Anytime a prodigious artist unveils a brand new facet venture, the launch generates a plethora of anticipation, but in addition carries with it a level of apprehension. Too typically, the producer’s “alter-ego” could appear to be both useless extension that differs little from his or her major endeavor. Or, worse but, the artist dangers dropping steam by exploring a brand new sound that simply doesn’t seize listeners fairly as resoundingly.
Despite ample alternatives, each of those fates have eluded Alex Ridha. The German auteur has managed to inject the signature stylistic traits of his Boys Noize legacy into his numerous auditory avocations with out changing into stale within the slightest. Indeed, his inimitable presence in Handbraekes, Dog Blood, and Octave Minds — his teams with Mr. Oizo, Skrillex, and Chilly Gonzales, respectively — is well recognizable, but the entire aforementioned are solely distinct from the timbre of his solo work.
Despite Ridha’s veteran “super-duo” standing, he conquered a brand new problem in August, when he debuted his first solo alias, ELAX. When information arose that Boys Noize could be producing underneath a unique moniker for Solomun’s Diynamic imprint, it was unclear how the venture would fare. The notion of Boys Noize adopting a deeper, extra subdued outlook on home and techno was endlessly scintillating, however how would he mood his elementary industrial and acidic proclivities? How would he bridge the hole between Hamburg and Berlin?
When Ridha launched his first ELAX single, “Reaktor,” in August, the consequence spoke for itself; his Diynamic debut retained the raunchiness which constructed his viewers, however the restraint which constructed that of the observe’s backing label. Still, one could have puzzled how the venture would progress with out changing into one-note.
With the discharge of his first ELAX EP, Alex Ridha has staunchly eliminated any doubts which can have lingered concerning the trajectory of his new pseudonym. Spanning two tracks, Sueño isn’t an extended document, nevertheless it offers a complete define of what Ridha’s imaginative and prescient for ELAX appears to be.
In the EP’s titular observe, Ridha ventures into utterly new territory. Where one would possibly categorize the majority his Boys Noize oeuvre as nightmarish, “Sueño” evokes the sonic sensations of the sedate, but mystifying dream which its title (the Spanish for “Dream”) suggests. Atop quasi-Balearic percussions, Ridha weaves soothing chord progressions with eldritch top-line synths, which possess only a trace of the frenzied sounds that always dominate the Boys Noize venture. Yet, undeniably, ELAX is one thing new.
In “Rhumba,” the EP’s second observe, Ridha veers towards a better power, but concurrently, additional away from his signature stylistic tendencies. Even probably the most well-versed Boys Noize fan would lack the slightest clue of its origin upon a blind listening. Containing solely minimal synthesis and sampling, “Rhumba” attracts its essence from its house-driven rhythms, which might would discover themselves extra at house in a classy membership than at a raucous warehouse.
Suffice it to say, in Ridha’s first EP as ELAX, he impeccably makes his approach from Berlin to Hamburg, leaving the listener to daydream about what comes after Sueño.
Boys Noize will play his first set as ELAX on December 7 at Sound in LA. Tickets can be found right here.
Featured picture by AJRPhoto.