Das Ding is Danny Bosten, who was active in the early 1980s releasing his music and friends’ music via his own cassette label called Tear Apart Tapes. While studying graphic design in art school, he designed all the tape covers himself. Meanwhile, he recorded his own music as Das Ding. Powerful dark electro, some tracks are quite addictive and danceable while others are more for at home listening enjoyment.
1981, the south of Holland: When his brother’s band decided to take a break, Danny Bosten asked if he might borrow some of their equipment. Some friends contributed synthesizers and soon, Bosten’s bedroom had become a small recording studio. Danny learned to work the machines and began recording. The results were more than passable and he decided to produce a few cassettes to sell and trade. Watching television one evening, the 1953 classic sci-fi movie ‘The Thing From Another World’ came by on a German channel, and Danny had found a name for his project: ‘Das Ding (aus einer Anderen Welt)!’ from 1951.
At the time, it seemed that everyone was making music, or noises of some sort. This scene seemed to warrant the establishment of a full-blown cassette-label, and so Bosten, together with Johan de Koeyer, who was operating as ‘Les Yeux Interdits’, set up ‘Tear Apart Tapes’. Their first release was a split C-20 cassette featuring ‘Das Ding’ and ‘Les Yeux Interdits’, and Danny, who was studying graphic design at the time, designed the artwork, cassette-sleeves and illustrations himself.
Those were the days of mail-art and tape-trades, and the mailman was soon delivering stacks of stuff- tapes, records, xeroxed fanzines and weird objects of every kind each morning. A friend arranged the release of another Das Ding tape on the Dutch STUM label, the Update Materials Foundation from Laren, to be called ‘Highly Sophisticated Technological Achievement’, or ‘HSTA’, as it was thereafter known. Over the next years, Danny made more tapes and played some gigs, in various incarnations. At the time, limited by the era’s technology, Das Ding’s music was difficult to perform, and every song had to be programmed before it could be played. With time, Danny’s interests shifted- as did popular taste- toward increasingly guitar-oriented new wave. A new project, ‘The Cherry Orchard’, became his primary musical focus, and after moving to Amsterdam, Danny spent many years producing pirate-radio shows, mixing homemade industrial music with media soundscapes.
In 2007, 433rpm, of the exhaustive music blog ‘No Longer Forgotten Music’, posted some of his old Das Ding tapes, and Veronica Vasicka- who runs the New York based ‘Minimal Wave’ label and specializes in reissues of 80s synth-wave- contacted Danny, now living in Rotterdam, to propose the release of a Das Ding album. Old tapes were uncovered, and Minimal Wave released a remastered version of ‘HSTA’ and other tracks, in 2010. A wave of renewed interest followed the record’s release and soon people were in touch to propose live shows. Twenty years later, and after some deliberation, Das Ding was reincarnated under its old moniker but now with a revised line-up and a working set-up that reflected inevitable technological change. Suddenly, Das Ding was a ‘Dutch electro-pioneer’ and the apparent pinnacle of ‘Minimal Wave’.