Shazam Meets… Boys Noize
German producer and DJ Alex Ridha is more commonly known under the guise of Boys Noize. Over the past few years he has firmly established himself as one of the major players in dance music. With two albums – 2007’s ‘Oi Oi Oi’ and last year’s ‘Power’ – completed and a string of remixes for the likes of Justice, Depeche Mode and N*E*R*D*, Ridha has built a wealthy output since 2004. Recently Ridha has been getting heads together with influential UK DJ Erol Alkan, releasing two double A-side singles ‘Waves/Death Suite’ and ‘Lemonade/Avalanche’.
As well as playing DJ sets around the world, Ridha also runs Boys Noize Records – home to the likes of D.I.M., Housemeister and Siriusmo. The label has recently announced it will be starting a sub label – BNR Tracks – as an outlet for digital only releases, ensuring Boys Noize will be responsible for pushing some if the freshest tracks around.
We managed to grab a few minutes out of his hectic schedule to discuss the new sub-label, his plans for a new album and if he’ll continue to collaborate with Alkan.
You recently celebrated the 50th release on BNR Records with ’1010′ and ‘Yeah’. What made you choose those tracks in particular to celebrate the landmark?
Well I thought I wanted to do something special to celebrate and at the moment I’m still in the mode of putting together a remix edition of my album ‘Power’. For the 50th I just wanted to show that new track ‘1010’, I just did it and thought why should I wait to put it out. The b-side ‘Yeah’ was a really old track that didn’t make onto ‘Power’, I’ve been playing it out and thought it was a great track. It’s kind of a party song to celebrate the 50th, plus those two tracks together just make a cool 12” because they’re so different from each other.
As you mentioned the tracks are pretty different. ‘1010’ is a darker acid track while ‘Yeah’ is more a straight up party track. Did you want this contrast to keep people guessing what direction you’ll go next?
Yeah maybe I did this without knowing, I like showing people many sides of my production. I like to surprise myself and people with something different – keep them guessing of what my next steps are. I don’t even know yet!
Out of the tracks you’ve put out on the label, are there any in particular that stick out as being memorable?
Yes, for sure. Of course I have to say the very first one; that was very special to me. It was my tracks ‘He-Man’ and ‘Optic’ and then the fifth release by I-Robots (‘Frau’) stands out. I was playing it out and I thought no-one else knew, people kept asking me what it was, I thought it was a cool idea to sign it and make new remixes. That was probably the first hit on BNR. Of course my first album ’Oi Oi Oi’, which was number 14, that one was special.
You’ve recently started a new sub label, BNR tracks. What inspired you to start this alongside the main label?
A lot of labels I like, a lot of them have sub-labels which inspired me. Warp have Lex and Poker Flat has about four other sub labels! In fact, it was also of the moment as a lot of great producers have been sending me great songs. A lot who I thought were great, but on Boys Noize Records we don’t have the capacity to release more than one album a month – plus it’s more about artist development and all the artist are exclusively signed to us. With BNR Tracks I wanted to be able to put out one offs from other guys who made something I really liked and also we will only release them digitally – that gives me the time to react really fast as well.
You mentioned your last album ‘Power’ briefly, have you already started putting together your third album yet?
No, not yet. I’ve been playing a lot and producing some other stuff. So next month, when I’m back home, I have a couple of months off with no shows; that’s when I’ll probably sit down and start from zero again. I don’t know, it’s really difficult with albums at the moment. Artists and labels put a lot of work into producing, writing and releasing an album then the media moves so fast these days so you don’t know how it’s working – at least am trying to figure this out! I’m hopefully gonna do a load of new tracks and maybe put them together for an album, or maybe some 12”s. Who knows, let’s see.
Have you got any plans to work with Erol Alkan again?
Oh of course, yeah. We’ve been working on some new cuts. There are two tracks in particular that are almost finished. We’ve got a little surprise for our track ‘Avalanche’ I can’t really say much about it, but it’s going to be a really nice re-release with a very special featuring artist. Then afterwards, we’re gonna put out new tracks at the beginning of next year.
You’ve done remixes for a huge variety of artists. Is there anyone you haven’t worked with that you’d like to?
Hmm to be honest, no I don’t think so. I’m going to do a remix of a song from Gonzales, off the album we did together called ‘Nightmoves’. I think I want to step away from remixes and concentrate on my own stuff in the winter.
The festival season has pretty much come to a close, was there any set in particular that stood out for you?
Yes, there was a festival in LA where 200,000 people turned up. It was all electronic music, no bands. There was one stage with all the big Trance DJ’s, then two other stages with me and some other dudes. I played in front of 80’000 people (laughs), because I’ve never played for that many it was insane.
’1010′ and ‘Yeah’ are currently available on Beatport.