ABOUT THIS ITEM
Den Haan are built for the rhythms of the night. Their debut album “Gods From Outer Space” embodies the spirit of seedy 70’s basement dives, a deco-greco roman blur of glistening bodies and dazzling lights, Criso on the wrists, spunk in the dark corners, sweat condensed on every surface while machine-made rhythms from some far-away disco planet send shockwaves of ecstasy across the dancefloor. Their rhythms are dark, electronic, tribal, with vocals hewn from Anvil or Van Halen rather than from Donna Summer. They are popper-soaked macho guys barking out tales of stalking the night, cruising for kicks, backed by a chorus of booming sado-cybernetic vocoders. And there ain’t no Divas in the Den Haan sound – save maybe for a terrifying 26 stone dog-shit eating drag colossal know as Divine.
The duo of Matthew Aldworth and Andy Gardiner bonded over their passion for sounds born during a short period in the evolution of soul and funk at the end of the 1970’s when producers and artists were breaking ground in new forms of disco production. Den Haan’s compositions pay homage to these producers, Celso Valli (Azoto and Tantra), Franco Rago & Gigi Farina (behind the ‘Lectric Workers releases), the experimental excursions of Vangelis, the homo-disco cybernetics of Patrick Cowley and the atonal alienation of the soundtracks of John Carpenter and Claudio Simonetti. Sourcing original instruments and production equipment the duo sweat it out in the studiostriving to re-create as close to a version of this original approach to sound creation as possible. This commitment to process brings not only an authenticity to the productions but also to their explosive live performances.
“Gods From Outer Space” takes the listener on a journey through Den Haan’s fictitious universe;- titles like “Release The Beast” and “Nightshift” conjour up the sweaty nightclub scenes from “Cruising” all hyper-macho swagger and pungent sexuality, “Gods From Outer Space” recalls the endless cheap laser blasts of 80’s sci-fi also-rans, the pompous faux religiosity of concept prog synth albums, while interludes like “The Arrival” and “The End” give a short breath of contemplation – BBC Radiophonic workshop interludes reflecting the dichotomous dystopia/utopian divide in their film soundtrack influences - before you are propelled back into an exhilarating votex of flesh and fantasy. The music may seem to have a parodic quality, an in-built “cheese” factor - but that is resolutely not its intention. Den Haan are deadly serious in celebrating their musical influences. Its camp undoubtedly, but HIGH camp. Theirs is an aesthetic hip enough to appreciate trashy genius whilst simultaneously in awe of the craft and imagination that was employed to create it. This isn’t just a game, it’s a ridiculous reality.
“equal parts leather, amyl nitrate, Mr Flagio and Bobby O” – Guardian Guide
“forget Italo, this is Macho Disco” - DJ Mag
“there are still those who can deliver synth disco’s high camp drama without life-sapping irony or inanity” – The Wire
A1. The End
A2. Gods From Outer Space
A3. The Arrival
B1. Universal Energy
B2. Release The Beast
B3. Looking For Love
C1. Digital Fantasy
C2. Night Shift
C3. Burning Desire
D2. Russian Boat Commander