Alex Ridha, the German mastermind behind the skullcrushing electro mayhem of Boys Noize, is one busy man. At 27 years old, he runs white hot Boys Noize Records, plays festivals from Berlin to Montreal and has even had a song featured in the massively popular Grand Theft Auto IV, so the next time you jack a Lamborghini you can outrun the cops while being assualted with the mindmelting grandeur of ‘&Down.’ Where he found the time to put together Power, his first album since his debut Oi Oi Oi blew up dancefloors in 2007, is a mystery on par with what Daft Punk look like behind the robot helmets,
Of course, that’s not to say I’m glad he didn’t. Power is a journey through stripped down electro beats and high frequency sonic bursts that collide with hazy soundwaves and unexpectedly soft melodies. Whereas some of the tracks on Oi Oi Oi seemed buried under layers of jagged industrial influence, Power has a spare, militaristic feel echoed in the simple but harsh Soviet stye red and black cover design and song titles like ‘Trooper’ and ‘Transmission.’
‘Gax’ sets the tone with a softly shimmering Boards of Canada melody punctuated by twitchy hi-hats and mournful sirens, all memories of which are quickly erased by the fluid riffs and otherwordly vocoder swagger of ‘Kontakt Me.’ ‘Starter’ and ‘Jeffer’,’ released earlier on a separate EP, keep up the relentless pace with thunderous beats and ray-gun duels between The most surprising track is ‘Sweet Light,’ a playful acid techno romp of a bouncing bassline and two-step snare drums that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Claude von Stroke b-side, while ‘Rozzbox ‘ and ‘Nott’ bring thick and distorted powertool buzz atop layers of wiry Detroit techno.
Ridha’s schedule as of late has seen him spin a guest mix of Power on Jaymo and Andy George’s BBC Radio 1 show, release an August mixtape stuffed with tunes by DJ Hell, Modeselektor and labelmate D.I.M, and book a North American tour that will stop at FIXED’s sure to sell out Halloween night party at Santos Party House in NYC. Power is out now on iTunes and Boys Noize Records.