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Boys Noize Out of the Black Review

Album. Released 2012.  

BBC Review

Monster tunes to be cranked out at the volume they deserve.

Reef Younis 2012

In the electro-house renaissance of the early 00s, a handful of empires were built on the basis of earth-shattering bass, grinding analogue filth and a no-fear approach to crashing breaks, acid, techno and electro into a circuit-bending amalgam of noise.

Referred and referenced by stellar contemporaries like 2manydjs, Tiga and Erol Alkan, Hamburg-born Alexander Ridha AKA Boys Noize has been a mainstay of the Berlin beat machine for almost a decade. The mastermind behind the rise (and rise) of his Boysnoize Records imprint and overseer of a raft of consistently brilliant remixes, Ridha has long dished out some of dance’s most brutally satisfying doses.

Out of the Black, expectedly, roars from the darkness – Ridha is a musician who rarely eases his way through introductions, as his previous LPs Oi Oi Oi and Power have made clear. What You Want is designed with towering Marshalls in mind, stacks of booming sub-woofers beside them, the song building to Justice-levels of bombast but augmented by now-characteristic Boys Noize grind.

But variety shines through on this third set. Rocky 2 is rocked by acid before Circus Full of Clowns slows the tempo to a hip hop bounce. The extremes are pronounced through clever contrast, Ridha’s chameleonic style dominating where this album’s predecessor favoured a more techno-flavoured focus.

Out of the Black has enough modem-mashing distortion and barracking beats to keep the hardcore faithful happy; but big breaks aren’t always positioned as get-out clauses. The waspish beats of Got It, complemented by Snoop Dogg’s drawl, are instantly likeable. Familiarly robotic vocals feel rather tired on Missile and Ich R U, but they come to the fore on the jerking, abrasive punch of Stop. Where Merlin feels like a hangover from Power, the swooning flourishes of standout track Reality provide Out of the Black with its bona-fide anthem.

Not a record to play through seamlessly but one to skip and cherry pick, Out of the Black is about selecting the monsters, and cranking them out at the volume they deserve. The Boys is back.

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