If ever you find yourself at a party where Boys Noize –Alexander Ridha– is spinning, know that you’re in for something different. Unafraid to experiment with diverse sounds and eager to partake in the mixing of genres, this DJ/Producer is likely to throw on a electronic record with rap, acid, techno, even rave influences. Earlier this year, rapper Snoop Lion took to the stage at the Ultra Festival to perform “Got It,” a Boys Noize produced record.
Currently residing in Berlin, he credits his sound to his early years in Hamburg, Germany where the scene of the red light district’s partying was in full force. On June 24th, we’ll get a taste of that scene. He’ll be releasing a 5-track EP titled Go Hard. Exclusively here, you’ll hear “Push Em Up,” a record Boys Noize describes as “bouncy rave rap.”
In between gigs we caught up with him to talk about everything from his sound to his roles as a DJ & producer and he even reveals which country goes the hardest when his beats drop.
How closely knit are your roles as a DJ and producer?
I think they are pretty close actually. I never really learned how to produce or how to be an engineer in a school. So when I started to produce I basically just used disco samples or whatever and put a beat to it. That’s something you do as a DJ too in a way. Also, if you’re a good DJ, you have a good feeling for moments and that definitely helped me to produce music quickly and become satisfied with arrangements for instance.
How has your sound evolved over the years?
Since I started to produce I never wanted to repeat myself. I try to use different sounds than other producers. Sounds and machines inspire me. That’s why my studio is full of analog gear; lots of drum machines and weird synths. Over the years my attitude towards electronic music has never really changed but if you listen to all the music I have produced, you’ll easily notice all the different styles from Techno / House / Electronic to Rap or even Disco. I guess in the end it is my ear that keeps it all together under one sound.
Has your German background played into your musical taste?
Yes, I think so. I grew up in Hamburg, which has the biggest red light district in Europe, lots of sex, clubs and bars and stuff. Musically, Hamburg’s nightclubs were all about house music so when I was 14 years old, next to my hip-hop collection, I started to buy lots of Chicago house and that’s what I started to spin as a DJ. I was 16 years old when I had my first official gig in a proper house club. I moved to Berlin when I was 20 and Berlin was the Techno city haha. Lots of illegal dark rough parties with hard bangin’ music. I loved that.
From all the countries you’ve visited, which do you think is the livest as far as audience reaction to your tunes?
It’s tough to say haha but Japan was always pretty amazing. They have so much love for the detail and the subculture is pretty big. They respect you so much if you do underground music or weird stuff. When I DJ there I can play 4 hours of music they’ve never heard before and they go crazy for it.
What was the inspiration behind “Push Em Up”?
It’s probably the tempo of the track. I think no one has brought these rave sounds into that tempo. Also I barely know anyone who made a banging club track in this tempo without turning it into a straight rap track. Usually this tempo is for drum n bass, but I liked the idea of using classic 808 and rave sounds instead.
Describe the perfect club setting that’ll go hand-in-hand with this instrumental.
Small packed club, good sound system and electronic music all night because then this track comes as a surprise. The clubs that I usually play don’t play any cheesy house or EDM music, but this track might even work over there haha 😉
Who are some of the artists you’re interested in working with?
To be honest, I’m super happy with whom I’m working with. I did a full album with Gonzales (who also worked on the new Daft Punk album) 2 years ago and we are working on a new one again. Working with a genuine guy like him is a big pleasure. Also my new project with Skrillex under Dog Blood is fun. Right now, I’m doing some Rap stuff, it’s just so easy and fun for me to make electronic rap records that sound weird and the song with Snoop Dogg gave me some more inspiration too. Generally I love to try out different things and make music people do not expect from me. I like to work with people that inspire me and put as much energy as I do in that project.
What can listeners look forward to on Go Hard due out on June 24th?
I made 5 brand new tracks. 1 acid/techno/rave track, 1 disco acid house track for the summer vibes, 1 analog techno one, 1 acid rap track that goes hard and “Push Em Up” which is kinda bouncy rave rap ?!?
Check out Boys Noize “Push Em Up.” Are you rocking with this? How do you feel about the mix of genres?