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Electro don plays us his most inspiring records

It’s a beautiful day in Berlin. Alex Ridha, aka Boys Noize, is putting the finishing touches to his latest EP ‘Go Hard’, a racy solo six-tracker coming out on his self-named label. He recently celebrated its 100th release with remixes of BNR100 by the Chemical Brothers and Justice. And by the time you read this he’ll have performed at this summer’s Glastonbury festival — twice. It’s all part and parcel of the crazy touring he’ll be doing at “festivals all over the place” in the coming months. 
Somewhere along the line he’ll find the time to finish the new album that he’s currently working on with Chilly Gonzales. “The biggest chunk of it is done already, but we take our time,” he explains of his collaboration with the Canadian musician/singer.

Alex also has some new material with Skrillex, as Dog Blood, on the cards, as well as plenty more of his own work. Lucky 7 is a page reserved for the legends of our lifetime, of which Boys Noize is definitely one...

The track that reminds you of your childhood?

“There was definitely one from that Prince album ‘Around The World In A Day’, maybe ‘Raspberry Beret’? It was in the middle of the eighties, when I listened to it I was a small kid. I just remember that album, I listened to it all the time and Prince generally was a big influence. My mother always liked a lot of disco stuff and my brother, who is almost ten years older than me, he was listening to all those early house and rap records, which actually also shaped my childhood a lot.”

The first record that you ever bought?

“It was actually a few at the same time. I think I was six years old and I remember my brother had a record by D-Mob called ‘Put Your Hands Together’ — it was hip-house from the eighties. And this record got burnt in the sun because when vinyl is in the sun, it kind of melts.

I wanted to re-buy this record and when I went into this record store I also bought LL Cool J ‘I Need Love’, the 12-inch, because I really like the song, and I think I bought the first album from De La Soul ‘3 Feet High & Rising’ as well. The record store was around the block and I was given some money and I went and bought them.”

The cheesiest record in your collection?

“I have a few. Probably Rick Astley ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’. Some German stuff as well like ‘Münchener Freiheit’, they’re really cheesy. The Rick Astley I actually bought at the same time when I was six.”

The track that’s guaranteed to make you cry?

“Ooh. Well, there’s this Swedish band called Weeping Willows and there’s also this first album from Maximilian Hecker which is also super-super sad and cry music. It’s super emotional. It’s got piano and guitars, it’s some cool stuff.”

An album that you’re currently into?

“There’s a few. I really like that last Neon Indian album, he’s a guy from New York, a cool dude. It sounds a bit eighties, but it sounds like a broken record a little bit — synth stuff, a little bit of chillwave, I found it on some blog.

Another record which I really like from Atom TM, it’s called ‘HaDue’, he releases stuff on Raster-Noton. He used to release stuff that isn’t really music because it’s frequencies, basically really nerdy stuff. That album is pretty cool. I go out to record shops and buy vinyl, I buy everything, iTunes, Beatport, Bleep, everything.”

What is the record in your collection that you most treasure?

“Well, there’s this whole Roule collection which I have, which is Thomas Bangalter’s label from Daft Punk. He started it in '96 I believe and it’s still only on vinyl, you can’t find it anywhere digital. It’s only a few releases. They really shaped me as a DJ and a producer. 
“I have a big collection of Prince vinyl.

I actually have this record from Mazarati, it’s a gay band that Prince produced in '82 and they put out ‘Kiss’ — the song from Prince two years before him — and it flopped. And then Prince re-did it, performed it anew and put more energy into it, and it became way better and then a No.1 hit.

But the Mazarati version is pretty funny. Prince wrote it and he used to write and produce for so many bands, so I guess when he wrote that one with them, if you compare them you can really see why Prince’s version is so much better.”

Your all-time favourite track of all time?

“Does it have to be electronic? That’s tough. I’ll try to put it down. Maybe it’s... probably Michael Jackson or something like that. I’d say, if I had to pick a pop song, something like ‘Human Nature’.”