Following the release of his second album on Minimal Wave, Danny Bosten presents 7 inches of downtempo modular madness on his own label Tear Apart Tapes. Dating back to the early 80s, Danny’s musical journey started from a bedroom studio consisting of borrowed synths where he formed Das Ding. Shortly after he started a cassette label electro outfit, Tear Apart Tapes, releasing music to sell and trade. Originally from the south of the Netherlands, Danny moved to Amsterdam where he was involved with pirate radio shows while working on obscure industrial musical projects and pursuing a career as a graphic designer. Although Danny enlightened us, he never stopped making music. It wasn't until Minimal Wave partly re-issued H.S.T.A, an album released in 1985, had his burning passion to make music become more than just a hobby once again.
In what’s been called "More or less an homage to (very) early Kraftwerk” the EP is available to buy on 7”, a format not so commonly associated with Tear Apart Tapes. As always, the record is accompanied by graphic work done by the man himself in what seems to be in honour of the machines. Take a minute to watch the music video accompanied with the A side as it provides an insight into the creative work Danny does outside of music.
The A-side ‘Nerds’ is a therapeutically repetitive, club-ready, sinister new wave journey. In its five extraordinarily minimal minutes, the track features solid but basic drums with all the punch loaded into a dominating gated snare. Its exceptionally cemented bass line carries an industrially raw sound that takes us from start to finish, accompanied at times by subtle subterranean notes which add to the lower end. Its floating synth lines and gritty guitar riff fit nicely around the centrepiece taking the track to different heights throughout, creating a feeling of being lost in time and space.
The flip side is a total contrast to the A, carrying a sort of dawning of the day feel: chirping birds with a dream-like refreshing essence. The cut starts off with a singular bass note falling into rhythm which holds the body of the track throughout. A heavily modulated square wave runs up and down its scale giving the track depth while holding the low-end together alongside the bass. Again, the track features a huge gated snare that together with the rest of the drums brings a consistency much like, and linking nicely back into, the A side; simply does it. The comments regarding the homage to very early Kraftwerk are definitely more apparent on the B-side, which are displayed in a spectacular fashion.
Alongside people like Flemming Dallum and Greg Wilson you are another
artist whose work in the 80’s is being relived and opening the door to
possible new musical adventures. After nearly 20 years how are you
enjoying it and did you ever think you could be in this position?
I like it, of course, it's great. It's like, lots of people have this
nagging sensation that they should 'do something', or, you know, 'make
something', then someone comes along and says 'hey, you already did
that!'' So it feels good and certainly boosts your self-confidence. For
that I can thank Veronica Vasicka and Frans de Waard.
Minimal Wave reaching out and reissuing part of H.S.T.A. alongside some
unreleased tracks played a vital part in this. Up until then what was
your involvement with music, did you still get behind the knobs much?
I never stopped making music, played in bands, did pirate radio, made
soundscapes etc, etc.
Aside from the minimal wave releases you have also reincarnated Tear
Apart Tapes, what can we come to expect from the label in the future?
I will alternate my own tracks (on 7-inch only) with work by others.
Next up we'll do a re-issue of Les Yeux Interdits' 'Prison', which was
on a Minimal Wave 7-inch but has long since sold out.
Although you now call Rotterdam home you had previously lived here in
Amsterdam working on pirate radio shows. How was your time spent in
Amsterdam, what memories can you share and what were your reasons for
Yeah that was nice. I was sideways involved with the squatter scene, witnessed some riots, went to art school, made some good friends, was part of an artist collective called 'STORT' which did some outrageous shows. I wrote the speeches. I got a job and it moved to Rotterdam eventually, so... Now it's cancelled due to the budget cuts in cultural funding and I'm unemployed again. Never thought that 80ies-revival would be so literal!
In the last 20 years the industry has changed in many ways, the digital
era being the most significant. Although some might say things are
starting to even out slightly I’m sure you can see a massive difference.
Do you feel a need to change your approach or will you continue to let
things unfold in an organic manner?
It's good to be part of a network, whichever form it takes. I'm lucky
to have fallen in with a good crowd here in Rotterdam. Besides that,
Bandcamp is nice, Soundcloud is OK, but artists being ripped-off is a
phenomenon that will never go away I think.
That being said, how is your studio looking now compared to the early
days? Have there been many additions over the past three decades?
Things have come and gone. I like the cheaper Roland stuff, 606 and 202
and 101, those will always stay. Besides that I build a lot of modular
stuff that is slowly taking over my studio. So it's a lot bigger and
more organised than in the old days.
And finally, please leave us with a track that still to this day inspires
you to make music?
New Order's 'Ecstasy'