Interview: Boys Noize

Interview with Boys Noize

Boys Noize

Introduction

Despite DJing, running electro imprint Boysnoize Records, and collaborating with everyone from Gonzales to Skrillex, somehow Alexander Ridha still finds time to write material of his own. We grabbed 10 minutes of his time to find out more about his brand new LP, Out Of The Black.

Questions and answers

So you’ve been doing this a long time now: what’s the secret of your success?

Maybe staying true to what I believe is cool. For my DJ gigs, I always try to bring new music with me every time I play and I guess people will come back if they never get bored of what they hear.

How did you first get into making music?

I learned a little bit of piano and I taught myself the drums when I was 11 years old. Then I got into DJing when I was 14. Shortly afterwards I wanted to make my own music, and I was about 16 when I started producing.

How did moving to Berlin influence your sound?

Berlin can be quite rough sometimes and I always loved those f*cked up techno records from early 2002-2005. That was a special sound because techno and electro merged quite interestingly at that time.

Over the years, who would you say has had the biggest influence on you, creatively?

I think it is a mix of Thomas Bangalter and Mr. Oizo.

What did you want to achieve sonically with your new album, Out Of The Black? And how do you think you’ve progressed artistically since Power?

I just wanted to make records that I think sound good, and that I can play out in my sets. I didn’t think too much of what I was doing, I just did it. I like to make records and move on to the next without a big plan. I didn’t change any methods in terms of production: it only takes one sound to set the feeling of a track.

We hear you use a lot of outboard gear. How does this differ from writing and producing on computers?

I do have a lot of drum machines, synths and samplers, but I like to use analogue and digital. For me, the mix is the exciting thing. I always get sounds off my analogue stuff, but then I mess them up in my logic sequencer. I love all the new plug-ins you can destroy sounds with.

For me, it is more fun to record sounds and tweak the sound while recording. I prefer that than doing it with automations of soft synths. I feel that the analogue stuff is easier to mix too.

If you had to pick one, which would be your favourite track on the album?

Not easy, but for now I’d say "Missile". I love the sound of it and the mix of electro, minimal, techno and punk.

How did the collaboration with Snoop Dogg come about? What was he like to work with?

It took a long time to work it out but I finally met him in LA earlier this year and we hung out. He invited me to his place and I played him lots of Dance Mania stuff.

He’s super-chilled and super-nice. I had to vibe first before I got the chance to record music with him. It was one of the coolest things that had ever happened to me!

Are there any particular artists or vocalists you’d like to collaborate with on future projects?

Normally, I find it quite hard to work with big vocals in my music: I prefer robot voices. That’s why you hear them on each of my three albums. The sound of a robot voice is more exciting to me than regular voices.

But I will probably do another album with Chilly Gonzales. I mean, have you heard Solo Piano II?!

In the past year you’ve worked with Erol Alkan and Skrillex. What do you get out of collaborating?

It’s great to work with someone else because you don’t have to do everything yourself… (Laughs) Of course, it’s great when you come up with music you wouldn’t do alone. That’s the goal actually. I only want to work with people that inspire me in some way.

Who, in your opinion, is producing really exciting electronic music right now?

Oh man, so many people. I don’t even know all their names. For some reasons there is so much good stuff right now. Same amount of sh*t as well though. (Laughs)

But yeah, the underground scene is full of amazing stuff. I just bought the Daphni album, which I like a lot.

Can we look forward to any exciting new releases on Boysnoize Records soon?

Well, we just released the new single from Peaches. She is so awesome, so I’m so happy about that. Then we’re gonna put out a new SCNTST EP. He’s just turned 18 and he’s so talented. After that, there’ll be an EP from Boody & Le1f which is more experimental, with this underwater feel. Also, there is a new single from Strip Steve feat. Robert Owens, and includes remixes from Jimmy Edgar and Djedjotronic.

What’s been the highlight so far?

My sold out live show at London’s Coronet Theatre; f*cking sick!

And finally, what’s the ultimate ambition?

I still haven’t found it yet but, for now, I’m happy if everything can stay like it is.