Ahead of his show at Shanhai Livehouse this week, Alex Ridha, aka Boys Noize, tells Time Out about his 15,000-strong vinyl collection, Hamburg house and going out of the box
On the name Boys Noize I was just looking for a cool name to describe my music and this name was one of 20 others [laughs]. It’s easy to shout as well.
On the evolution of the DJ The changes in the DJ world are dramatic. I started when I was 14 years old and I’ve had two jobs to finance all the money I spend on vinyl. I loved going into the record shop and buying vinyl every two days. It was a real DJ culture and until today I have great memories when I pull out one of my 15,000 records at home and I’m not sure if you get the same feeling with mp3s.
Also, the DJ was not as important in the club as today – the DJ booth was more in the corner. And another big change is that DJs can DJ with USB sticks or a laptop computer, which changed the whole way of DJing – you don’t need skills anymore. I feel that performance and entertaining are more important than the music nowadays.
On the DJ scenes in Berlin and Hamburg In the end of the 90s, Hamburg was totally about house music, like US house or deep house and in Berlin they dissed the ‘soft’ Hamburger because in Berlin they listened to techno all the way. I think the cities themselves are one of the main reasons for this because Berlin was definitely rougher and dirtier with illegal parties on every corner and Hamburg was more the clean city. Both cities have helped me a lot to create my own style.
On collaborations I really loved working with [Chilly] Gonzales on the Ivory Tower album. He is a genius and the album was so much fun. Generally I love to work with people that inspire me as well.
On going out of the box That was always my thing. I was never the DJ that played out the hits only. That’s boring… and too easy! I think it’s really important to take risks and try out new stuff, otherwise there is no progression and no excitement. Of course, I was always the DJ that loves to rock the crowd and make everyone have a good time. But there’s more joy playing a total new track no-one has heard before and making that the next hit. For me, the DJ is still a teacher.
On huge festival stages vs. small club crowds To be honest I prefer playing small clubs. You have way more freedom to be a DJ, to be more experimental.
On what's up next My new album and some other productions. I just finished production on the new Spank Rock album. Check it out!
Any last words for your fans in Shanghai? Oi oi oi!
Boys Noize plays at Shanhai Livehouse on Friday 28 October. See the full event details here