Guest Mix

Das Ding

das ding

Thanks to brave Parisian team La Fête Triste, another obscur and wonderful musician will be center stage at the Batofar next friday: Danny Bosten – Das Ding, coming from kind of another world for electronic music: Rotterdam, Netherlands, where a lot of our favorite artists gravitates for a long time.

We let you read this pretty complete bio on Minimal Wave website, Veronika Vasicka rediscovering him a few years ago, remastering and releasing is « HSTA » LP  and some other tracks again in 2010.

Just notice that Bosten was already working as many of us since the mid-eighties, publishing his own and friends’ music in a DIY way, through a cassette label, and pirate radio shows years later… Sounds familiar to many of us, doesn’t it?

As we asked him for a mix of his favorite sounds, Danny offered us a very touching selection of all his influences, from rock to electro and disco, arranged in chronological order (!), he wanted to share with his fans. Here it is, accompanied by clever notes explaining what sort of motivation can come to a musician from his listenings.

Max Fraisier-Roux

Ice FM with Das Ding, January 22, 2015, 10.30PM. On Ice FM / Paris Campus Radio

A highly subjective personal musical education in chronological order.

From an early age I was into Science Fiction, all things futuristic, and music of course. So how better to combine all these things than through Robot Music Computers?

I was in my mother’s womb when Gagarin was in orbit… Later, hearing ‘Telstar’ (1962) on the radio was like listening to a signal from outer space.

The ‘Dr. Who Theme’ (1963) by Derbyshire and Grainer seemed to intimate endless strange possibilities with its pulsing bass line and eerie melody.

‘Popcorn’ (1973) in its multitude of incarnations, is iconic in its innocuous way of injecting the synthesizer into the platitudes of pop music. It was unavoidable. Imagine hearing that coming from the car radio at twelve years old!

Then it was Kraftwerk, ‘Autobahn’, of course, it’s meandering theme and uplifting melody beautiful and futuristic, even as it serenaded a mostly mundane phenomenon. The true instance when they registered with me was however ‘Radioactivity’ (1975), a sublime piece of work that warmly celebrated cold scientific facts, and intertwines nature’s underlying realities with the dangers of human manipulation of it and the hubris that drives it. It is amazing what such a seemingly naive piece of pop-music can convey.

“I Feel Love” (1977) for me seemed to be the instance when the synthesizer truly spoke for itself, not just as a gimmick, expressing its relentless drive, in a genius minimalistic sequence -8 notes!- only cut short by the length of the single format. It could go on forever. Pinpointing the height of Disco, but hinting at things to come. 1977 was also the year Punk was born, of course, taking the high-gloss sheen of the ultra sophisticated synthesizer into the underground of New Wave, Post-Punk and DIY.

And in between these things was Bowie’s ‘Low’ (1977 also!) , a wonderfully futuristic album by the king of alienation, whose instrumental B-side was on my turntable forever. ‘Speed Of Life’ is a powerful opener, ‘Sound And Vision’ was on the radio.

Then it’s Fad Gadget – ‘Back To Nature’  (1979) which for me was the one instance that inspired me to go and try this myself. And Gary Numan’s ‘Are Friends Electric’ was all over the radio then as well. All in all, suddenly somehow it seemed entirely feasible to do this stuff yourself, without the need for an expensive studio full of incomprehensible machinery only accessible to licensed engineers.

The simplicity of DAF’s ‘Alles Ist Gut’ (1981) epitomized this esthetic. I tried all their sequences on my new Roland SH-101.

John Carpenter was also a major influence, I must admit. ‘Escape From New York- Main Title’ (1981) was yet another futuristic trip into a sonic version of Science Fiction’s main tenet; ‘What If?’

New Order ‘The Beach’ (1981) speaks for itself, I guess, unavoidable also, as well as Joy Division (and a host of other bands, such as the Velvet Underground, Cabaret Voltaire, The Human League, Depeche Mode, The Normal, Pere Ubu, Devo, The Cure, John Foxx, Ultravox, OMD, Magazine, Wire, PIL, too many to name)

But all in all, in terms of my own music-making, these were songs that told me how it was done, what you could do, and ever since it has been mostly the – now old, ‘vintage’-  analog equipment itself that inspires me, the endless possibilities and connections that can be made, it is a wonderful sonic universe that knows no boundaries. Though I have come to realize that better results often come from a limited set-up, and I must confess, most of the time, my heart is firmly in the realm of POP music.

  1. The Tornadoes – Telstar (1962)
  2. Derbyshire and Grainer – Dr Who Theme (1963)
  3. Hot Butter – Popcorn (1972)
  4. Kraftwerk – Radioactivity (1975)
  5. Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder – I Feel Love (1977)
  6. David Bowie – Speed Of Life (1977)
  7. Gary Numan and Tubeway Army – Are Friends Electric? (1979)
  8. Fad Gadget – Back To Nature (1979)
  9. Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark – Almost (1980)
  10. John Foxx – A New Kind Of Man (1980)
  11. Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Als Wers Das Letzte Mal (1981)
  12. John Carpenter – Escape From New York – Main Title (1981)
  13. New Order – The Beach (1981)
  14. Yellow Magic Orchestra – Mass (1981)
  15. Das Ding – Hyperinformed Superconsumer – live version.


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