Having recently teamed up with Skrillex for a dirty house side-project named Dog Blood, German producer/DJ Alexander Ridha gets back to terrorising dancefloors on his own with his third studio album under the guise of Boys Noize, Out Of the Black.
The golden boy of the Berlin electronica movement, Ridha’s follow-up to 2009’s Power deals in a similar blend of grinding basslines and distorted acid synths as his Grammy Award-winning colleague, but with the exception of the collaboration with rapper Gizzle, stops short of treading on his dubstep toes.
Instead, Out Of the Black’s 12 tracks drift from the old-school electro-funk pioneered by Afrika Bambaataa in the early 80s to the minimal industrial techno of Ridha’s homeland, and then to the vocodered Parisian house of Daft Punk’s seminal Discovery in the relentlessly hyperactive manner Boys Noize has become renowned for.
Designed to blow speaker boxes wide apart, opener “What You Want” kicks off the obsession with robotics that run throughout the record as a disengaged mechanical tone barking out statements whilst accompanied by an infectious swirling synth hook sounding suspiciously like the Ghostbusters theme.
The old-skool hip-hop snares and rubbery electro riffs of “XTC” are equally enticing, even if it rivals The Shamen’s “Ebenezeer Goode” for the most obvious allusion to MDMA in a dance track. Elsewhere, the pneumatic drill beats and Space Invader bleeps of “Missile,” the monstrous Transformer-aping bass wobbles of “Ich R U” and the Formula 1 race car effects of “Stop” create a playfulness which breaks up the occasional monotony of the album’s production.
Indeed, by the time Snoop Dogg turns up to lend his trademark laid-back drawl to the wasp-buzzing beats of closer “Got It,” everyone save the seasoned hardcore clubbers will likely be utterly exhausted. There’s little respite, little concern for melody and even less subtlety. But there’s a flair here that was sorely lacking from Deadmau5’s similar but far more derivative recent effort which should ensure that Boys Noize remains the king of the maximalist electro scene for now.