Boys Noize gave Milan a much need jolt when he swung through for Halloween. He’s currently on tour, playing only his own music for the first time. Swide’s Ben Taylor caught up with him.
In the wake of the release of his third LP ‘Out of the Black’, Alexander Ridha aka Boys Noize is back on tour but this time he is taking his own music with him. Leaving the remixes at home, he’s revisiting his own back catalogue and presenting them to his fans in a new way.
This is what he had to say.
The title of the new LP ‘Out of the Black’ is a strong statement. What’s the significance?
Out of the black doesn’t really mean anything. I was playing around with the English saying ‘Out of the Blue’ and I loved the connotations that came with the word black. Then, afterwards I thought that it was quite fitting to me and the music; I’m producing at night, you know.
This is your 3rd LP, what did you want to do with it.
It was the first time that I took time off to produce something; previous albums I had pretty much produced on the road or in between the days that I was in and out of Berlin. But this time, I really locked myself in the studio for a couple of months. I was actually listening to a lot of my own stuff… (laughing). It was funny because I was really surprised at how much I had done and that I had two CDs worth of my own remixes… like 20 tracks across 2 CDs and I was like, ‘fuck, this is crazy’. So, I listened to those and then my first two albums, and thought that with the new album I really wanted to go back to those feelings that I had when I made those and also to make something timeless, again. To make something that is listened to 5-years later and to still have the same impact is like heaven for a producer.
Copyright Björn Jonas
How was the approach?
Well, I’ve never really changed the way that I produce. I Look for a sound, record it. Another sound. Loop it. I just create my own samples and do what I feel in the moment, without a strong concept. Sometimes I have ideas of where I want to go but then in the studio it never seems to work out because I find myself getting excited by what happens in the moment; one sample can inspire another sound etc. So, it’s really in the moment that it happens.
You’ve had two albums out, you’ve remixed, DJed around the world, you’ve produced. What pressures arose during the production of this album?
It was cool because normally I am very uncomplicated with my music. I am happy to produce music and regard it as a ‘thing’ that I did at a certain time in my life. So, for me, I didn’t really feel the pressure at all. The only thing I did feel before I started was that, right now there are a lot of aggressive elements in mainstream music seeing as electronic is very much mainstream at the moment, but at the same time that music is all still very much about the lyrics and the melody. For me, my music is more about the sounds. I don’t want to write the perfect pop song or that universal melody. So, it’s really about the sound and once I find one that’s exciting, that’s where I go from.
Your on tour and its only your music that you’re going to be playing. Tell me about it. Why now?
It’s something completely new that I am trying, I wanted to challenge myself again. When I was creating my new album I had a playlist of my own music to work against and realised that I had enough to easily play a set made of my own songs. I was like ‘oh shit, I could do a gig of 2 hours with my own stuff and it’s all rocking’, you know? And it seemed to make sense for me and it’s now that I finally have a good idea of how to put it together. I was worried that playing my own stuff meant that I had to ‘perform’, like with LEDs, projections and all that. When I go up, I want the audience to hear exciting music and not to keep staring at a lightshow and missing out on the feelings found within the music.
Has it presented any new challenges?
I’m not the biggest fan of playing my own music that has already been released. I am much more comfortable to play future tracks or remixes. Now it’s about my own music and how I can revisit my older records and make it exciting without taking them too far away from the original recording… I kinda feel like one of those guys who are a one-man-band.
Your record label. Let’s get straight in… talk to me about Peaches.
She’s the best person to work with. Peaches lives in Berlin and so we’ve played together before and one day she was sent me a demo that she recorded and I loved it right away. It felt like it was her going back to her punk rock rules and she wanted to know what I thought. I wanted to play around with it in terms of production, which we did in my studio, and she said to me, ‘can you imagine putting it out on your label’ and so that it s what we did. She’s incredible, you never know what she is doing next, I mean, she did an Opera? An Italian Opera!
And what is it that the record label gives you?
It’s about new music. New exciting music. Every producer that is signed to Boys Noize has their own sound and they always try to come up with a new directions and repeat on themselves. It’s the best. And they are fans and friends with each other. I think that is so important. Bringing people together through music. Nowadays, record labels are becoming more and more and more important as filters for discovering what’s out there and that is what I strive to do with my label... select the good stuff.
Copyright Denis Ignatov
Out of the Black is available on Boys Noize records, now.
Cover images by Denis Ignatov