It may have taken a while, but Boys Noize is finally slated to make an appearance at Club Space’s famed Terrace. However, the German DJ/producer known to friends and family as Alexander Ridha is anything but a stranger to Miami: He's been wreaking electronic havoc and mayhem throughout the Magic City for the better part of ten years. Whether as one-half of Dog Blood alongside Skrillex at Ultra or as a solo artist at much-missed clubs Grand Central and Heart, Boys Noize has accrued more than his fair share of experience working the city’s crowds into a sweat.
It’s an ability that has served him well on dance floors as well as in production studios. Although he's adored by listeners for his layered, manic productions and skills on the ones and twos, Boys Noize is also a respected creative force among his musical peers. He has collaborated with artists in an array of genres, ranging from synth-heavy indie acts such as Francis and the Lights and Poliça to electronic pioneers such as Jean-Michel Jarre. He has even made time to produce for hip-hop heavyweights like A$AP Rocky and has crafted officially sanctioned remixes for seemingly everyone: A-Trak, Bloc Party, Cut Copy, Depeche Mode, Justice, and Snoop Dogg are just a few of the artists who’ve received the Boys Noize remix treatment.
Twenty nineteen was the latest in a long series of good years for Boys Noize. The track "Midnight Hour" — a coproduction with Skrillex and Ty Dolla $ign — earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording, and he made headlines after providing an assist to Frank Ocean on the singer’s recent single "DHL." His debut DJ set Saturday, December 27, at Space will top off not only a successful year but also a triumphant decade.
If you’re unfamiliar with Boys Noize and are looking to get acquainted, the following five tracks should gird you for what to expect when he swings by Miami at the end of the month.
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For a generation of ravers who came of age in the late 2000s, "& Down" marked the first of many times Boys Noize boldly and loudly announced his presence. As the opening track on his debut studio album, 2007’s Oi Oi Oi, “& Down” aptly set the stage for what followed on both the record and in the DJ/producer’s career. After sounding a robotic "hello," the track hits listeners with a wall of compressed sound and a voice commanding them to “dance, dance, dance” over and over again. "& Down" is relentless, and when it does take a second to breathe, it does so deliberately, somehow making room for melody to sneak in amid the harshness.
"My Moon My Man (Boys Noize Remix)"
The remix of "My Moon My Man" is nothing short of a miracle. The track transforms Feist's breathy, piano-led single into an absolute banger without sacrificing the gentle touch of the source material. The singer’s heavily processed voice comes together with Boys Noize’s aggressive production to form a wild and unlikely combination, resulting in a song that's still spun regularly a decade onward.
Taking a page from French filter house, the 2013 track "Starwin" sees Boys Noize lay off the punishing production in favor of something that ought to have dancers looking upward in awe rather than down at the dance floor as they stomp their feet. Although "Starwin" has a romantic quality befitting its name, positively acidic Roland 303 synth lines occasionally pop in to punctuate the proceedings and lend things an edge.
Released under the name Elax, 2018’s Reaktor is a barnstormer of a track popularized by its use among world-class DJs such as Solomun. The song takes a more minimalist approach than what’s generally expected of a Boys Noize song — perhaps the reason for the switch in monikers — and displays a keen understanding for how to build tension and make a lot out of a little.
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Produced with certified French weirdo Mr. Oizo through their long-running Handbraekes project, "Discow" blends the late Jackie Moore’s disco heater "This Time Baby" with a vocal sample of Thomas Bangalter, one-half of Daft Punk, discussing — you guessed it — disco with Pete Tong. The prominent vocal sample was recently mixed expertly by Miami’s own Michelle Leshem during her set at Poplife’s 20th-anniversary party at ATV Records. "Discow" distills the genre from which it takes its name to its bare essentials and makes a convincing case for it in under three minutes. Try not to mutter "Discow" to yourself for months on end after listening to this one.