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Q+A: Boys Noize

Over 10 years into his career, Boys Noize has just released his most dynamic album yet. We find out what keeps him firing on all cylinders

  • Charlie Case
  • 29 July 2016
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Can you describe the new stage design?

It has an industrial look. It’s pretty raw. There aren’t many digital effects. It’s really a stage piece. It’s pretty modular as well, so I can make it bigger or smaller if I want, but it’s got a heavy industrial look and it’s a lot about lights. I’ve been rehearsing a lot and I’m programming a lot of lights myself that I trigger when I play.

You’ve worked with a number of people on this record, from Benga and Hudson Mohawke to Poliça. How did you end up working with them?

In the last two years working on new music there were moments where you’d go have a beer with TEED and end up making a record like ‘2 Live’. I was pretty open-minded to let things happen and didn’t really choose the artists. The only real collaboration I wanted to do was Poliça, a band from Minneapolis, who I got introduced to through Bon Iver. We made this really crazy rhythm which is kind of unusual. It’s quite chaotic as well, but I didn’t want to just make a deep house record where she sings over it.

You also worked with Benga?

Benga was a funny story. I’ve been a big fan of his music for a long time. When I listen back to ‘Night’, the track he did with Coki, Benga was always a step ahead with rhythm. I got back in touch with him last year. He was sending me new tunes and we were both saying let’s do something, but then he showed up the next day in Berlin. He just booked a flight, and knocked on my door without me knowing he was coming!

What was working with him like – especially given that it was one of the first songs he’s released since he opened up about his mental health issues?

He’s such a lovely person and it’s not easy to survive in this crazy music industry. It’s just not right for everybody, but he’s doing really well at the moment. The industry is fucked up. It fucks up musicians and it fucks up music. That’s why I’ve always done things on my own terms. That’s why I release my music on my own label, because I can’t do it the way the industry wants it to be.

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