ONE FOR THE LADS Pioneering electro DJ and producer Boys Noize will be heading to Rock Ness this year for one of the festival’s most anticipated sets. Henry Northmore finds out why he’s looking forward to playing in Scotland
R ock Ness may have spread its wings in recent years, as rock and indie acts have sneaked onto the bill, but it will always be primarily a dance music festival. And Boys Noize (aka Alexander Ridha) is just one of the many top quality DJs that will be keeping the faithful dancing on the banks of Loch Ness this summer.
Born in Hamburg, Ridha was interested in electronic music from a young age, listening to his older brother’s early house records. His first foray into club culture was as a warm-up DJ spinning deep house and old school in the 90s. ‘It got boring and repetitive for me; there were too many DJs and producers doing the same thing and that was when I became more of a friend of electro and labels like Disko B and International Deejay Gigolos,’ he explains. A move to Berlin and the adoption of the Boys Noize moniker led to releases on the likes of Kitsuné, Turbo, Datapunk and the aforementioned Deejay Gigolos. He became thrilled by the possibilities electronica held over more conventional music styles. ‘I produce electronic music for the sound, for the ability to generate sounds out of anything, and when you are a producer for a rock or pop band there are certain rules on how to arrange the track, how to make it sound. So I was always a fan of producing electronic beats because you have more variety; there are no rules. I was always looking for sounds that were outside the music I know. That’s the most exciting for me.’
Ridha is now known for some startlingly
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original electro rock anthems, packed with acidic beats and insistent squelching basslines. It is perhaps his intuitive approach to production that keeps his releases so fresh. ‘It’s a very unconventional process, I go into the studio and I work with the machines I have and tweak them until I have the right sound. I record that, then my ear leads me to the next sound. It’s a very natural process. There’s only one big rule, which is I try not to use the same sound I used in the last track, and that adds a different colour. I always start from scratch and go for the moment.’ Ridha has also launched his own Boysnoize Records imprint, which has put out releases from the likes of DIM, Shadow Dancer, The Faint and of course his own productions. ‘It was always a little dream of mine, to have my own label, to be completely independent and release my music and the music I love, and in 2005 the first 12” came out.’ These records have cut a swathe through the world’s dancefloors, especially Boys Noize’s own two