Boys Noize just released his latest studio album, ‘Mayday‘, today, Friday, May 20th on his label, Boysnoize Records. As an established champion of producing as well as DJing, Boys Noize hits us with a reminder of how badly we’ve been awaiting to hear from him! He’ll be making an appearance again at Hard Summer this year along many other stops on his tour. You’ll be sure to catch him blending some of these awesome dance-floor songs into his sets. ‘Mayday’ has plenty of straight beat bangers, but the broken beat tracks are what stand out the most. Below is a review of the tracks individually, and I encourage you to check em all out!
Check out the Album Medley of Boys Noize’s latest release ‘Mayday’ on SoundCloud:
‘Mayday’ Track-By-Track Review:
This track starts off slowly like the beginning of a free fall along a steady note. It starts evolving with high-pitched, harmonized synths and grows into an excellent intro track to the album in terms of some production technique. It uses vocal looping to build tension, and makes great use of a broken beat. The bass line also gets more solid while bouncy towards the end of the track which was dope.
The album’s title track speeds up quickly from a feint warbling into an intense jungle-like beat. This is by far my favorite track because of the shifty percussion pattern. It has the flair of an 80’s dance track with a sustained descending note flowing behind the thumping bass kicks. The track is absolutely going to feel like a fire burning on the dance floor whenever it’s played. The second drop is just as catchy and twice as electric as the first; you definitely will hear this sometime in 2016 at a lot of different events.
This track had the most interesting progression, and is featuring Dubstep producer Benga. It starts as an ambient space with a woman vocalizing between two synths. But it almost immediately plunges into a deep, dark house beat. Some of the transitions in the song were a simple drum fill that carried the song between feeling vacant and full.
Rock the Bells:
In “Rock the Bells,” I felt taken back to the streets. It starts with an old school hip-hop feel that’s holding a really fat bass kick in it. The bells are the most dynamic tone you hear other than a feint siren in the background until the buildup hits. Once it hits though, the acid synths start to creep in, a different mood glosses over the track. The drop comes in with the acid synths chopping up the beat, layered over the bell hits. It’s crazy how a few simple additions in this track cause it to move in a completely different fashion. Overall, I think this track is one of the funkier, with a classic broken beat and drum-kit going.
The motto of this song is “inhale, exhale,” the lyrics that get looped over a simple and steady bass kick. It’s definitely a slow-burning track that begins to delay the vocals slightly after about a minute. The result is a blurry swell that you sort of get lost in, when the bass comes in slapping after the first minute and a half. The melody sounds really interesting, kind of like a split up arpeggio that blips along the beat. You can hear some ambient breaths and inhales which add to the haze that you start to feel after a few minutes of listening.
This track has a dreamy house soundscape with a layered 80’s like melody that twinkles in front of the beat. Some acid like synths just come in between measures to sort of stretch and thrust the beat back in, which I really appreciate about EDM in general. I think this track has a quality that is lacking in many tracks being produced for the sake of moving music forward. However, I think this was great use of what felt like some retro elements.
Would You Listen:
“Would You Listen” pulls together the aura of Pink Floyd meets 80’s pop rock in an acid house track. With a mesmerizing loop of “would you listen,” the track first gains momentum with a simple bass kick and snare rhythm. In the second drop, the beat is way more full thanks to a thick bass line that booms underneath the vocal loop. This track grew on me after a few plays, as it was completely in the right place within the feel of the album.
With the feeling of a Gesaffelstein track, Revolt comes in with a slow and heavy bass hit behind a completely hypnotic shifty rhythm. This track is a must-listen, and truly stands out in how subtly the transitions come on. I expected most tracks on this album to be a less powerful version of “Revolt,” but was glad to see this stuck in the second half of the list. Where the transitions hold the most stress in this song, with a growing feeling of rebellion.
“Starchild” starts off with a very gently sustained synth and some serene vocals from Poliça, a synth pop band. This organic presence from a rock band really helped shape the track into a beautiful fusion jam. “Starchild” is easily the most intimate and soft-sounding track on the album.
“Midnight” starts with a count off of hours beginning with 1 AM. This track is full of debauchery as the buildup carries you through to the later hours of the morning. Boys Noize shows his great ability as a producer to utilize vocal loops to give so much to the tone of the song. With the background bass line staying low on this one, the vocals and mid-range distortion towards the end shine the most.
If no other track has you two-stepping, this one will. “Los Niños” thumps as much as it swings making it perfect for any dance floor. The leading synth is incredibly chunky with a similar feeling bass groove. I couldn’t get much insight on the interesting track name, but “Los Niños picks the pace of the album back up after songs that weren’t as bass-prominent.
This track comes in with a rapid, muffled drum pattern but then bursts into an even quicker bass frenzy. The quick tempo on this fills the song with so much motion while the fluttering synth in the background swings every full measure. All of a sudden, the beat falls off and a robotic voice starts speaking like a chant over a plucked beat. The track slows down from the fast tempo in this way, which has sort of a strange effect taking the track on its own. However, it’s a nice come down to lead into the very last track with.
The “Mayday” album ends with an indie-bass electronic track featuring Spank Rock and Hudson Mohawke. In fact, Hudson Mohawke played this track at Coachella with the most cathartic feeling in the air. I wouldn’t have guessed that this track was produced with Boys Noize, and I’m ecstatic to hear it as the last song on the album. The vocals from the young rapper are delivered with confidence and make this song feel really epic once the bass and synths from the drop hit. “Birthday” is about feeling great and living life with a positive outlook, and it can realistically be dropped anywhere in a set. I’m stoked to hear this track played at lots of other festivals this summer!
Overall Thoughts On ‘Mayday’:
My impression of this album was that it was going to sound pretty dark and grungy on almost every track. I really enjoyed the fact that I was wrong because some of the most dynamic tracks had a classic broken beat feel. What makes me smile the most are the title track and the tracks featuring other artists. If I were to grade this out of 10, I’d give the album an 8.5/10 because many of the tracks I really enjoyed, but it was more than a handful of them which really moved me. I have a growing respect for Boys Noize in what he’s doing for the music community, so this year is going to be a large one for him for sure.