Boys Noize is not of this time. And by “this time” I mean the recent crop of electronic artists that put out juvenile ten second soliloquies on Snapchat and don Pizza Slime on their T’s--though he does have a Snapchat and he probably, maybe likes pizza.
Alex Ridha belongs to the decade club; a group of electronic musicians and turntablist that have been in the game long before the EDM gold rush, before people speculated Skrillex and Mija could be an item (but are they tho?) or what Deadmau5 has to say on Twitter. However, Ridha shows his ability to evolve his sound to accommodate the times while still retaining the core of his creativity and his distaste for the ordinary. Same same, but different.
And so cometh MAYDAY, the fourth album from Ridha released on his own Boys Noize Records imprint. Yes there is techno, loads of it in fact, but not like before. Though he keeps elements of his Oi Oi Oi and Power motif throughout the album, he also departs from his status quo by incorporating slower tempos, smoother melodies and vocals that aim right at your feels.
“Overthrow” and “Mayday,” the album’s first two tracks, are an ode to the sound that got him where he is today -- pounding, in-your-face Gameboy techno. But to say Ridha hasn’t broadened his horizons would be false. Ridha states, “This openness has always been important to me. I definitely wouldn’t describe my sound as straight techno. Actually, that’s part of MAYDAY's point: to show that there’s a world between the worlds.”
On tracks like 'Dynamite', 'Rock the Bells', and '2 Live', Ridha ushers in grayer tones of techno by easing up on the harsh synths he has become synonymous with and adding break-beat rhythms between heavy sections. The album’s most divergent track is the single 'Starchild' -- a clear venture into a more melodic and future-sounding shade of Ridha’s sound, beautifully accentuated by Polica’s vocals.
As a whole, Mayday is much deeper and has more contrasting sounds than Ridha’s prior albums. The raw, jigsaw Boys Noize synths you know, love and want are alive and well, but the pace and framing are more calculated and subdued. There are tracks that could easily be played on the radio while others might pop up in a Berlin basement. This is the new sound of Boys Noize. Same same, but different. In true Boys Noize fashion, Ridha states “MAYDAY is my warning signal against blind categorization and conformist synchronization. A call for individuality and diversity – and a tribute to outsiders.”
Listen to the full album below and check out Boys Noize's tour dates to see him in action.
Boys Noize Tour Dates:
05.25 - Paris, FR @ Le Gaite Lyrique
05.30 - Detroit, MI @ Movement Festival
06.03 - Offenbach, DE @ Robert Johnson
06.04 - Luxembourg, LUX @ Lenox Club
06.17 - Eindhoven, NL @ We Are Electric
06.18 - Barcelona, ES @ SONAR (LIVE)
06.22 - Ibiza, ES @ Pacha
06.24 - Paris, FR @ Solidays (LIVE)
06.25 - Scheessel, DE @ Hurricane (LIVE)
06.26 - Neuhausen Ob Eck, DE @ Southside (LIVE)
07.01 - Arras, FR @ Main Square Festival (LIVE)
07.02 - Marmande, FR @ Garorock (LIVE)
07.09 - Lisbon, PT @ Alive Festival
07.10 - Aix Les Bains, FR @ Festival Musilac (LIVE)
07.14 - Bern, CH @ Gurten Festival (LIVE)
07.15 - Graefenhainichen, DE @ Melt! Festival (LIVE)
07.16 - Ostrava, CZE @ Colors of Ostrava (LIVE)
07.17 - Dour, BE @ Dour Festival (LIVE)
07.19 - Nyon, CH @ Paleo Festival (LIVE)
07.21 - Ibiza, ES @ Amnesia
07.23 - Regensburg, DE @ Zuckerbrot & Peitsche
07.29 - Montreal, CAN @ Osheaga Festival(LIVE)
07.30 - New York, NY @ Studio E (LIVE) with Health, Poliça and Venus X
07.31 - Fontana, CA @ HARD Festival
08.05 - Salmo, CAN @ Shambhala Music Festival
08.12 - Budapest, HUN @ Sziget
08.17 - Vienna, AUT @ Frequency
08.20 - Inverness, UK @ Groove Loch Ness
08.25 - Zurich, CH @ Zurich Open Air (LIVE)
08.26 - Dublin, IRL @ Opium Room
08.27 - London, UK @ SW4 (LIVE)
08.28 - Haarlemmermeer, NL @ Mysteryland
10.28 - Live Oak, FL @ Suwanee Hullaween