'Out of the Black'
By Catherine P. Lewis
Friday, November 23, 2012
German electronic producer and DJ Alex Ridha performs and records under the name Boys Noize. In addition to remixing work by many well-known musicians (N.E.R.D., Depeche Mode, Marilyn Manson), Ridha has released several albums of his own original electronica. His third and most recent Boys Noize album, “Out of the Black,” tries to conjure the pulsing energy of a dance night out at a club.
The challenge that Boys Noize never overcomes is that mindless, throbbing repetition doesn’t have the same effect at home as it does in a dance club. The album kicks off with a dry, motorized reiteration -- “This is what you want; this is what you get” -- that’s difficult to get past. The military-style, rapid-fire percussion of “Missile” quickly becomes grating, and the seven-minute sprawl of “Reality” feels prolonged and unfocused.
Songs with guest collaborators fare better. Snoop Dogg throws out some entertaining (if colorful) rhymes on the memorable final track, “Got It.” Glenda “Gizzle” Proby’s rap on “Circus Full of Clowns” isn’t quite as engaging, but her vocals nicely distract from the tedious beats below. But it takes the help of fellow Berlin-based producer Siriusmo to beat Boys Noize at his own game. Their collaboration, “Concord,” is the album’s most engaging and driving instrumental track.