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The Sun & The Neon Light (The Vinyl Mixes)

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Album Review

On their third official full-length, German duo Booka Shade get serious about the album format and deliver a set of rainy-day tracks influenced by the Berlin (Tangerine Dream) and Düsseldorf (Cluster) schools of electronic music with a touch of Giorgio Moroder, especially the man's Midnight Express soundtrack. At worst, like on the opening "Outskirts," reverence for these classic tones and an overwhelming desire to be earnest make the music surprising lifeless. Half of The Sun & the Neon Light ends up sounding like an entry in the Mind's Eye computer animation video series, where slick, serviceable sounds provide pleasant backdrops for futuristic dreaming. Light drumbeats from the machine sit under well-crafted layers of synths that echo into the distance and the occasional vocoder vocal crops up to offer the restrained hooks and forgettable, unobtrusive lyrics. If Booka Shade are trying to transition from a club to a headphone act, the duo's quest is undermined by the highlights — "Dusty Boots," "Karma Car," and the wonderful space-disco track "Charlotte" — all of which thump a little louder, causing knees to bend and hips to shake. Loyal listeners looking for a more "personal" album from the band will have fewer complaints, but the casual fan will miss the more dynamic and vibrant elements of their earlier work.

Customer Reviews

Booka Shade

(taken from press info) Booka Shade, aka Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier, return with their third album, The Sun & The Neon Light. You liked Movements? Well you have to get The Sun & The Neon Light - The Vinyl Mixes - because it’s just the continuity of it and it even goes further in its bounds. This album blends a spectrum of sounds - from oaky acoustics of viola & violin to country-style guitar and percussion and lyrics – but it always stays a club-oriented & Booka Shade-esque melodic long player

Very creative

The sounds are cool sounding but it sounds like most of the beats and percussion were done cheaply like GarageBand loops or something. Overall, 4 stars. Very creative and somewhat dark.

Different, but Good

It's definitely not the same Booka, but it's a good Booka. The sounds aren't cheaply done, they just didn’t go the same route of using only state of the art producer software. Instead they pulled out their old synths and brought in live elements. It does give it a dated sound at some points, but they’re trying to mix up their style. It works. I am not obsessed like Movements, but it is still tight.

Biography

Formed: 1995 in Frankfurt, Germany

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '00s, '10s

From their techy, trancey beginnings to their more mature post-millennial work that incorporated pop, ambient, electro, techno, and funk influences, Frankfurt, Germany house duo Booka Shade maintained an elegance of style that owed little to whatever current dance music trends were on the scene. However, before they were Booka Shade, Arno Kammermeier and Walter Merziger had an early-'90s synth pop duo called Planet Claire, which in the tradition of Underworld and Ministry mutated into something very...
Full Bio
The Sun & The Neon Light (The Vinyl Mixes), Booka Shade
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