LUCKY 7 is the feature where we ask artists to name their 6 favourite songs by others, and a lucky 7th song of their own…today it’s the embryonic yet brilliant Wrong Speed Records, run by someone whose jib I very much admire, Joe Thompson.
Joe has featured on these pages before as a founder member of the industriously noisy and inventive band Hey Colossus, a group of many members, and like all great musical gangs, multifarious sonic directions. I’ve been meaning to read Joe’s book in the Sleevenotes series for Pomona publishing for a while, and I’m so glad that I did, not least because it reminded me of Arcwelder, a Touch & Go band whose tapes I used to receive to review for the original zine via Southern (somewhere Joe used to work back in the day) and made me realise that I wasn’t the only person who also loved the cerebral punk thrill of Dischord band Smart Went Crazy.
Joe very much espouses the hyper connectivity and subterranean pop networking displayed by Black Flag/SST and their peers/slight predecessors DOA and Dead Kennedys at the beginning of seminal book (for me at least) – “Our Band Could Be Your Life” by Michael Azzerad, and with his similar embrace of the philosophy “We Jam Econo” from Minutemen’s Mike Watt & D Boon, Joe Thompson’s “Sleeve Notes” and its tale of how Hey Colossus have survived and flourished from the pure love of music is the closest thing I’ve ever read to Azerrad’s tome (and well worth getting).
Joe’s other band Henry Blacker in striving to replicate the Jesus Lizard vibe, not only sets Joe out as a person of a similar vintage to me but confirms him as a kindred spirit, with that band having very much influenced the original Velvet Sheep (and whose Duane Denison has been a regular contributor).
When I saw that Joe had set up his own label, I quite literally had to buy the t-shirt.
Wrong Speed Records, was designed so that Joe himself could own physical copies of records, that might otherwise not have been pressed on vinyl (either having previously been tape only or digital). Limited, collectible runs of bands he loves, where he’s made one hundred copies and kept one for himself, mostly sold direct with a few dribbling through to lucky local record shops. For a man of eclectic tastes (check out his Wrong Speed Radio show on his local radio station Glastonbury FM for a playlist including for instance on his last show Skull Defekts, Hama, Silent Era, Drab Majesty, I’m Being Good, Pharmerz, Chubby and the Gang, Anderson Paak, Reigns, Rene Costy, Fugazi, Enzyme, Talk Talk) Joe has already got a killer slate of bands some of whom have HC connections and others from the network he’s built up over years of gig circuit sturm und drang – Bass Clef – (a proper 808 style rush), Acidliner (HC drummer, also DRMCNT), Sweet Williams (PiL’s thrills and bellyaches) and Reigns (a deeply atmospheric band who remind me of Bowery Electric or Mogwai doing Les Revenants soundtrack, who he’s generously given us a vid exclusive of)…
Last time out, with a “song for ewe” in his HC guise, Joe did some serious hip hop crate digging (choosing “Cross Country” by Archie Whitewater), so I was intrigued to find out his song choice for our Lucky 7 series. It’s a firecracking selection…
1. Arthur Verocai – Presente Grego
Essential tune from essential album. Re-released by Mr Bongo. One of the great records.
2. The Lyman Woodard Organization – Saturday Night Special
I have a terrible pressing of this album. I’ve got to sort it out. I reckon I play it weekly.
3. Antimob – II
Greek DIY punk rock. Recent. Of all new music of the last few years I’ve bought more of this sort of stuff than anything else. It’s just hitting home of late. I don’t know if it’s the politics, the anger or the spirit. Probably all the above.
4. Elecktroids – Japanese Electronics
Kraftwerk meets Detroit techno. This got reissued a couple of years ago and is a firm dinner time favourite.
5. Muro – Live in London
This was the last band I saw. If it’s the last show I ever see I could have done worse. Colombia’s Muro in North London at the Static Shock Weekend.
6. Umoja — 707
Makes me so happy. Could drive round the world listening to this tune.
The Lucky 7th: Reigns – Panther Cap
Here’s a new song from the Reigns album, out Sept 16th. I’m someone who needs music in a physical format otherwise it disappears. I like a visual wall of sound. I need to be reminded of albums. I need to look on a shelf and be prompted. I like to have music I bought 30 years ago next to brand new sounds. It’s a story of my life. When I heard the Reigns album on Bandcamp, only available digitally, I thought to myself: I’m going to want to hear this in 30 years’ time and if I buy it on Bandcamp that will never happen. So, I started Wrong Speed to release music I’m going to want on vinyl in the future.
THANKS SO MUCH JOE!
Here’s the requisite links for Wrong Speed Records – if you want to snaffle yourself a copy of any of the forthcoming releases you need to get on it quick as the first 2 (Reigns and Sweet Williams) sold out pretty quickly…
And for completists sake here’s Joe’s previous “song for ewe”…