Alex Ridha, globally known as Boys Noize, wants to shed and shred whatever impressions you have about his previous performances.
“Forget about all the DJ gigs you’ve seen me do before,” he announced boldly while speaking with us in an interview for his upcoming show at Studio E on July 30th.
Forget about all the other sets? That’s a tall order—Alex performed alongside Skrillex at Ultra Music Festival in 2013 as part of their side project duo, Dog Blood, and his DJ sets have garnered high praise from the community. He’s been anointed Beatport’s Best Electronic Artist three times since launching his own label, Boysnoize Records.
He was only willing to give up a few hints and details on the live show, since the best way to find out is to see it for yourself.
How does the state of the U.S. dance music scene differ today compared to your first North American play? How do you think the rise of the underground techno scene is affecting the dance music scene as a whole?
The scene completely changed inside of ten years. The first shows I played in the United States were at punk rock venues. For instance, I played my first show in NYC at Ruff Club and at a gay/diva house night with Tommie Sunshine at Happy Valley; there just weren’t many house/techno clubs. The electronic scene back then was more a mix of indie-kids who were branching out into techno, and then just a few techno nerds.
Most clubs were doing bottle service and playing top 40, but then all of a sudden Studio B popped up in Brooklyn and that changed a lot. The scene started to grow and get bigger, to the point that now I feel like it has become mainstream all over again.
But the good thing is that the subculture of the underground sound grew simultaneously, so there’s enough energy and excitement to put together these popup raves and warehouse shows and other events. And then you’ve got small clubs like Output that helped a lot as well.
Describe your creative process with Channy Leaneagh of Poliça in collaborating on “Starchild.” What inspired you to work together?
I played in Minneapolis a few years ago and it turned out that Bon Iver were fans of my music. I met up with the full crew and Justin Vernon. His brother was showing me the stuff they did with POLIÇA. After that, I became a big fan of her music, the way Channy Leaneagh sounds, the way she writes.
It was kind of a dream to work with her, and she was basically the only person on my list to work with. We got together in a studio in L.A., sort of a blind date, and we had a good vibe from the beginning. I brought my drum machine, programmed a few rhythms, and Channy recorded vocals right away. She barely wrote down any words.
“Starchild” was the first idea [for the album] and sounded so special and emotional right away. On the final production I wanted to keep the slight chaotic vibe, that got her inspired to write the song.
I’m really proud of this song because it’s not a traditional vocal dance record. It would have been too boring for me to make this song a deep house track [laughs], so it actually fits to the rest of my album quite well.
A-Trak recently released a mix of indie-dance and electro tracks from 2007-2009 and received a lot of attention. Since then, MTV, Vice, Thump, and Factmag have published articles about electronic music from the era, and we’ve seen throwback parties popping up in different cities. What do you think about the current bloghaus revival?
To be honest, I really don’t like the word “bloghaus.” Who came up with that? When that sound came up NME called it “new rave,” but I didn’t like that either [laughs].
Anyway, the idea of that type of music was really fresh and it bridged the gap between indie-rock bands and techno; it was sort of punk. It was the first time you’d see people stage-diving and moshing in a dance club. I remember playing with Erol Alkan at The End in London and the atmosphere had nothing to do with what I knew from house and techno parties I had DJed before.
I always had one foot in house and techno because that’s how I started, but there wasn’t anything new for a while so that sound, coming from electro-clash, was a fresh wave for electronic music.
I still love the idea of breaking the essence of techno or electro and bringing in some more punk vibes. What always happens, to any style, at any point, is that usually there are a handful of producers that do something fresh and then immediately it gets copied in a bad way.
We have that all time with every style… that’s what happened to that sound and after a few waves of that reproduction, it essentially became a part of that mainstream EDM sound you hear today.
Any advice for emerging talent in the dance music scene?
To try to work on your own sound. Creating your own sound is the only way of sticking out from the rest. There are too many producers doing the same shit over and over. Isn’t that boring?
You’re debuting your new live show in New York City with Jukely Sound Projects at Studio E in Brooklyn. Are you looking forward to anything in particular?
I think it’s going to be a very special night. I am also super excited to come back with this new show I’ve been working on. I really wanted to create something new and find a way to present my own music only, in a fresh way.
Besides, I’m really happy to be able to present two of my favorite bands HEALTH and POLIÇA + my good friend, DJ and innovator, Venus X. Forget about all the DJ-gigs you’ve seen me do before; this is going to be different, and probably the only time you’re gonna have a chance to see me play like that!
Jukely members receive guestlist access to shows.
Jukely is a live music membership that gives members guest list access to dozens of shows every week in cities across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.