gullbuy music review

Håkan Lidbo


After the End


April Records


After the EndHåkan Lidbo is an artist I am always curious about. I have seen US release 12inch singles that look almost mainstream in his name, I have heard (and reviewed for the gullbuy) his tech-house album Tech Couture on Steve Bug's Poker Flat Recordings label. I have smiled along with his album and 12inch as the fictional lounge legend Bobby Trafalgar. I have enjoyed his minimal 06.10.60 CD on the French label Mitek, and now I am experiencing his abstract electronic music After The End, released on the Danish label April Records.

After The End has 13 songs split into five parts.

  1. The CD starts off with a one minute opening piece called XOR4.
  2. Part 1 contains one song, Open Circle. Open Circle gives the feeling of space. There is a slight background sound which grows in intensity as sounds skitter about.
  3. Part 2 contains two songs, Prewinder and Ovavoids. Prewinder starts the machine rolling that will become the basis of Ovavoids.
  4. Ovavoids is an eleven and a half minute track with a machine like hook that appears through the song. The sound is designed to (and succeeds in) creating tension, making this track one I can pass on by.
  5. Part 3 has two songs, Hypercube and Undo Undone. Hypercube uses a sound like a hammer striking an anvil, and brief snippets of something that sounds like an evil choir from The Omen or Rosemary's Baby.
  6. Undo Undone has an air of lurking about to it. An electronic sound like a manhole cover being removed scrapes through the first half of the track. The second half picks up the pace and brings in percussive sounds and embellishments like steam being let off.
  7. There is a half minute interlude between parts 3 and 4 called XOR5.
  8. Part 4 contains three songs, Noise Objects, After the End, and Dysfunctionalism. Noise Objects samples a lot of things and brings them all together with any binding rhythm.
  9. The title track After the End sounds like listening to fireworks bursting through a PVC pipe. After the End also has parts that remind me of the Rykodisk 'Baka Beyond' CD, which has water songs played by pygmy's beating their feet into the river in rhythm. In the second half of the song a computerized voice reads a poem talking about "before the beginning, and after the end."
  10. Dysfunctionalism brings things down real low before returning them to an electronic dub sound that is much more machine like and alien than the descendents of Pole usually create.
  11. Part 5 contains two songs, Bi-angular and Redo Undone. Bi-angular has sound which again reminds me of PVC pipe being struck. But this is no Blue Man Group entertainment. Bi-angular is much sharper around the edges.
  12. Redo Undone catalogs clicks and creaks emanating from the center of the electronic hearts of Håkan Lidbo's machines.
  13. The CD ends with a one minute outro of XOR6. But XOR6 does not end. The CD plays in silence for over fifteen minutes. 16:22 into XOR6 is a hidden fifteen second piece of ragtime thrown in. The hidden clip fits right in with this man's anything goes world of electronics.

Håkan Lidbo has released so many types of electronic records that you can only classify him as 'Håkan Lidbo' in the end. After The End (is the title referring to the hidden clip?) is an interesting piece of music which sounds like Smash TV without the beats, or Autechre with smiles.

---Carl, December 31, 2002