Astaire is quoted as saying that the hardest thing about dancing is to make it look easy - a description that perfectly sums up "Eve", the fifth studio album by Berlin duo Booka Shade. In their latest work, Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier again reveal their talent for transforming the immense sound available from today's electronic production possibilities into pure, ethereal lightness. In that sense, Booka Shade and Fred Astaire aren't all that different. They don't simply dance. They prance.
A few summer days in Manchester finally brought light to the end of the tunnel. Booka Shade set up house in the city's acclaimed EVE Studios, a "residential vintage recording studio" where musicians can live and work with rare, old-school recording equipment around the clock.
That moment of clarity in Manchester, when everything suddenly fell into place, has now been immortalised in their new album title. And "Eve" remains true to the principle that has underpinned this duo's work from their first musical experiments right up to today: Booka Shade perform with four hands. That's it. Two hands on the drums and two hands on the keyboards have to do the job for every track in the studio and on stage. The only exception is when they are joined by special guests, this time including such luminaries as Fritz Helder (Azari & III), as well as Groove Armada's Andy Cato blasting his trombone in a vast echo chamber while Fritz Kalkbrenner heralds the next departure singing the hymnal lines, "We've burned the bridges on our way..."
Booka Shade have a long history of building new bridges. Those bridges connect their rich past as producers with the glorious present, from Berlin's "Maifeld" to "Jesolo" on the Mediterranean and onwards to the Far East. Booka Shade are underway again and "Eve" is like a great voyage, an album imploring listeners to get moving, to begin dreaming... and to start prancing.