Alex Ridha AKA Boys Noize rocks punk attitude, hip hop style and robust, analogue techno beats that rage-rather-than-ring in the New Year.
What kind of tunes do you want to hear as you kiss, holler and toast in your New Year? Ear-crushing, hesh, rock-electro bangers and indie-dance anthems coming from the able paws of a hip, young Berliner, I should hope. Otherwise you're reading the wrong article. If you're with me, Alex Ridha is your man for the job.
The distorted, chopped-up cacophony of analogue pulsation, production static and mutilated samples that comprise and punctuate Ridha's tracks has become a fixture in the electro world. His impeccable production and very timely taste means that you're more than likely to hear his songs amidst the vanguard of modern dance music and means that the list of DJs that you'll hear unleashing Boys Noize tracks sounds like a name-dropper's who's-who of underground techno personalities. His tunes have a raw sound, a desolate, modern feel and numerous tasteful Rock 'n' Roll allusions that belie the songs' electronic trappings and make them jump right out of the stereo.
Having started DJing at 14 and producing original music at 16, Ridha has already compiled a sizable discography in his 24 years that includes plenty of originals and some of the best indie-rock remixes around. He has released tracks on labels like International Gigolo, Datapunk, Turbo, Kitsuné and Institubes and has numerous other music projects on the go, including kiD Alex, an angst-ridden indie duo that he sings and produces for, and 909D1SCO, a retro synth-disco revisitation.
"Musically I'm really looking for the best of Daft Punk, from 95 to 98," says Ridha in describing the musical orientation of Boys Noize. "I think it's a really timeless sound."
He says that the sounds being made by him and a handful of other producers are more than just a wave of techno. "For sure it's electronic. It's all based on techno music, but it has many references to other things. We all have this punk attitude. Or maybe even a hip hop attitude," explains Ridha. "My mixing definitely comes more from the hip hop side. I do cuts and mix things fast."
"The scene is still very small," says Ridha. "Like in Berlin for example, I feel like I'm the only guy playing this music. I feel like it's small around the world. You have tonnes of people playing house and minimal and just a handful of people doing this music that I'm doing." I instantaneously know what he's talking about, but it's a style of music that simply lacks a name.
"I wouldn't exactly say it's the opposite of minimal… like… Maximal maybe?" says Ridha when I challenge him to classify the music he's describing. That moniker certainly fits in Alex Ridha's case, because despite the diminutive-sounding aliases he goes by, the sound is monstrous and the mixing is most definitely full-on.What are Alex's predictions for the "maximal" sound in the New Year? "I think in 2007 it's just gonna blow up," He says. But, according to Ridha, when the mainstream catches up to him and his ilk, he won't be waiting to have his steez bitten. "When I hear bad copies of myself or Justice or something like that, then I'll know it's time to move on to something else."
(Photo courtesy of the artist)