The Shapeshifters are comprised of Max Reich
(born in Sweden) and Simon Marlin (born in England), who originally met in 1996 in Gothenburg, Sweden. At that time, Reich
was establishing himself as an up-and-coming techno producer while Marlin was working as an A&R representative for Downboy Recordings. Marlin would later serve as Reich
's manager. With a few obscure releases already to his name, Reich
made his full-length album debut in 1996 on Millennium Records with Moonstomp; subsequent full-lengths Swedish Workout (1997) and Few Hours Left (1998) were also released on Millennium, along with several accompanying 12" releases. Meanwhile, Reich
collaborated with Samuel Malm to produce additional material under a series of monikers, namely Repulsor (Glütt, 1996; Double Action, 1997), Barbed Wire
(Draatphunk, 1997), Rebound
(Outrage, 1997), and Fused
(Selected Works, 1997; This Party Sucks!, 1998).
In 1999 Marlin negotiated a major-label contract with Sony for Reich
and Malm's Fused
project, beginning with a re-release of the This Party Sucks! 12" single. Incorporating vocalist Petra Hallberg into their collaboration, Reich
and Malm recorded a full-length album for release on Sony. Titled Audio (2001), the album spawned a trio of singles, "Saving Mary," "Twisted," and "Terror," the latter of which was licensed by Danny Tenaglia
for his 2002 mix album Back to Basics, on which it was sequenced as the finale. Meanwhile, Reich
began working solo under the moniker Glider, independently releasing Let's Groove on Glider Music in 2001 before signing to Multiply Records for Riding High in 2003. He also began collaborating with Marlin on what would become "Lola's Theme," named after the latter's wife. Realizing that the production had great potential, the duo founded its own label, Nocturnal Groove, and inaugurated it with the release of "Lola's Theme" under the newly coined Shapeshifters moniker.
"Lola's Theme" was released promotionally in 2003 as an instrumental before making its official debut on Nocturnal Groove in 2004 and subsequently being licensed for major-label release by the EMI subsidiary Positiva. Graced with a catchy horn riff sampled from Johnnie Taylor
's 1982 hit "What About My Love," "Lola's Theme" was one of the hottest tracks at the 2004 Miami Winter Music Conference and subsequently went straight to number one on the U.K. singles chart during the week of its major-label release. A pair of double-disc DJ mix albums were released in the wake of the Shapeshifters' chart-topping success (Shapeshifters Present House Grooves, 2004; Shapeshifters Present House Grooves, Vol. 2, 2005) and the duo was nominated for a 2004 Brit Award. Meanwhile, Reich
collaborated with Carl Ryden as Poker Pets
for a 2004 release on Nocturnal Groove, "Lovin' You"; like "Lola's Theme," the track was licensed for major-label release by Positiva.
In 2005 "Back to Basics" was released as the follow-up Shapeshifters single to "Lola's Theme" and became a Top Ten hit in England. A year later came the full-length Shapeshifters debut album, Sound Advice (2006), featuring vocalist Jenna Gibbons, along with three more hit singles, "Incredible" (number 12), "Sensitivity" (number 40), and "If in Doubt Go Out." The album was released in Europe by EMI Records and in the United States by Ultra Records. In 2007 a pair of new Shapeshifters productions, "Pusher" and "New Day," were released as singles on Positiva and became moderate hits, charting respectively at number 52 and 72. In 2008 the Shapeshifters signed to the Defected label and released the Treadstone/Chime single, the B-side of which is a remake of the 1990 Orbital
classic. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi