boys noize has been keeping it real on the techno scene for 10 years
Alex Ridha, aka Boys Noize, delivers a huge exclusive mix of raw, jacking electro and chats to i-D as he celebrates 10 years of Boysnoize Records.
Hamburg born, Berlin based DJ and producer Alexander Ridha's Boys Noize name is synonymous with techno and electro music. His studio creations and DJ sets have earnt him serious stripes and his ever-successful label Boysnoise Records is now celebrating 10 years in the game. We managed to link up with the legend to chat to him about the success of his label, what he is excited about at the moment and why he's throwing 10 parties in cities.
Back when you started BNR did you have any idea it would end up like this?
When I started the label I was just focused on my own music and getting that out. I didn't really have a plan, other than the first 5 releases and how they should look. Because it was a strictly vinyl label for almost two years there was no promotion or internet marketing, it was all about the DJs finding this label in their favourite record store. Over the years we grew pretty naturally, there was never a big hype or something like that. So, no I really didn't think I'd end up doing an interview with fucking i-D.
Do you remember the moment when you first realised the label was really taking off?
That must have been around 2009 when I released my second album. It was the first big surprise and a big step in my own career but two years later the BNR sound had arrived and we were throwing label parties everywhere. That was a quite crazy feeling.
What qualities do you think have helped BNR last so long?
Well, I think it's the music from all our artists together make the quality. Everybody is very close to the pulse of underground music and everyone is constantly trying to push themselves for fresh sounds or something that is different. For instance, Djedjotronic is now one of the freshest producers, making modern techno and combining it with classic electro. Strip Steve has been one of the first to bring back disco house and now he's all into rough jackin' house. Housemeister never cared about any style coming up or going away, he's one of the realest analogue techno producers from Berlin. SCNTST is just doing his own thing, changing styles on every record. Spank Rock is still one of the sickest rappers in the world… These are the kind of artist and producers I'm looking for…
What would you say are BNR's career-defining achievements?
Keeping it real, creating a sound and being nice.
If you could do one thing differently, what would you do?
I should have bought our own vinyl press so we can release records instantly.
What were you like when you were 10 years old?
Being a cool dude, playing drums, listening to my brother's house and rap records, making mixtapes, shaving half of my head and going to see St. Pauli play football in my hometown, Hamburg.
Which of your collaborations are you most proud of?
Probably the ones with Chilly Gonzales and Erol Alkan.
What do you love most about your job?
It sounds cheesy but doing what I love and making a living of that is pretty fucking awesome! I love to travel too, making friends around the world and learning about different cultures and making people happy with my music. You get to see that world in different perspectives. Thank you.
What music is exciting you at the moment?
I buy records every week and the amount of good rough house and techno is crazy. I feel like we're back in 92, where producers want to sound as real as possible... That excites me!
How do you feel about the direction dance is taking these days?
I can't really say where we are going but one thing I know is at some point DJs and producers always go back to where techno, rave, house or electro started and how it sounded.
What can people expect from the Boysnoize birthday celebrations?
We'll be throwing parties in 10 countries, unforgettable nights at special venues and places! I'm trying to get everyone on the label together with lots of surprise acts that are also related to the label or have been very good friends and supporters over the last decade. It's going to be a blast!!
What prompted the birthday BitTorrent bundle?
We thought it was the right time to show some love to the people who just discovered BNR. There are so many good releases and it takes time to go through all of them so I thought it'd be cool to make a playlist of 25 different releases that shaped the label and to give out new and unreleased music. Through 2015 I'll be giving out lots of music I've done over the last years but also never released.
Where do you think BNR will be in another 10 years time?
I always have a lot of ideas and new things I want to try out, so we'll see…