Boys Noize recruits techno icons to provide a glimpse into his past with ‘Midnight’ remixes [EP Review]
In 2011, Boys Noize executively produced Spank Rock‘s sophomore album, Everything Is Boring And Everyone’s A Fucking Liar, upon which he has three writing credits – “Ta Da,” “Energy,” and “Birfday.” However, the song which seems to have intrigued Alex Ridha the most from the rapper’s LP is “DTF DADT.” Though Ridha doesn’t hold a writing credit on the song, the time-tracking vocal loop that provides its backbone has since become a staple in Boys Noize sets.
“Midnight, 1 AM, 2 AM, 3 AM, Midnight…”
Boys Noize has gone on to repurpose the memorable sample as the basis for his own song,”Midnight.” Ridha fashioned “Midnight” with retro, lo-fi production, initially releasing the song on a vinyl 12″ before placing it on Mayday. In recent sets, Boys Noize has tended not to play “Midnight” in its original form, generally opting instead to enthrall audiences with the formidable Dog Blood remix.
Ridha has continued his “Midnight” fascination with the release of an EP containing three official remixes to the temporal track. While this release doesn’t include Dog Blood’s fabled return, it contains a series of exceptional revisions to the song. The collection also hosts a cast of contributors which may excite longtime Boys Noize fans more than a Skrillex reunion.
The “Midnight” remix EP commences on a high note, with a collaborative remix between Boys Noize and Mr. Oizo, continuing the Handbraekes reunion that began at the end of September with “Ruhe,” Ridha’s feature on Oizo’s All Wet album. The Handbraekes remix is equally bizarre and militaristic; a chaotic combination of acid house synth-work and thunderous percussion dominates the track, while the core vocal sample appears intermittently in its midst. Boys Noize has confirmed the forthcoming release of a third Handbraekes EP, and the closely-timed release of this remix with “Ruhe” may suggest that HB3 is imminent.
Audion‘s contribution to the EP is of equal eminence to the return of Handbraekes. The rarely-emerging techno alias of veteran producer Matthew Dear is a significant rarity, though the alter-ego has been quite present recently. On the heels of Alpha, Dear has provided an Essential Mix and toured under the Audion project. In April, Boys Noize provided a remix to Mouth to Mouth 10, an EP commemorating the ten-year anniversary of Audion’s seminal single, “Mouth to Mouth.” Audion’s reciprocation of Ridha’s favor is technically dazzling and experimentally discordant, providing the severely cerebral twist that one would expect in a remix from Dear’s elusive project. Ridha was wise to cash in on his favor in a timely fashion as well – Alpha marked Dear’s first album as Audion in a decade, so his alter-ego will likely return to hibernation for a very long time soon.
The “Midnight” remix EP concludes with a revision from Addison Groove, the ghetto house and Chicago juke-favoring alias of dubstep progenitor Headhunter (not to be confused with hardstyle producer Headhunterz). Addison Groove’s remix is arguably the EP’s most club-friendly cut, providing an aberration from the techno-driven style that pervades the rest of the release. With buoyant hints of breaks, the EP’s final remix is danceable, but certainly mysterious in its own right. In spaces between the its beats, eerie synthesis accompanies the signature vocal loop, allowing Addison Groove’s cut to stand out from other remixes while also remaining aligned with the EP’s core essence.
Overall, Boys Noize’s remix EP stands as strongly as an original release. In addition to hosting an exceptional array of “Midnight” variations, the EP entreats a number of elusive underground dance icons to emerge from the woodwork, and provides an essential recapitulation of Boys Noize’s inspirations over the past five years.
Stream the full EP below: