A Forlorn Hope
Noer the Boy is at the helm of a new generation of pioneers exploring the frequency spectrum through abstract bass music. His beats crush with punishing distortion and his music seethes with melodic and harmonic intricacies that will being your dance moves to the next level. From his background in marching band, choir, and video editing; Noah grew a fascination with kinetic beats, industrial sounds, and the unrestricted freedom of computer sound creation.
Noah is 27 (August 3rd, 1993) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Noah was born and raised in Appleton, which is about an hour and a half from Milwaukee on the northern end of Lake Winnebago. Noah studied music and band in high school playing the French horn, which is pretty damn cool and also became a drum major for his high school, Appleton East.
Noah is a member of DJ Shadow’s imprint Liquid Amber, Los Angeles collective Courteous Family, and Noisia’s DIVISION, Noer the Boy has also released music on Mass Appeal, VISION, Alpha Pup, and Orange Milk Records. Noer teamed up with Shadow to co-produce ‘Horror Show’ featuring Danny Brown and tour Europe following the release of his debut album ‘Mechanism’. His sounds have grabbed the attention of bass music figureheads G Jones, EPROM, Machinedrum, Ivy Lab, and the Low End Theory club night in LA.
Noah seems to be in a solid space, even with the impact of CoronaVirus in 2020. Pretty awesome considering he now makes a living off making music, sound design tutorials and sample packs, and has an awesome Patreon where you can get exclusives of all his newly released tracks, as well as deeper packages to help music creators augment their productions. He works hard for it and his sound reflects that.
I’ve been lucky enough to take lessons from Noah for about the last year and a half and we’ve been drilling down into mix engineering, deeper sound design, and modular synthesis. Noah is really a wiz at music, so make sure you follow him because he will definitely be releasing new music. He’s recently started to make heavily synthesized house music, or electro, which I have to say I am ecstatic about. Electro-House is my favorite kind of music.
I interviewed Noah about A Forlorn Hope, in an effort to get a better understanding of his music creation process, and what this latest album means to him. I loved the album, especially Shapeshifter, Nebula, Exile, and Rule of two. The whole album certainly deserves a listen on some high quality speakers! (your car is probably not loud enough). Check out the Q and A with Noah below and leave a comment if you feel inclined:
Interview with Noer the Boy
Q1. Elliot: “I personally love all of your music. But this album seems special. I think it hits harder than most and that the sound design is pioneering. What kinds of processes and techniques do you use to make your sounds and mix stand out so much? What kind of special sauces do you use to create such a punishing sound?”
A1. Noertheboy: “Don’t underestimate the power of layering. A few simple sounds or effect chains can combine to form something that appears much more complex than it really is. Treat sound design as building with lego bricks – maybe the instructions are useful but also maybe you want to experiment instead.”
Q2. Elliot: “A Forlorn Hope has some of my favorite tunes on it. But I think that the title track is special and its kind of the motif of the album. Its fat. What inspired you to create that track, and the sounds that are in it?”
A2. Noertheboy: “Without giving too much away, Forlorn Hope is about a doomed journey to the edge of the known universe. ‘Forlorn Hope’ was originally named ‘Event Horizon’, but after watching the 90s film by the same title I didn’t want people to think I made the record about that movie.”
Q3. Elliot: “My favorite track is Nebula, I’m not sure why, but I just love the cohesion of the track and the melody that persists and finds an apex near the ending. What are your favorite parts of the album, and why?”
A3. Noertheboy: “It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite from my album. Each album track is my favorite for a different reason. If I don’t feel 100% like it’s my favorite song made so far, it doesn’t make it on the record.”
Q4: Elliot: “How did you come up with the theme and storyline behind the album? Its pretty cool. It reminds me of a combination of Lost in Space, Dune, or maybe the Abyss.”
A4. Noertheboy: “‘Forlorn Hope’ itself is a term for a group of soldiers tasked with a leading mission, usually a suicidal mission where casualties are high. That combined with my love of deep space SCI-FI films have influenced me a great deal. The Alien series, Interstellar, War of the Worlds, 2001: A Space Odyssey – movies like those have shaped a lot of my sonic identity. The world that ‘Forlorn Hope’ exists in is also the same world that my first album ‘Mechanism’ takes place in. I’m a big fan of concept records.”
Q5. Elliot: “You said on your instagram that writing this album has been particularly Cathartic for you. In what ways have you grown personally and professionally from writing A Forlorn Hope?”
A5. Noertheboy: “I only start write an album when I have something new to say and new tools to showcase. So a lot of growth has to happen to get to that place. And the album writing process itself is transformative. Writing a few songs will undoubtably inspire me to write more and that process leads to rapid growth and breakthroughs that might come much slower if not for writing a cohesive LP.”
Q6. Elliot: “How long did you album take?”
A6. Noertheboy: “The process took a little under a year and a half.”
Q7. Elliot: “How long have you been writing music? What was your first show like?”
A7. Noertheboy: “I’ve been writing music as Noer the Boy for going on 8 years, but music has been an integral part of my life ever since I can remember. My first show was a house party in college and I remember playing hella Pretty Lights, rap music, and Skrillex mashups IIRC. Shoutout my old music homies Kaelin and Alec for playing with me at that first show!”
Q8. Elliot: “You’re pretty good at writing music, Noah. But why do you make it? What’s your primary inspiration. (or 2, or 3)”
A8. Noertheboy: “Music put simply is my everything. It’s what I know. I’d make music if nobody listened.”
Q9. Elliot: “Is there anything else about the album that you want people to know? Maybe you can comment on how you feel about it being finished and out there in the wild to have a life of its own?”
A9. Noertheboy: “Shirts and vinyl copies are in the works! Big thanks to everyone listening and sharing the record, I really appreciate it.”
Q10: “Any last notes? Any coronavirus advice?”
A10. Noertheboy: “Take the stay at home orders seriously so we can get back to enjoying live music.”
That’s it for the interview, feel free to comment on anything and make sure to check out this very avant-garde production from Noer the Boy – A Forlorn Hope.
You can buy the Forlorn Hope album on Bandcamp to help support Noah in his journey. You can also follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and of course, on Facebook.