelona is an important location in terms of our career. The first Sónar we played in 2005 was a starting point for us, and every time we play a show in Barcelona it´s a winner. We also just recently headlined the main room at Barcelona nightclub Razzmatazz. Getting together with the guys from Get Physical will be a fun experience, and we´re curious to check out the young talents they invite.


WORDS l Aimee Lawrence

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