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Property Of The Club: Boys Noize On His Favourite Acid House Tracks
The Quietus , May 20th, 2011 07:56

Alexander Richa tells us his 10 favourite acid house tracks, and explains how the accieeeeed influence has bled into Boys Noize

Phuture – 'Acid Tracks'

When did you first hear Acid Tracks?

Alexander Ridha: Good question. It might have been in the end of the 80s, because I have a an older brother 10 years older than me, and when I was a kid he used to listen to all those early house records from Farley Jack Master Funk, Steve Silk Hurley and definitely some of the Trax releases.

When did you first get your own Roland equipment?

AR: I bought the Roland TR 808 six or seven years ago, and it was around 700 Euros on eBay. The sound of the kick drum, snare, toms, hi-hats - everything sounds amazing. I used it right away on almost every track like 'War', 'Lava Lava', 'The Battery', 'Arcade Robot', 'Don't Believe The Hype' and even my own Feist remix. The 808 is fun and easy to programme, not like the Roland TB 303 [laughs].

Josh Wink – 'Higher State Of Consciousness'

Is this the first song people think of when they hear acid house?

AR: Probably, yes. It was the first track that crossed over from the underground.

Do you think acid house showed you a way of presenting quite uncompromising/underground sounds in a commercial way?

AR: I think acid got so popular first because of its sound in combination with a [Roland] 606, 707, 808 or 909, but more because acid tracks were basically jam sessions tweaking the sound with its incredible filters, and at the same time changing the drum patterns on the drum machine. There was no formula on how to arrange the track. Back then it wasn't so easy to arrange club tracks with big breaks and stuff, so in acid house, there was something unpredictable.

Mantronix - 'Bassline'

What do you think is the relationship between different vocal styles (hip hop, pop, etc) and dance music?

AR: To be honest, I don't think it's easy to make a banging dance track and then write a full song over it. Club music lives on its energy of sounds, loops and drums. I was never a fan of too much vocals over a club track, but this Mantronix track does it so well. It's way slower, though, but I love the attempt of trying to bring acid together with rap and making it pop. That's the most futuristic and romantic idea of pop for me.

You've worked with a few major popstars - what do you think they bring that's different to the table?

AR: I'm working with Spank Rock, and he is definitely someone who is open to try out weird and new things - it's the same with Kano, who I recently produced for. Working with major artists can be difficult because while they may be cool to do wild stuff, the record companies and their A&Rs still work in their 'old' system; instead of making trends, they follow what works right now. I can understand it, though: everyone is fearful of losing their job, and majors are losing so much money that there isn't much room to go new ways.

Essit Muzique - Essit Muzique (DAP)

This is a Dutch track, and Europe has a history of taking on American dance styles and making them more.. European.

AR: It's true that early house and techno has its roots in America, but my generation kind of changed it the other way round, where everybody is looking at Germany, the UK or France to see what's the next thing. And it always changes, too. It's great to see that every couple of years there is this new energy coming from country - like, for example, Germany from 2003 - 2005, France from 2005 - 2007, and the UK from 2007 - 2009.

What do you like about the programming on this track?

AR: It's so diverse. You can leave it playing for a long time, and it doesn't get boring. ·

Rob Acid 'Prodeux'

Is this 'fun' acid? What makes it fun?

AR: It's just that funny, happy acid line and those hard beats - almost like gabba.

Do you ever get accused of liking 'silly' or 'not serious' music?

AR: Oh yeah, I'm a collector of silly music. Generally, I think music should be fun for the most part, and some people take it way too seriously. But then, I respect that too...

808 State - 'Flow Coma' (AFX remix)

Is this acid at its harshest?

AR: This is acid made by some brains [laughs]. He [Richard James] is a really incredible musician and producer. You know, 90% of acid is quite simple, but this is acid on another level.

The acid sound has always been popular amongst outsiders, and for more esoteric producers like AFX. Do you think there are still new things that can be done with it?

AR: Yes, I think so. After we released the Super Acid compilation, lots of young producers came up to me and said they wanted to try to do acid, but in the likes of UK funky, dubstep etc. Also, it would be incredible to see a Top 10 acid pop record [laughs].

Mu - 'Paris Hilton'

Is there something to be said for keeping it simple, like on this track?

AR: Yes, it's really not easy to keep it simple, actually, and the best tracks are the simple ones. This record is so cool because it brings in love drums and vocals from crazy Mu. It's like an African/Asian Acid Jack.

Do you hear the influence of acid like this is a lot of music nowadays?

AR: Not really; it's actually getting further away from it, because most dance producers make tracks with too much of a formula of how to arrange a track. In acid, it's more about that live session.

Edge Of Motion - 'Set Up 707'

Was this a big track for you, in terms of discovering acid house?

AR: I was always a big fan of the Djax-Up label releases, and I discovered this at the end of the 90s while I was working at the record store - just going through old records to discover some pearls like this one. It'a a stupid acid banger.

Bam Bam – 'Where’s Your Child'

How do people respond to acid on the dancefloor these days?

AR: The young generation of 18 - 21 year old kids and ravers are, of course, not as familiar with the sound as the guys who are a couple of years older. But I think it's a good time, and it's important, to mix those records and sounds together with other stuff. People are happy when they hear a good acid line - I think it's something you can't turn off. I play this record from time to time and it seems like kids do actually react the same as 20 years ago. Acid belongs to the club, and acid house makes people happy. ·

Plastikman - 'Gak'

Plastikman has spoken about how great the club scene is in Berlin. How do you find it compared to the UK?

AR: When I make music I get inspiration on different levels, and living in berlin might have inspired my sound too. Without a doubt the club scene in Berlin is great, but in the last couple of years I've felt more inspired by the UK club scene, because it's more diverse. In Berlin, a lot of DJs and producers follow the hype of someone like Richie Hawtin or Ricardo Villalobos, and I feel that in the UK there are way more young producers and DJs that don't give a fuck what sound is going on. They just do their thing, and I love that.

Boys Noize play Kill 'Em All at Fabric tonight, May 20th. For more information, go here