In loving memory: w1b0
Yesterday, future U-TRAX album artist Wibo Lammerts passed away at age 51. Here's some commemorative words by label founder DJ White Delight.
Literally ten minutes after an email arrived, telling me that his test pressings had arrived in The Netherlands, I received a call with the shocking news: Wibo had died that same morning.
Wibo and I first met a couple of years ago, at our favorite bar De Bastaard. I had just rebooted U-TRAX and was reaching out to artists from the past and people that were making music today. I discovered this guy called w1b0, who was from the Utrecht area and had been releasing dark & heavy electro on labels like Bass Agenda.
When I approached him for a beer, he happily accepted. Little did I know then about his love for special beers. Turned out he knew me from 30 years ago, when I briefly worked at the Twist & Shout record shop. I vaguely remembered a real tall guy in the background, while other people were chatting and flipping through new arrivals at the counter. Wibo told me that he had changed a lot over the years, that he had gained self-confidence and improved his social skills. If you have been following Wibo on social media, you have seen plenty of proof for that: Wibo dancing at parties, right in front of the DJ's nose.
We talked about hundreds of things, mostly life in general, and hardly about music. When we left the bar, Wibo asked me what my plans were with U-TRAX. I told him I wanted to focus on releasing albums for the living room, and no longer on 12"-es for the dancefloor, and he really liked that idea. Releasing a full length album was something that he had been thinking about for a little while then.
When I got home, there was already a package of about 50 tracks in my mailbox, about half of them unreleased. I later learned that this resolute and hands-on approach was very characteristic for Wibo. Wanna meet? Yes! How about at 5 tomorrow? Sure! And seconds later there was an Outlook invite for a Teams meeting in your mailbox. (For perspective: this was during the pandemic lockdowns.)
Wibo was the only artist that was chasing me, in stead of the other way around – and I appreciated that a lot.
I liked how diverse the tracks were and within days we agreed on releasing an album on U-TRAX. In the past two years, we have been working together on that album, that Wibo titled When Humans Ruled The Earth. We slowly polished it, added and removed tracks, worked on the sleeve design, edited, mixed and mastered tracks, cleared samples, etc. The vinyl test pressings are ready, and I had just received the masters for the CD version.
Just last month we organized a photoshoot with Lauren Murphy and Wibo loved every minute of it – and the results, of which some examples you can see on this page. Again, we were struck by the energy Wibo brought to the shoot, just like everything he did when it came to his music career and life.
And now the intensely sad truth is, that Wibo will never hold this album in his hands. His album. I had looked forward to that day soon, where we would smoke a good Cuban cigar to celebrate Release Day.
We are all heartbroken here, especially thinking about how incredibly hard his death must be for his wife and their little ravers.
But I'm sure Wibo will be watching over them from up there. And hopefully he will look down on us and be satisfied about what we will make of his album. Like he had always looked down on us short people here on earth, with his famous grin on his face.
Rest in peace, gentle giant. You have been a big friend to many and we will all miss you.