Das Ding – Why Is My Life So Boring?
New label Electronic Emergencies opens its account with an impressive first release. Dutch artist Das Ding aka Danny Bosten self-released a series of cassettes in the 80s before promptly disappearing back into obscurity. Championed by Minimal Wave, who released a retrospective in 2009, the new-found interest in his work appears to have sparked a creative fire in Bosten; apart from manufacturing his own line of sequencers and resuscitating his Tear Apart Tapes label, Bosten has also recorded this album for the fledgling Rotterdam-based Electronic Emergencies.
It’s interesting to hear an 80s artist’s take on contemporary electronic music and Why Is My Life So Boring? makes references to other, newer artist who were probably inspired by Bosten’s own early releases. The title track is a high-paced affair that combines dramatic synth sweeps with the kind of deadpan vocal pronouncements on first world problems – “Why is my life so boring? Why is my internet so slow?” – that Miss Kittin used to specialise in.
By contrast, “Want Need”, “Billionaire Space Tourist” and “So Beautiful” combine off-beat electro rhythms with the kind of melodic flourishes that are reminiscent of Legowelt at his most melancholic. “Hyperinformed Superconsumer” sounds like a particularly upbeat interpretation of Detroit techno, its ponderous bass supporting atmospheric melodies and spacey synth stabs.
While these tracks offer real-life evidence that no artist exists in a vacuum, Why Is My Life So Boring? also see Bosten push his own distinctive sound. “Zombie Botnet” is a typical, rudimentary Das Ding track, with drums crashing in over primitive tonal shifts and a feeling that it was recorded in an outside toilet. Meanwhile, “ModStim” sees him yield the vocoder and talk about ‘moderate stimulation’ as 80s drum machines and epic synth melody lines move up and down the melancholic scale. Best of all though is “Emotional Firewall”, a mesmerising combination of heavy, electronic bass and warbling melodic hooks that lends Bosten’s 80s experiments a contemporary relevance.
A1. Why Is My Life So Boring?
A2. Want Need
A3. Zombie Botnet
A4. So Beautiful
A5. Billionaire Space Tourist
B2. Hyperinformed Superconsumer
B3. Emotional Firewall
B4. Wannabe Hasbeen
B5. Styrofoam Cathedral