Reviewed by: Julia Cirignano
Boys Noize is at it again; experimenting with every type of noise he can get his hands on. Under his stage name, Alexander Ridha has released his fourth album Mayday. Boys Noize makes songwriting seem easy with his use of new, interesting sounds, and also basic human noises. Throughout the album, there are instances where a male voice sounds like robot, for example, “Midnight”. Yet, Remy Banks slurs his words and sounds very human on the track “Euphoria”. Female voices are heard sounding human such as POLIÇA in “Starchild”. POLIÇA’s voice is is sweet, feminine, which works well against the steady beat and fairytale atmosphere that the twinkling sounds create.
Every song on Mayday brings something new to the table. Throughout the album, Boys Noize experiments with different human voices, sounds, and breathing. These noises are used as a tool to create a beat — giving the music a very human sound. During the song “Mayday”, breathing is heard in the background as part of the beat, which creates a great contrast against the robot-like sound of the man’s voice. Breathing is also used as an instrument in the song “Euphoria feat Remy Banks” against which slurred words are heard over a clean beat.
“Inhale, exhale” are the lyrics while there is quiet breathing in the background. To add to the variety of sounds, Benga’s voice sounds traditional and seemingly familiar in the song “Dynamite”. Benga’s voice, alongside Boys Noize’s modern style, sounds fresh and interesting — catching the listener’s attention. Benga’s voice comes through as if he’s far away — showing the creative freedom Boys Noize took even within the process of recording style.
Boys Noize takes advantage of several unconventional meters. Although there is complexity, the music sounds simple, not cluttered. Boys Noize does this while also keeping their listener’s attention with his skillful use of repetition — both with music and vocals. Some songs have little to no vocals, while some have more. There is variety both musically and vocally throughout the album. During Mayday, Boys Noize even finds time to take a moment to make a political statement with the song “Los Niños”. Boys Noize adds lyrics such as, “The future of America, it is my opinion [….] is at stake,” and “disco bombing”. These words are said instead of sang; adding a robot like sound to the voice making the political statement. This irony could have been used to criticize automatic, robot like politicians.
Boys Noize does a great job added human noises to his songs; both as lyrics and as an instruments. He blurs the line between vocals and instruments, and could even push this limit farther. Boys Noize explores the connection between the human world and technology, and his results show a wonderful contrast.