DIN aka Pupka Frey

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1. Midnight Jelly
2. Let's 69 (You Can Do It)
3. Starborn

DIN (a.k.a Pupka Frey) is an original founding member of electronic groups Digital Poodle and Kinder Atom and was also part of the reformation of Rational Youth in the late 90's. Originally DIN's releases were out in America on the same label as Kraftwerk and Future Sound Of London (Hypnotic) as well as on Ninja Tune/DOVe. His first CD 'Fantastic Planet' was also co-released on Oli Roesches Hyperium label in Germany.

DIN's music is difficult to pigeonhole but is generally an eclectic mix of synthesized, often up-beat, frequently all-instrumental tracks. Copies of his out-of-print single "Water Sports / Melon Ball" sell for ourageous prices and is highly sought after. This November sees DIN re-release all his original singles and unreleased material from 1994-97, a virtual goldmine of italo-house and spacey, ambient techno that was a blueprint for the genre back in the early nineties. Rhythmic, pulsating electronic tracks that would make Mr. Moroder proud.

On November 25, 2009 a massive treasure trove of unreleased songs and remixes were released digitally worldwide from DIN, with a total of 8 new titles now out including a a live recording from 1996 as well as a disc of 'karaoke' cover versions of eighties tracks.

DIN on Youtube

DINterview from 1992

by Bobby Silver
Originally printed in For Crying Out Loud #2

Pupka Frey, officially know as Din as well as being a member of the well-known Digital Poodle, has taken a break from his machinery to answer questions about his musical beginnings, works, and all that other good stuff. This interview comes to us after the release of Fantastic Planet, which will be the definite breakthrough of this multi-faceted artist all around the electronic world.

FCOL: When did Din all begin?

Din: I decided to make my own music after becoming engrossed in music videos (New Wave early eighties stuff). I went to the keyboard store at the age of 14 (1984) with my mother and rented a Sequential Circuits Pro One synth. Soon after, I made friends with Heiki Sillaste (the result of skipping gym class together and talking about keyboards). For the next three to four years I continued with Heiki, among others. During this time, the main project was Heik and the Shakes (drum machine+sequenced music+guitar+New Order-esque vocals), although I was also producing pre-Din "solo" material. In the summer of '87, Heiki and I put out a compilation tape featuring the bands Heiki and the Shakes, DIN and Digital Poodle and which represented the formal beginning of the Shadow Canada label. Following that, each of the projects released full-length cassettes. The first Din tape came out in May of '88 and was called Makaroni. Briefly, it contained 60 minutes of fairly melodic electronic music with demented vocals and screaming (select titles: Rat {and Pig}, Clown Suit, Yellow Eyes). Makrame came out in October 1989 and featured more dance-oriented material although equally demented. Harakiri (1991) was pure protective disco bubble even bigger with the Fantastic Planet CD the release of which was managed by Gerald Belanger of DOVentertainment.

FCOL: Where did the name Din come from and what does it mean to you?

Din:I used to say "Din" as a way of imitating the cowbell sound on cheap analog beat boxes. Conveniently, Din is a word found everywhere, with multiple meanings. The dictionary describes din as a clamor or noise. DIN also stands for Deutsche Industrielle Norm (German Industrial Standard) and can be found printed on anything from rolls of film to toilet seats. Also, one cannot forget the five-pin DIN plug used to connect all of our MIDI instruments...

FCOL: Explain the concept behind Din.

Din: The Din concept would be that of escapism and fantasy. This can be seen in the repeated references to horror and fantasy films, such as "Andalusian Dog", "The Fantastic Planet", of 70's horror films like "The Eyes of Laura Mars". I have not yet written Kraftwerkian love songs about technology or robots.

FCOL: Who have been some of your musical influences?

Din: First and foremost are Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn, and Frida (ABBA). After that comes Propoganda, and then Jean-Michel Jarre. I was also a big fan of Eurythmics circa 1983 before they became rock pigs. Lately however, I have been going through an early eighties revival listening primarily to Visage and other frills-and-makeup bands with synthesizers.

FCOL: Since your last album Harakiri and now your latest Fantastic Planet, explain the conceptual progression.

Din: I had access to a phaser pedal during the recording sessions for Fantastic Planet which led to its repeated use and resulted in multiple sonic references to the 1970's concept of space. It is interesting to note the number of disco records from the 70's that were based on a space theme, such as Boney M's "Night Flight to Venus". I think the space theme was supposed to induce detachment from the real world. This can be contrasted with acid house/rave escapism through the drug-induced detachment. Some would argue however, that space can only be reached through the use of substances.

FCOL: Tell us about your newest release Fantastic Planet.

Din: Fantastic Planet is a compilation of new tracks, remixes and remakes of songs from past releases. The original plan was to release Harakiri on CD, but it was then decided to include old "favourites" for variety. No high budget recording faculties were involved imagine a small suburban studio with an eight-channel mixer, a computer, four keyboards, and a couple of effects pedals.

FCOL: Do you plan to play your music live and if so, what would you interpret into your show?

Din: Trying to play Din music live is analogous to acting out a scene from a fiction film or book. In other words, the music is not live to begin with, and so live performance is not the essence of the music, as it is with standard rock 'n' roll. On the other hand, plugging in a computer on stage and starting the sequences could only insult the audience. In the past, Din shows consisted of keyboards and myself on stage, with space films and homemade slides projected on top. I would occasionally provide vocals or screaming. I think the shows were awful and I haven't done a show in two years. If I were tempted to do another show it would have other people on stage adding to the music. There wold be some outrages characters moving around along with the space/70's horror fantasy visuals.

FCOL: Din's work resembles the pioneers of it all - Kraftwerk - with a more up to date sound. Was that what Din was striving for or did you just create be imagination of technology?

Din: I don't have a technology fetish. Dave Rout (of Bang Elektronika and Mona Lisa Mescaline) introduced me to the 909 disco. The soft melodic components of Din probably come through listening to ABBA all the time. Analog textures through delay is naturally pleasing, especially when syncopated. It happens that Kraftwerk uses a comparable formula.

FCOL: When you develop your songs, how do you develop ideas for each song?

Din: Lately the majority of songs have the standard 909 beat. The idea of having a bunch of songs that sound similar, almost like one giant song, was executed deliberately. The melody on top of the standard bass and rhythm determines the mood and theme of the song. For example, "Travesty" has a bittersweet "transvestual" tone and makes me think of decadence and dark alleys.

FCOL: Has Din done any soundtracks to films or videos of are you looking into that?

Din: There's a video for "Travesty" ( a still from the video was used for the cover of Fantastic Planet) which was done Din style with the help of Carole Iritz of Yellow Lab Video. I have provided soundtracks for a number of local student film and video productions, but nothing professional.

FCOL: Besides Din and being a member of Digital Poodle, are there any other side projects you're working on?

Din: I am one-third of K.O.M.A. (Kollective Order of Machine Artists) and one-third of the mushy New Age project Land. I will be assisting in the production of the upcoming Nubile G and the Spurious Whiz album. The N/G/S/W is sound collage crossed over with bleep and tekno.

FCOL: How do you view the current status of the electro/ techno/ industrial scene from where it's been and where it's going?

Din: Tekno is definitely the latest great thing. The main problem I foresee is staying power. Two things seem to happen when a new form of art suddenly takes hold in such a big way; one is commercialization by the music industry. the other is that a lot of posers are attracted to it thinking they can turn out something worthwhile. This is not to say that you need four years at the Musician's Institute before you can dare to be in a band, the concept of "anyone can do it" is an important part of contemporary music. What I mean is, whereas before people just got into music for the hell of it, or to get laid or whatever, with tekno/industrial you have a whole poseur psychology in action - the black clothes, the Doc's, the meaningless (but profound sounding) lyrics and artwork - it's one big pastiche designed to make the doer appear sophisticated when in reality it's incredibly empty and naive, and points to a pathetic amount of insecurity.

FCOL: What is the most important impression you would like to leave in the future, musically?

Din: Disco never died.

FCOL: How do you see Din evolving over the next 10 years?

Din: I'll grow my hair long and frizzy like Michael Bolton and use only acoustic instruments.

This article originally appeared on For Crying Out Loud, Issue #2, October 1992.

new releases
DIN - decade of the brain DIN - fantastic planet
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DIN - show live 96 DIN - starborn
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DIN - karaoke DIN - let's 69
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DIN - spacejelly DIN - tokyo
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back catalogue
DIN - decade of the brain DIN - fantastic planet
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Water Sports / Melon Ball
Fantastic Planet Revisited

3 Remixes For The New Cold War
Everything Is Vapour / Money And Blood

tracks appear on
For Crying Out Loud Chapter 2
Decade Of The Brain
Metro Tekno
...To Hypersonic - The Hyperium Compilation Part II
Death Of Vinyl Revolutions Vol. 1
Space Daze
Trance In Your Mind-The Unstoppable Trance Mach.
A Saucerful Of Pink - A Tribute To Pink Floyd
Hypnotic Sounds 17 Trips In Trance
Hypnotic Illusions
In To The Mix
This Is Space - The Space Daze Trilogy
Trancemode Express 2.01
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