Boys Noize’s ‘Mayday’ mixes old and new to create an incredible hard electro album
In the late 2000′s, electronic dance music saw a resurgence that gave us names like LCD Soundsystem, Justice, a new appreciation for Daft Punk, MSTRKRFT, and many many other producers and DJs. They were pumping out club bangers that maintained a hip edge, before the word “EDM” was associated with loafer-bros, giant sun glasses and overdoses at music festivals along the Jersey shore.
It was truly a great time to be alive and dancing. And then Dub Step happened and much of that positive energy, maintained by folks like Ed Banger Records, was flushed down the toilet with 4 gallons of Mountain Dew and Skrillex-bass drops.
Slowly but surely the appeal of Dub Step has faded between Call of Duty commercials and Transformer movies, and it appears some of best of that pre-2012 death-of-electro has managed to survive the chaos; and among those performers is Germany’s Boys Noize.
Boys Noize (real name Alexander Ridha) has been producing dance tracks since 2004 but he hit larger US success with the release of his first full length album Oi! Oi! Oi! in 2007. This record was filled with more computer generated screeches and brutal synth bass lines than you could shake a molly-filled glow stick at. Check out one of the singles, “& Down,” below and put on some headphones and turn that shit up:
It was dirty and gross and smelled like vodka and Redbull and vomit and we loved every god damn minute of it.
Other stand out tracks included ”The Battery” and ”Shine Shine” – ether way, it was a solid release for the time, highlighting the sound of the moment. A remix album followed featuring redone jams by the likes of Siriusmo and A-Trak. Feet were kept in motion to say the least.
Keeping with his devotion to electronic jams, Boys Noize released Power in 2009. This album continued to keep people hyped with tracks like “Starter,” (below) featuring fast-paced, looped drum beats and the the occasional vocal sample, the record was solid, but as mentioned above, Dub Step had begun creeping into dance playlists and things started to fade for even the best dance party DJs.
2012′s Out of The Black appeared to be a last ditch effort for Boys Noize, hoping to still gain fans in the US despite Michael Bay-levels of dub grind taking over speakers and TV and movie screens.
Despite hurdles, Out of the Black remains a solid record reminiscent of the artist’s first release. Tracks like “Ich R U” showed a returned commitment to the funky-synth driven sounds of the late 00′s and provided hope for fans of a sound lost.
Then there was a gap in releases with Boys Noize mostly dropping remixes and supporting acts he’d added to his aptly named label, Boys Noize Records. Artists included Baltimore’s Spank Rock and LA’s DESTRUCTO among other notable elctro-weirdos that have made Soundcould worth listening to.
There’s much more that could be said about the remixes and work Boys Noize has done since his earliest days, but the important thing is he’s dropped a new album and I’m comfortable in saying fans of a range of dance music will find a lot to enjoy on this new record called Mayday.
The album opens with a slow-burn banger, “Overthrow,” that is reminiscent of late-90′s Chemical Brothers and this theme and sound continues smoothly through the rest of the record.
For those of you who make it to the end of the end of the video below, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the narrative twist which pits a group of white supremacists against some Black street thugs only to have them find… common ground… in the end.
But don’t be fooled – this isn’t a retro record, rather deep bass grooves and haunting synths match up with some of today’s most aggressive electro artists. It’s essentially impossible not to bob your head throughout the album’s 40 mins + run time.
Other tracks offer more accessible melodies and vocal hooks.
Tracks like “Starchild” feature the vocal stylings of Poliça’s Channy Leaneagh in a haunting tribute to a love that reaches the stars.
“We’re where we belong/You belong to me,” Leaneagh sings over distorted crashes and up-beat pings. I’m already imaging myself dancing dreamlike on the floor with little concern for how terrible it might look to the rest of the party – that’s how inspired these tracks make me.
Boys Noize has always opened the door for me to cut loose with little regard for the outside world. His beats and craftsmanship channel a deeper force inside, something animal, that makes me want to loose control.
“Midnight,” possibly the most Chemical-Brothers-y track on the record, stands out as a party anthem that I’ve found myself jamming too in some of the most inopportune times. The repetition of party-time lines, and the suggestion that we “do it again,” could and should be a new anthem for anybody read to get weird with their evening.
Fans of electronic music have been struggling to find an artist’s flag to follow since the rise of Dub Step and a number of dismal follow ups from once-epic producers (cough, Justice, cough), but perhaps Boys Noize will reignight the fire many of us felt so many years ago. And for a generation unfamiliar with many of the bands I’ve mentioned, Mayday offers a great first step into a world of electronic music that is still ripe for diving into.
You can pick up Mayday tomorrow through Boys Noize website here. And for the devoted/curious/lover of brutal dance tunes, Boys Noize will play a few US shows this summer including one in NYC at Studio E (LIVE) w/ HEALTH, Polica, Venus X PICK UP TICKETS TO THAT SHOW HERE.
HEALTH dropped one of my favorite records of 2015, and this will bet the third time I’ll catch them this if I play my cards right. Having them open for Boys Noize will be a dance-drunk dream come true.
I hope to see you all there!
The video is part of the Oliver Stone’s new Snowden movie which follows the life of privacy advocate Edward Snowden.September 22, 2016
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