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At the end of 1979, three engineering students from Delft started a group called De Div (short for the Division). Started out just for fun they were picked up by producer Dick Polak to record four songs gathered on the EP ‘Stap voor Stap’ (Step by step)in 1981. Although musically they hang towards Punk and New Wave the most striking feature is that the band sings in Dutch. In 1982 a full album appears called ‘Europa is Hier’ (Europe is here). The edgy experimental music combined with a sort of coded (Dutch lyrics) gets positive reviews from the media who are searching for a Dutch equivilant to acts like Gang of Four. Oddly enough De Div hangs much more to the Belgian scene with acts like TC Matic. On the album the two guitarists Niek van Slobbe and Rob Dingemans battle out duels into a sonic wave. The LP is considered a milestone in the Dutch New Wave at the time but the band itself was dissatisfied. In 1983 they are contacted by TC Matic-guitarist Jean-Marie Aerts to produce their next LP. In december, the Div go to Brussels to record ‘Open Zee’. Sadly the Dutch musicscene has moved into a different direction with popular acts like Doe Maar and ‘Open Sea’ was slandered as pompous nonsense.

Disillusioned Peter the Wolf and Rob Dingemans leave the band in 1985. Peter is replaced by Michel Schoots, the drummer who later would gain world fame with the Urban Dance Squad. But with the departure of Rob the album ‘In Front’ lacks the weave of the guitars. ‘In front’ is the last Dutch languaged album as the band tries it luck with the English language with the single ‘(take me to your) Heart’ (a translation from an earlier track). The 1986 album ‘Twist & Turn’ marks a full transition and a search for a new sound. After a tedious European tour they try again with the 1988 single ‘Sex Sex Sex’. It has some following so in 1990 an album follows called ‘Jam’. The album is virtually ignored. Not so strange, because 'Sex Sex Sex', is the only number worth listening to. The group is at a creative low point, and most members are now busy with other things, that same year the curtain finally falls. Bassist Marc de Reus makes name as a producer, Michel Schoots would conquer the U.S. with the Urban Dance Squad and singer Art Zaaier establishes himself name as an architect.

On the web:

- Very good fan site (in Dutch): http://www.dediv.nl

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

TC Matic (Belgium)

De Kreuners (Belgium)

What do we think:

DB: One of the better new wave bands Holland ever had an sadly forgotten. Their funky staccato music could be placed somewhere between the Belgian scene and British acts like Gang of Four and Certain Ratio. 'Teken de tijd' from 'Open Zee' is a classic. Thank you Luther for setting up de Dutch tribute site, it was a big help. And, although the albums were never released in CD, the vinyl albums are still on sale at the shop of their old recordlabel in Delft called Plexus/Platenmanneke. And you can also try the Fonos website who can make you a cd-copy.

Recommended albums:

♪♪♪ - Europa is hier - 1982

♪♪♪♪ - Open Zee - 1984

♪♪♪ - In front - 1985

- Twist & Turn - 1987

- Jam - 1990


♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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  EUROPOPMUSIC - Netherlands