I’m not really sure what to say about Boys Noize that you haven’t heard me say before… I mean, I did give him the unofficial GDD™ Artist of the Year Award in mine and das SNEEVS’ 2010 wrap-up. He’s a magician behind the decks, a master in the studio, the boss man of one of the premiere labels in the game, and just an overall dance music aficionado. With so much love for what he does and the music we crave, I have a feeling we will be blessed by his presence on the scene for a very long time to come.
Make sure you grab the BOYS NOIZE presents SUPER ACID compilation (released yesterday on Beatport and vinyl) for tracks by Noob, Brodinski, Harvard Bass and Djedjotronic… wait, what’s that?… all of those guys did one track together… called ‘Extreme Compote.’ Holy shit. Just buy the whole damned thing, mkay? I’ve listened to it all the way through probably forty times in the last month, so you know it’s good. Have a listen to a little medley of it below.
GDD: First and foremost, it’s a GottaDanceDirty™ tradition to ask what your drink of choice is. First round is on us next time you’re in town…
Boys Noize: Vodka shots straight.
GDD: The Super Acid compilation is a fantastic homage to one of the defining genres in EDM’s history. You have a deep respect for the tunes of the past are you still constantly searching for old gems or does your current work with the new stuff take up too much time?
BN: Thank you! I’m always looking out for old jams I don’t know, which gets harder over time, but I consistently rediscover old house and techno records from my collection. Sometimes I find a record I bought because of the A-side and now I like the B-side. I feel like my ear wasn’t ready for the B-side, yet.
It’s just fun to look out for old and new stuff generally, it keeps me inspired as a DJ and producer and I think a good DJ always looks out for the record that no one else plays and that’s what I do almost every day.
GDD: I actually read a tweet recently that you were in Hamburg in a storage facility sifting through your vinyl collection. How many do you own? How often do you get to play a strictly vinyl set for a crowd, if ever? I’d love to see one of those. GDD member SweetFA is running a vinyl only night in London maybe he can get you out… (Kudos on going that route with your Essential Mix by the way, was truly a special EM)
BN: Oh yeah, almost half of my collection is in my hometown of Hamburg which is around 6k. In Berlin I have another 7k. So around 13,000 records total. I have a huge house music collection as I was a warm up DJ for many years. I do have almost every essential deep-house record, Guidance records, Sound Signature, MAW, Glasgow Underground, Large, and then of course alot of Trax, Strictly Rhythm and shit like that but the best ones and the jackin’ stuff like Dancemania, Djax UP, KMS, Force Ins, Disko B, Gigolo, etc. is in Berlin. I’d love to do a Vinyl set again! In a couple years a Vinyl DJ will probably be more spectacular than the biggest LED show of a laptop act.
GDD: The 303 sound is enjoying quite the revival right now but what exactly was the inspiration to do this compilation? When was the first time you got your hands on a Roland TB-303 and is the 808 still your instrument of choice? What’s your process and studio set-up like?
BN: Of course I own the Roland TB-303, I got it 2 years ago and it was a gift from my girlfriend Before I had the 808 already which I haven’t used much lately but it’s all over my first album.
The inspiration actually came through my good old friend Housemeister. He always did an acid track here and there and both of us play a minimum of one acid track in our sets and I think the idea came right after I did my acid track “1010.” He said it was modern Acid, like no Acid before and we discussed about the evolution of Acid and that nowadays everyone makes Acid in different ways, so we thought it would be a dope idea to do an Acid compilation in 2011 style.
Of course there was an Acid revival every now and then but no one had done an Acid compilation of new jams that are produced in many ways. There is even a track where the Acid comes from an iPhone!
GDD: Your collaborations with Erol Alkan and D.I.M. have been massive successes. Are there any other mega producers in particular you’re dying to get in to the studio and release new tunes with? Any new projects currently in the works? P.S. I’m really looking forward to a potential second album with Gonzales.
BN: Right now I really want to make some new Boys Noize tracks and I’m working on all kinds of styles. Erol and I have been working on some new tracks and there will be a new release this year for sure but before that we will re-release “Avalanche” & “Lemonade” with a big surprise! I have 99% finished producing the new Spank Rock album which is the bomb! This guy is the best rapper/performer in the world!
GDD: Having lived in Berlin for almost five months myself I am thoroughly convinced it is the greatest city on the planet. You moved there when you were 21 I’m assuming because you were under the same impression. If you can put it in to words, what about the city helps to shape you (and all of the amazing EDM talent from there) as an artist?
BN: To be honest I didn’t think Berlin was the greatest city in the world when I moved here, I just moved because I found my love in Berlin.
But I definitely liked the rough vibe of it and it surely has influenced my music as well.
GDD: Can you still go out and just have a fun night out at the club and around the city without causing too much of a ruckus?
BN: Yes, that is what I appreciate about Berlin. You are living a private life and even if you’re a big star people let you go. I just went out to Berghain and Panorama Bar on a Sunday afternoon and had lots of fun. In fact, going out in LA is more of a big deal I think.
GDD: What kind of audio/visual components are you working on incorporating in to your new live project? The spectrum of what qualifies as a live EDM performance ranges from one guy with a laptop to multiple people with hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment around them. Most casual fans when they hear “live” expect some sort of unique visual spectacle, but I’m more interested in what is going to be going on between your fingertips and our ears…
BN: Well, one thing I know is that my LED wall will be bigger than everything you’ve seen so far haha, just kidding.
I don’t know man, I think I like it more directly and on point without many elements because I dont want to feel like a clown putting on a Panda Bear mask and making all those visuals that have nothing to do with my music. The music should be the focus and how I make it and I don’t want to make it with a laptop either. It’s not easy I know and it would be much easier if I had another guy next to me but I’m going to work it out!
GDD: Does this mean we might be getting a new full length from you in the near future to accompany this pending live tour? Speaking of can you please identify this track, you’d make a lot of people very, very happy…
BN: Okay okay, it’s a new track I did with Siriusmo, we are trying to finish it and add 2 to 3 more tracks for a possible EP. :D:D √+++
GDD: Your DJ sets are a haven for unreleased and unknown gems. You test out crowds and tweak your tracks very meticulous before they get released. I even read an interview with you before where you stated you had ‘Jeffer’ and ‘Starter’ two years before the release of Power. Can you explain to the fans from an artist and label’s perspective the reasoning behind holding on to such anticipated tracks for so long?
BN: Playing out new music is why I still love DJing so much, it would be quite boring if i would always play the same shit you know.
I’m glad that I am in a position where people send me music to test it out and I test it. I think people decide what is a “great” track, because for me the most simple looping track I do I love just the same as one with a melody or something… it’s very subjective. I’ve had the experience that tracks I love most are not the ones that get the most love out there. When I test out my tracks I do it because of many reasons, most important is the mix. My studio doesn’t have the best conditions for sound, so most of the time I improve the mix of my tracks after I play them out and I actually do tell my guys on the label if there is something important to be fixed in their music.
The whole process of making an album and releasing it takes a lot of time so since I’ve been making music I always had to wait a long time for my music to get released and it hasn’t really changed yet, especially when you are working on an album. It’s kind of unfair if a video of a new shitty sounding demo appears in the internet because nowadays the hype comes and goes quickly and sometimes it can even destroy a track before it’s even out. Because of that I haven’t released a couple of tracks or remixes I’ve done for myself.
GDD: You’ve been involved in DJing since you were 14. How do you envision the way music is distributed now affecting the longevity of new DJs? Will it be the same thing where you have guys like Moby, Sven Väth, and Richie Hawtin with these 20+ year careers or is that going to be too difficult nowadays? When thinking of the true legends who is in your all-time Hall of Fame?
BN: It is definitely more of a challage to survive because today everybody is a DJ. I feel that challenge with other big DJs too, everybody wants to be the best, who rocks the crowd the most, but can’t you see David Guetta and Tiesto rock the people with their cheesy sound too.
So, yes everybody fucking rocks the club, just go on Twitter. Every DJ I follow is the best to rock everywhere, it so easy and I think there is even a formula today… I see DJing also as a creative thing and it’s more important to find your own sound and style. If you’re able to stand out from the rest that’s when you become more important I think.
GDD: When you were younger I’m sure playing for 500 people in your hometown was one of the most exciting moments of your life. Do you hold on to that innocence and passion or are the special moments few and far between now that playing for crowds of thousands all over the world is commonplace? Success obviously has its many perks but do you worry where to go from here that will continue to excite you?
BN: I’m very happy to say that I went through the “classic” DJ school haha. I was a warm up DJ for many years, doing my mixtapes at home thinking why are there so many shit DJs out there and I’m at home hehe. But yes success can change you man and I’ve seen a couple of nice guys turning into assholes too quickly, it’s unbelievable. I think about my early days very often because I work with many young DJs and producers that already play all around the world with only a few releases. I’m always really excited to tour and meet friends all over the place. It became my life and I can’t live without traveling I think, I love it.
And I love to DJ. I don’t think too much about my future, who knows what happens in this crazy world… Of course I can’t DJ these crazy tours when I’m 40 but I will still be DJing I think. The most important thing is that I will always do music, it makes me happy.
GDD: You’ve played clubs and festivals in both Europe and America, what similarities and differences do you notice from a DJs perspective in the reception of EDM in both contexts? How is the enthusiasm and knowledge of a US crowd perceived by European DJs? Can you put your finger on any reason why EDM has always been fighting for its spot in America whereas it is generally accepted in Europe? How do you change up your set, if at all, when playing shows like Electric Daisy Carnival vs. I Love Techno?
BN: There are differences between America and Europe. Until 2007 America was not open to EDM and not ready for it, except for the cheesy stuff like trance music and progressive house. That’s why Europeans have been dissing the US and all the great US DJs played in Europe mostly. People like Sven Väth just refuse to play in America [THANK YOU COACHELLA] as well as many other DJ friends I know. Really, dance music in America came through from the indie-rock-electro fusion, like Justice and probably what I’ve been doing. This sound is not the classic techno sound but it carries the attitude of techno, which is punk! Techno started as a rebellious thing, you know?
Anyway, right now the big American crowd is enthused by the sound that I did 3 years ago and I do change my DJ set depending on where I play, of course. You have to read the crowd you’re playing to but I never miss my feelings when I DJ, it still has to be balanced.
When I play in LA, etc. I play as the ‘German rebel’, just because everyone over there is playing the same cheesy style and I cant deal with that. Somehow that’s worked out for me
GDD: You’ve assembled quite the roster of talent at BNR. Is that just a matter of you keeping your ears to the street or did some of the guys track you down and pester you with demos till you had a listen? What methods do you use to continue to find new talent for the label?
BN: Unfortunately I haven’t signed anyone from the demos yet. I always found new talents on my own or word of mouth. For almost 2 years I haven’t singed anyone new, although there are so many great talents I would immediately sign but our capacity is quite full. We can only release maximum 12 Maxis per year.
GDD: Where did the idea for the new sub-label BNR Trax come from? Is it just an alternate outlet for everyone’s creativity separate from the heavier stuff that normally appears on BNR…
BN: I was playing with the idea for a long time because so many great producers have been sending me dope tracks but we’re just too full at Boysnoize Rec and it’s also more about exclusive artist development. On BNR TRAX you can send me a track and if I like it we put it out right away, no big deal. Also style-wise it’s more stripped down to classic tool house and techno where on Boysnoize Rec it’s all about good electronic music.
GDD: What was the breaking point in your career as an electronic musician, how did you arrive at where you are now? For a lot of people there is that one moment where their love for dance music comes full circle and there is no going back. Was there a particular moment in your life where you knew EDM was it for you?
BN: One of the main points was when I decided to do everything the way I wanted it and to be true to myself whatever happens.
I started to produce on my own and started my label and I had no manager because I thought people like me discover music on their own, I didn’t want a manager that pushes you or a label that does shitty marketing. I never did anything which I thought wasn’t cool, I never put my name next to someone uncool. It’s not an easy decision to make but I was quite radical.
GDD: Lastly, when you’re not behind the decks do you like to dance dirty?
BN: Dance dirty? I’m a dirty motherfucker!
There you have it. Now in exchange for his kindness (and my rapidly developing carpel tunnel syndrome) please go buy BOYS NOIZE presents SUPER ACID. And get it on vinyl. If it’s your first, you only need to get 12,999 more to catch up to Alex. Maybe you’ll be that super special vinyl only DJ set headlining Coachella 2018.
BONUS ACID DOSE!