The German producer’s remixes suggest he should be rather better known to the masses.
Ian Roullier 2011
Whether 2011’s inexorable wave of interest in dance music – which continues to consume all in its path, from Korn to The Kooks – will carry some of the scene’s more innovative producers along with it remains to be seen. One man who could attain David Guetta-style superstardom is Boys Noize, also known as Hamburg’s Alex Ridha, who already has two well-received solo albums, 2007’s Oi Oi Oi and 2009’s Power, to his name and an illustrious list of remix credits, as showcased on this compilation.
Boys Noize may be best known for techno-infused electro, but there’s a depth to Ridha’s reimaginings not found in the work of some of his peers. For instance, if Röyksopp’s Happy Up Here is the ultimate in sweet, happy-go-luckiness then Ridha’s remix is its brooding antithesis, taking its buoyant soul and twisting it into a thudding, jittery morass of paranoid tension and acidic, industrial stabs. Meanwhile, the robotic, vocodered intro of his mix of Feist’s My Moon My Man, rather than introducing an electro-by-numbers exercise in floor-filling, leads to an interpretation that’s muted and melancholic, yet still danceable.
Floor-filling is still central to the Boys Noize agenda however; look no further than the respectful yet rollicking take on Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus or the cut-up, Daft Punk stylings added to Gonzales’ Working Together for proof. It’s the German’s ability to constantly fuel interest throughout his productions that really make this collection worthwhile, though.
Snoop Dogg’s Sexual Eruption is stripped back to its bare, bass-and-beats bones, an acid-line spurs the track to life, taking it on another deliciously unexpected tangent. It’s one of many moments where Ridha’s formidable arsenal of sonic tricks and techniques are displayed. Other cases in point include the euphoric, disco-edged reworking of Cut Copy’s Lights & Music and the slow-build and pounding climax of his remix of Apparat’s Arcadia.
It’s clear by the end of a breathless 24-track set that, especially in the current fevered climate of dance music ubiquity, Ridha should perhaps be attracting more attention for his work than many of his more famous, yet arguably less creative, contemporaries.