Purveyors of the finest house music and all round party people, The Shapeshifters have been at the forefront of dance music since 2003.
As DJs, producers and label owners, they've set the pace with their unique kind of nocturnal grooves, and there's no sign of it slowing down with the forthcoming release of 'Only You' – their new single for Defected which features the existing new vocal talent of Kirstenana. Add to this a selection of hot new productions and remixes as well as a packed DJ schedule, and 2012 looks set to be another prolific year.
The Shapeshifters are the London-based DJ and production duo of Simon Marlin and Max Reich. Their meeting is well documented: Simon was DJing in Sweden and was introduced to Max. Max was working in a record store in Gothenburg. In his role as A&R for Downboy Recordings, Simon was also looking for new talent and Max was producing at the time as Fused. It wasn't long before Fused were signed to the Downboy. As a project Fused was relatively short-lived but Simon and Max remained friends and began working together. In 2003, The Shapeshifters were born.
At this time, both of the guys had reached a musical crossroads and wanted to do things on their own terms. They decided to go into the studio together and see what came out: the result was 'Lola's Theme'. It went on to become a major worldwide hit on Positiva and set the stage for The Shapeshifters. 'Lola's Theme' also set the precedent for the way the guys work in the studio: let the music come together naturally and forget about genres. Simon's roots are in funk and soul, while Max comes from a techno background and it's this fusion that makes The Shapeshifters sound so dynamic and exciting.
'Lola's Theme' was first released on their own Nocturnal Groove imprint and the label remains a vital part of The Shapeshifters equation today. Originally launched as a platform for the new sound Simon and Max were creating, Nocturnal Groove now has over 80 releases to its name, and has become a home of established names and new artists in equal measure. The label is part of their passion for house music and is helping to keep the scene vibrant. Amongst the artist roster on Nocturnal Groove, you'll find the likes of Frankie Knuckles, Martijn ten Velden and K-Klass alongside emerging talent such as Roy Mclaren, Jason Chance, Sonny Wharton, Something Good and Danism. There is nothing released on Nocturnal Groove that you won't hear in a DJ set from The Shapeshifters.
The Shapeshifters and Nocturnal Groove also run 'Nocturnal' - a successful club night and was a vital part of London's nightlife for several years running long-standing residencies at The End/AKA and Turnmills. The party is close to the guys' hearts and they won't do another one in London until they've found the right venue. However, that hasn't stopped them taking 'Nocturnal' on the road, of course, and they've played all over the world, often with young guys from the label in support and live visuals playing an important role. 'Nocturnal' has recently hosted events at Tube in Belgrade (Serbia) and Ambasada Gavioli in Izola (Slovenia), while 2012 will see 'Nocturnal' make its debut at the stunning Papaya in Novalia (Croatia).
The spirit of acid house runs through 'Nocturnal' and it's all about unpretentious clubbing. The Shapeshifters pride themselves on being DJs who select great records and the longer they have to play, the better. Technical trickery never overshadows the vibe of the night and creating a musical experience the crowd can really get into. 'Nocturnal' has also allowed The Shapeshifters to remain true to their roots in underground house music while also enjoying significant commercial achievements. Following the success of 'Lola's Theme', The Shapeshifters spent three years with a major label releasing several singles, numerous high profile remixes and their debut album - 'Sound Advice. By 2006 it was time for a change and a new musical focus in a period when the music industry itself was going through momentous changes and major labels losing interest in house. Up stepped Defected and the perfect alliance was formed with one of the leading independent house labels.
The first fruits of this new partnership were 'Treadstone' and a cover version of Orbital's 'Chime' which received critical and public support alike, while their latest material for the label is set to drop throughout 2012. Singles such as 'Helter Skelter', 'She Freaks', 'Waiting For You' and 'Nothing But Love For You' have been extremely well supported. In association with Defected, The Shapeshifters progress has been strong. In 2008, they released 'The Shapeshifters - In The House' – a 3xCD compilation album and the release of 'Nikki Beach - In The House : Mixed By The Shapeshifters' in 2011 further cemented their relationship.
Simon and Max will be the first to admit they never really felt comfortable on a major label, and over the last couple of years they've taken their sound to a level they feel is the best they have achieved so far. This sound is reflected on their 'Nikki Beach - In The House' compilation from 2011 where they go from deep house to peak-time stormers across a 2xCD package. Nikki Beach is arguably the most famous venue in Miami, and the next few years will see them open a series of boutique hotels and clubs in Las Vegas and other locations in Europe and Asia.
Simon and Max are busier than ever dividing their time between recording sessions in their West London studio, playing all over the world and sourcing new music for Nocturnal Groove. In addition to their new material for Defected, 'Shake, Shake' – their latest collaboration with Steve Edwards – is out now on Nocturnal Groove and they have also recently put together 'Nocturnal Grooves – Vol. 5 : Mixed By The Shapeshifters' which features a host of recent and forthcoming releases on Nocturnal Groove alongside a number of exclusive edits from The Shapeshifters and brand new mixes of 'She Freaks' and 'Nothing But Love For You'. Having recently put their remix touch to singles such as 'I'll Take You There' and 'Your Love' in 2011, Simon and Max have most recently remixed new singles from the likes of David Penn, Danism & Haze and Something Good.
The Shapeshifters will also be maintaining their extensive worldwide DJ schedule throughout 2012 and also continuing their eight year association with the Ibiza – playing their fifth consecutive season at Pacha. This year they will be playing three dates for Defected In The House.