Before David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia sat comfortably atop the Billboard charts, U.S. nightclubs were getting their first taste of hook-laden electro-house, dance-rock tracks around 2006. These cuts were produced by artists like Justice, MSTRKRFT, Para One, and, yes, Boys Noize.
Based out of Berlin, Alexander Ridha (Boys Noize), took dark German techno sounds and made them easily digestible thanks to unforgettable melodies and insane breaks. Tracks like "& Down," "Lava Lava," and a rework of Feist's "My Moon My Man" instantly catapulted him to the forefront of the U.S. dance scene. He commanded listeners to "Dance! Dance! Dance!," and they obliged.
Now, Ridha returns with a third album, Out of the Black, with which he stays true to the dark-yet-melodic formula that first made him a clubland favorite. He's also exploring new territory, with his first-ever live tour, which made its way through Europe this fall and kicks off its U.S. leg right here in Fort Lauderdale.
But before Boys Noize takes the stage at Revolution Live, we talked to the noizy boy himself about what the hell Out of the Black means and his thoughts on EDM going pop.
New Times: You're kicking off your North American tour in Fort Lauderdale. What can we expect?
Alexander Ridha: It's the first time I'm doing a live show. Before, when I came to the U.S., I've DJed, but this time, I'm bring a pretty big production as well. There is kind of a huge skull head I'm performing off of. It's kind of minimal, very futuristic. I created it with my friend Siriusmo, who is also a producer from Berlin. I was inspired by old Kraftwerk concerts because they had visuals that had context to the music.
How much do visuals connect with your sound and the aesthetic you want to push out there?
I've been working with a visual guy for year now to have a connection with my music. For each song I play, we collected ideas and concepts and figured out how to make it work with my music.
Is there any significance to the new album's title Out of the Black?
[Laughs.] To be honest, not really. It doesn't mean anything. I was playing around with the English saying "Out of the blue," which means something unexpected or out of nowhere, and I like the twist between "blue" and "black." Afterward, I thought it fit with the music and also me doing music at night. It's also a cool title. [Laughs.]
You hear a lot now that EDM is ruined and pop music has hijacked it. Do you agree?
Yes and no. Thing with electronic music for myself is it's about sounds that excite me. It's not about the perfect song or perfect melody. And those pop songs that are inspired by electronic music are still pop songs in the end. It's not about the sound; it's more about the song that is catchy and you want to hear on the radio. But I don't mind people discovering electronic music through that way.
How's the response been on the European leg of the tour so far?
When you start the U.S. tour, will you approach it differently than the European?
To be honest, no. I want to create the same emotions with the music I'm playing right now. I'm curious to see how it goes.
Boys Noize, live performance, Out of the Black tour, Presented by Hard. 11 p.m., Friday, November 23, Revolution Live, 100 SW 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $26.50 plus fees. Call 954-449-1025, or visit jointherevolution.net.
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