The US dance music explosion might have seen stars of “EDM” applying luminous lipstick to the French house and electro sounds first popularized among New Era donning hipsters during the mid-'00s, but, Daft Punk mania and the “progressive” tag to one side, some of the original acts at the heart of the scene are still defining it in their own right. Alex Ridha aka Boys Noize is one of these guys. While the French might have the likes of Brodinski and Gesaffelstein — Club Cheval and ClekClekBoom — to reinvent the the Gallic house scene through techno eyes, Germany's big-room blaster too has his own take on the formula.
Not content with balancing stadium-sized success with underground principles, Boys Noize has stuck to his guns, teaming up with Skrillex as Dog Blood, but continuing to give props to the Ed Banger crew — Mr Oizo, Feadz et al — via his eponymous imprint. Embracing new, cutting-edge big-room bass sounds in his sets, as well as throwing back to the old skool — the original sounds of acid, EBM and Detroit — on sister label BNR Trax, yet making modern main room classics, such as 'Starwin', he's remained one of the most popular DJs across the board. His high-energy sets topping festival bills left, right and centre, he's placed at the forefront of the recent dance revolution, so his influence on the game globally shouldn't be underestimated.
The only surprise on hearing he's been picked to mix the latest in the FabricLive series, then, is that he hasn't been asked to do one before. Something of a veteran, four artist albums under his belt, he made his debut at the club in 2006 alongside Justice, and has stopped off regularly ever since. On 'FabricLive 72' (out 26th November), he draws upon all the wealth and skill you'd expect from a man who made his name almost decade ago, condensing the incendiary flow of his three-hour sets into a jackin' 70-minute explosion of hard-edged eclecticism. Giving nods to the freshest names in bass music today, the likes of Special Request, Randomer and Four Tet, alongside purer forms of techno — Gingy & Bordello, Kowton, Robert Hood — Boys Noise keeps one eye on the future with another on the past, while keeping the decibel levels cranked fully throughout. So, on the eve of its release, we got all up in his grill...
First ever rave experience?
“I was 12 years old when I went to Berlin's Love Parade, raving hard with one million other ravers. One of those moments...”
What is the most crucial record of all time?
“It’s always hard to put it down to one, but I’d say Daft Punk 'Homework'. I was 14 years old and it was basically my first electronic record.”
Name three tunes that never leave your 'bag'?
“Thomas Bangalter 'Trax On The Rocks Pt.1' (Roulé), DJ Deoon 'Work This MF' (Dance Mania) and MMM 'Donna' (MMM).”
What's your lights-up, end of the night tune? And why?
“There are a few! I do like to play Grauzone 'Eisbär' because it’s one of my childhood songs I can sing along to, but also Eurythmics 'Sweet Dreams'. You never know, though.”
If you could meet anyone — alive or dead — who would it be?
Imagine the world is going to end tomorrow. What are you gonna do tonight?
“Meet my friends and just hang out somewhere outside in the nature.”
Please give us three words to describe your life.
“Happy, easy and loving.”