INTERVIEW BY LAUREN METTER & JOANNA DI TULLIO
Boys Noize: There’s never been a better time.
There are exactly 22 days remaining until the Mayan Calendar ends and it’s time to ditch your worldly possessions and hitch a ride on up, or down, to the afterlife.
JoAnna: Do you think the Mayans are right about 2012?
Alex Ridha: No.
J: If they are, are you happy about that?
Whether it’s a grand entrance or an even grander exit, I like to do it with style and purpose, which obviously calls for a killer soundtrack. If you haven’t already begun selecting your exit music, consider the next few weeks of mixes to be subtle suggestions for your finale. What better way to begin an end than with a pioneer who’s name you’ve probably heard during your late night escapades?
Boys Noize. Yeah, he’s kind of a legend.
Alex Ridha, AKA Boy Noize, is the Berlin-based DJ and producer whose “in your face” style, both musically and performance-wise etched his name into the hall of fame early on in his career. He has been running his own label for more than seven years, is a production mastermind and is touted as one of the best DJs in the world of EDM.
Lauren: You must be asked this a lot but, but Snoop Dogg makes a guest appearance on the last track of your new album. How did THAT happen? What surprised you about Snoop?
I did an official remix for his song “Sensual Seduction” a few years ago and afterwards we kept in contact.
I was sending him lots of cool beats but I never had the chance to record him. Then, early this year we finally met in LA and he invited me to his place and we recorded this joint. Everyone of his crew was going crazy for it and they wanted to release it as a single for Snoop Dogg, shorty after he turned into a lion. And I thought, “I gotta get this track for myself then…” I was really lucky it worked out, because I am super proud of it too!!
L: EDM is percieved as a predominately white music here, what would you say to that?
Really? I never heard of that!
And what is “EDM?”
Nowadays, there is a certain degree of over-saturation in the DJ world due to the notion that “anyone with a laptop can mix,” so it’s important to take a step back and pay homage to the guys who started the party. And keep it going of course.
L: I know you really like Alva Noto, Byetone, and Raster Noton. What do you like about their approach to electronic music?
This is electronic music for nerds and I am a nerd LOL. No, but seriously, their sounds are just mind blowing. And i can actually play out of these tracks, like Byetone “Plastic Star” (Alva Noto Remix), which I remember I played from Vinyl at SXSW in Austin in 2008. People went crazy for this!!!
Recently, Alex took the time to create an exclusive mix for Diplo & Friends show on Radio1 which includes a hot mess of tracks including my personal favorite “The Hope” by Scuba. It’s a tripped-out, alien conversation atop sexy house beats at times, with an ever-present, unapologetic bass line. My words will never do it justice, so press play and prep your curtsies and bows. You can check out the rest of our interview with Alex below the mix while you listen.
This Sunday night, it’s on at HOB as Boys Noize touches down in Boston for the “Out Of The Black” tour. Be there, or don’t, but your final days should be spent dancing.
HOUSE OF BLUES
15 LANDSDOWNE ST.
L: I liked the part of your tour video when you said about playing live: “It gets really exciting when things don’t go the way you want them to. There’s a lot of magical moments you have.” Can you give an example of a mistake that turned out for the better?
Oh that was more about my recording in my studio. When you work with machines, especially with old ones, sometimes just a little change on the switch of whatever filter or pitch can fuck up the sound so much, but then it gets really exciting. But sure, yeah; live this can happen, too.
J: What does your studio look like? Favorite piece of gear to play on?
It looks pretty messy with a lot of machines. I am crazy for drumshines … my favourite one right now is maybe the new Dave Smith & Roger Linn “Tempest,” but I’ve also used the Oberheim 8 a lot on my new album.
J: What’s the significance behind the name of your latest LP Out of the Black?
It sounds cool.
J: What was the approach behind it?
Making a fucking cool album.
L: I heard you spent a year in the studio working on it. You obviously are very passionate about making your music. What do you do when you hit a sort of creative road block?
I am locking myself up and I try to forget what’s going on outside. It’s amazing and I love those moments in my studio when I just play around with sounds until I like something.
J: What’s your take on the festival vs. the club scene in the current EDM climate?
I love both! Playing a festival is so amazing because you can reach out to so many people and you can make all of them happy at the same time. I grew up in small shitty clubs and I love the more personal level of it. You can be more experimental in clubs, also you usually play longer than one hour in a club, so you can really start an atmosphere.
J: Where can we find you on a typical Sunday night when you don’t have a gig?
At home in my bed?
J: How about a Sunday afternoon?
In a forest with my dog.
L: You grew up in one of the best places for underground dance music in the world. What do you think about how young kids in the US are JUST getting into dance music now?
Well, you gotta give them time exploring things, you know? I think after two to three years of discovering whatever mainstream dance music, you will eventually dig deeper for cooler things.
And there is soooo much to discover in electronic music.