Data 80 is the digital disco / pop house project of Håkan Lidbo. Sounds scary? It's not. Some of the songs on this 12 track 46 minute CD may be a little too close to the mainstream for many of your ears, but a few of the tracks are definite 'must hear.'
If you like DMX Krew you already know this sound. There are both male and female vocals. The male voice is frequently set to a vocoder or whatever effect it is that electro folk use. 100% of the music is electronic, and there is a 4/4 beat appearing just about everywhere.
Håkan Lidbo is an artist I have championed for some time now. Initially I was curious about him through blurbs I read, and his odd name. Then I bought a few different records from him and realized that his sound was all over the place, yet always high quality. The clincher was when I found out that the Bobby Trafalgar record I loved was in fact no other that Håkan Lidbo in disguise.
Now in April 2003 Håkan Lidbo has a 12inch out on the Berlin label Shitkatapult, and I think he may finally get more fans. The first appearance of Data 80 was on the Force Inc. compilation 'Digital Disco.' I really like that CD and was surprised that it seemed to fade away from consciousness before it received its due. Data 80 was the only artist to have 2 songs on that comp.
The CD starts off with 2 songs with male treated vocals. You Are Always On My Mind and Baby, I Can Forgive are both good tracks, but as soon as No More Lies comes on your ears will perk up. No More Lies is my favorite song on 'Data 80.' The sound is so clean and bright. It reminds me of the J-pop band Hi-Posi when I first heard them and their song I Love You.
No More Lies is infectious. The chorus line "we've got to normalize" sounds like "Gourmandize" and reminds me of the late nineties Minneapolis indypop/food fanzine turned e-zine Gourmandizer.
Next is my second favorite song, Love Was Made For Two. Not as sharp or staccato as No More Lies, but catchy as all heck. Really fine!
The third song I really love on 'Data 80' is Don't Believe Me. Don't Believe Me is a bit of an odd duck on this record. It has female vocals and sounds as much like Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66 as digital disco. Another killer track!
There are two instrumentals on the record that are pretty fine as well. The Boy Who Grew Up To Be A Boy and song # 11 (no title is given anywhere) are both distinctive and strong. It is weird that he doesn't list the eleventh song. It's not like it is an interlude - it is over 3 minutes long. I guess anything is fair game from the guy who tricked me into believing that Bobby Trafalgar was a real person.
Check out Data 80 if you like DMX Krew or any of the current electronic disco artists gaining attention.