Revered as one of the best electronic artists on Beatport for three years in a row, Alexander Ridha, better known as Boys Noize, is finally releasing his highly anticipated third album, Out of the Black, on October 2nd followed by a batch of tour dates were he will debut his new live show. He's come a long way from his tekkno and acid house days and provides us with some of the most solid minimal techno and disco house-inspired sounds in a while. Backstage at this years HARD Summer Music Festival in downtown LA, Ridha said the album was partly inspired by his EDM nostalgia.
“I'm always looking for new sounds and try not to re-peat myself,” explains Alex. “[Out of the Black] is sort of a mix of my first and second albums. I really tried to get that feeling I had when I first started to produce music.” That feeling was back in 2004 when he realized in order to keep creative freedom in his work he would have to produce music on his own record label, Boys Noize Records which was formed in 2005. “It's funny for me this album felt like in order to make a step forward I had to take a step back again and find my roots. I sounded so raw and naive in a way because I didn't really know what I was doing then.”
Overall the album is a cohesive work of art where Ridha isn't afraid to break new grounds and showcase his influences from hip-hop, disco, minimal and tech. “I made a really fucking cool track with Snoop Dogg and it's the only collaboration on the album,” says Ridha. “I don't like to have cheesy vocals on my songs, so we made one one rap track and one house track.” The album boasts this house track titled “Got It” and a lot of other melodic songs as well. With some of the most innovative electronic sounds mirroring the journey he takes his fans on at a live show the album has a real senior Boys Noize touch. The six-minute track “Conchord” for example channels a build up that takes you to a place of “XTC” without having to actually take the real thing.
“I made XTC [the album's first single] last year two days before I played EDC Las Vegas,” he says. “I just wanted to have a new intro track. I had those vocals, so I thought 'Okay lets just make it really stupid.'” He says stupid in his German accent as if in his native tongue it's slang for something really simple. “It's funny because I thought it was a stupid track, but then David from Soul Wax was like no it's so weird, has those four parts and it's so trippy.” The album has a couple of tracks that are one or two years old. “Reality” is another track that is older, but refreshing to hear in a time when a lot of dance music sounds the same and everyone is copying the same hard electro sound. Alex Ridha has managed to create something that sounds completely unique and old school while still sounding fresh and brand new. Most of the tracks were, however, produced this year. “I took time off and didn't do any festivals this summer [to finish the album],” he says. “It's not easy to do that, but I really enjoyed it.”
Despite not having a full album release in three years, Ridha has been busy in the studio producing for artist like Santigold and Spank Rock as well as collaborating with his good friends Erol Alkan, Mr. Oizo and recently Skrillex. “I just wanted to try more new things in more of a producer way.” explains Alex. Though he produced a lot for other people, he still managed to have new releases every couple months. “I don't say yes to a lot of things because I always wanted to stay true to what I think is cool,” he adds. “I never did a remix for Lady Gaga or Britney Spears because I didn't want to put my name next to something I think is shit.”
That's not easy of course to stay true to your style even at at time where EDM is at it's most commercial. “Most of the music you hear out there is just copies and copies, but at the same time there is a lot of really fresh young guys that have amazing ideas that's different. That's what is interesting to me and that's the kind of guys I want to sign to my label.” Out of the Black has managed to keep this originality in tact. The album comes out October 2nd and Boys Noize will embark on a grandiose live tour including two months in the US at the end of the year with a show at the Hollywood Palladium on December 15th. He will be framed in a terminator-esque stage featuring “The Skull” alongside an array of top notch visuals and lights unlike anything you have seen from him before. We just hope the live tour stays as true to his unique style as the new album does.