Boys Noize - Biography
Under the name Boys Noize, German electro DJ and producer Alexander Ridha has released albums on the French label Kitsuné Music, the Canadian DJ/producer Tiga’s Turbo Recordings, DJ Hell’s International Deejay Gigolos, and even his own record company, Boysnoize. He has also remixed the tracks of Tiga, Feist, Depeche Mode, Bloc Party, and Kaiser Chiefs.
Ridha grew up in Hamburg, Germany before moving to Berlin at the age of 21. Born in 1982, Ridha showed musical talent early on, playing both piano and drums by the time he was six years old. As a young teen, however, Ridha became captivated by audio production and began to amass a record collection that would aid his desire to remix and produce music. He was soon introduced to music production software and by the time he was 16, he was working on tracks in a studio with the recording artists D.I.M., who can be credited with teaching the young Ridha his engineering skills. With these skills under his belt, Ridha made the move to Berlin with the hope of working on bigger projects.
Ridha reportedly chose the name Boys Noize because he was looking for something that would sound good when it was shouted. Boys Noize was not his first choice. That designation belongs to Laser Face, a name he backed away from after colleague DJ Tiga wanted it for his side project. Ridha has mentioned his remorse over the selection of the name Boys Noize, citing that people think it is a group and that it is repeatedly spelled incorrectly. Ridha has experimented with other names for some of his other projects, such as Puzique, Morgentau, Eastwest, Kid Alex, and 909D1SCO.
Boys Noize releases recordings through several labels — primarily Boysnoize, but also Last Gang Records, Kitsuné Music, Turbo Records, International DeeJay Gigolo Records, and Datapunk. Last Gang Records was formed in Canada as the partnership of music industry attorney Chris Taylor and promoter Donald Tarlton. Kitsuné Music is a French label that is a subsidiary of the Kitsuné Fashion label. It was founded in 2002 by Gildas Loaec, Patrick Lacey, Masaya Kuroki, Benjamin Reichen, Kajsa Stahl, and Maki Suzuki. Turbo Records is Tiga’s label, which he founded in 1998, following the successful launch of his record store DNA in Canada. International DeeJay Gigolo Records was founded in 1996 in Munich and is run by DJ Hell. It is currently based in Berlin and is widely considered Germany’s most sought-after and best respected electronic music label. Datapunk is a German techno label run by electro music composer and producer Anthony Rother.
Boys Noize first made big waves in the electronic music industry in 2004 with the release of the International DeeJay Gigolo Records 12” The Bomb!/Boy Neu, on which Boys Noize had production credit. The following year, Ridha released the 12”s Optic/He-Man and Volta 82 (2005 Boysnoize Records) on his newly established Boynoize Records. The following three years also brought about three more 12” releases — Are You In? (2005) on Datapunk, Erole Attack (2006) on Turbo, and Feel Good (TV=Off) (2008) on Kitsuné.
Boys Noize’s debut full-length album, Oi Oi Oi (Boysnoize Records), was released in 2007 and is characterized by the meaty electro beats that are especially impressive for the work of only one man. Notably derivative of Daft Punk, the album opens with “& Down,” a stellar track that is firmly rooted in the legacy of electronic dance music. Calling in for special reinforcement on a bonus track, Boys Noize collaborates with Feist and her producer Jason “Gonzales” Charles Beck on the remix of “My Moon My Man.” A year after the release of Oi Oi Oi, came Oi Oi Oi Remixed (2008 Boysnoize Records), featuring remixes by Siriusmo, Feadz Aval Aval, Apparat, Proxy, Para One, and Housemeister.
Boys Noize's career has been tinged with the sounds of many electronic dance artists, but there are a select few with which Ridha acknowledges a specific influence. Citing Roule Records, Dance Mania, Kraftwerk, and Tresor as being largely influential to his sound, Ridha has also noted a great distaste for monotony and his own constant push to relieve his recordings of rehashed sound. Ridha has mentioned a lack of interest in vocals and lyrics, seeing them as secondary to the emotive nature of the music, and often times a distraction and a bother to the “coolness” of a track.
Boys Noize’s reach into the world of remixing other artists’ tracks has largely driven his relevance in the electronic dance music scene. Creating over 30 notable remixes in less than five years has made Boys Noize a go-to resource for club deejays. Some of the more celebrated remixes by Boys Noize have included “Beat It” by Michael Jackson, “Banquet” by Bloc Party, “Le Disko” by Shiny Toy Guns, “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode, and “My Moon My Man” by Feist. And those are just the songs he finished in 2006. 2007 brought “Putting Holes in Happiness” by Marilyn Manson and 2008 saw the release of “Sensual Seduction” by Snoop Dogg, “The Geeks Were Right” by The Faint, and “L’Amour Et La Violence” by Sebastien Tellier. In 2009, Boys Noize remixed Royksopp’s “Happy Up Here.”
lso in 2009, Boys Noize released his second full-length album, Power (Boysnoize Records). Recently, Boys Noize has been working with Gonzales, Feist’s producer, on a collaborative project that has been described by Ridha as a “big experiment.” Moving away from techno music, this collaborative effort has promised to bring a more electro disco sound forward.