News

Wud Records: December 2016 musical discoveries

Posted by Wudmaster on 04/01/17

A brand new playlist of all the favourite musical discoveries of the Wud Records team has been published at SoundCloud. All of the artistes on it are independent and not associated with ourselves in any way. We simply accumulated songs that we all liked during December into one agreed playlist and published it at the end of the month.

Tracks have been arranged according to the number of plays at the time of publishing, starting with the fewest. Tracks that are early in playlists tend to receive more plays than later tracks, and we feel that the ones with fewer plays need the best chance of exposure. If you are one of the bands from which we recently liked, shared or tweeted a track at SoundCloud, there is a chance that one of your tracks might be on this new playlist.

Are you a member of SoundCloud? We always follow back if you have your own tracks and we always listen eventually, even if it takes a few weeks. So if you would like the opportunity of a bit of free publicity you could follow Wud Records on SoundCloud. It’s even free to join!

We hope that some more people will find and listen to the wonderful songs on this new playlist of musical discoveries. Each one has something that we felt was special or interesting in some way. Because we enjoyed them so much, we feel that it would be great if the artists in question could have a bit more exposure for their fabulous works. So please listen, enjoy, share and check out some of these wonderful bands. In many cases it was a tough job to choose just one track. The playlist is very eclectic, so there is probably something on there to suit every taste.

If you have a favourite or two on there, why not shout about them on social media? We are sure the artistes responsible for creating the music will welcome such word-of-mouth exposure.

If you would like to listen to this special new playlist of December 2016 Musical Discoveries over at SoundCloud, please click here.

Wud Records: December 2016 top ten tracks published at SoundCloud

Posted by Wudmaster on 03/01/17

The top ten tracks for December 2016 from Wud Records have been published in a new playlist at SoundCloud. Tracks have been arranged from one to ten according to their popularity.

We shall publish further such playlists on a monthly basis. These playlists will take into account plays, likes, downloads and reposts at SoundCloud and Bandcamp. Tracks that are only published at Bandcamp will be omitted from the SoundCloud playlist. Archive tracks will also be ignored.

December 2016 was a reasonably busy month for Wud Records at SoundCloud, although the total amount of plays was down a little from November. However, at Bandcamp, everything was up and we enjoyed one of our best ever months on that platform.

We’d like to thank everybody who helped to make December 2016 another splendid month for us by listening, commenting and reposting our bands’ tracks. Only you, the listener, can influence our January 2017 playlist, so if there is a track you particularly like, keep playing it!

When we have a bit of spare time we will make further Top Ten playlists going back to when Wud Records first joined SoundCloud. The way their site is structured makes it easy for us to do so, so well done to SoundCloud for being so splendid in that regard. The Wud Records charts used to be a popular feature a few years ago and it is great to be able to bring them back. We shall let you know when we publish others on Twitter, so make sure you are following us there.

Congratulations to Dark Company, whose song Medicines was our number one track once again in December. Medicines has been a massive track for us for over 20 years and has been a frequent chart-topper. Also appearing in this month’s chart are Wud, Flicker, Rough Terrain and The Subterraineans. Well done to all!

Meanwhile, over at Bandcamp, Pok‘s unfinished and growing Anthology album was by far and away the most popular for the second consecutive month. The recently released West Wind Blowing received the most plays, with Laughing Sun and The Bastard Sons of Dennis also having top ten tunes. Dark Company‘s fabulous 1993 Rage In Heaven album was the most downloaded album from Bandcamp, so thanks very much for all your support to those who downloaded it.

If you would like to go to SoundCloud to hear the top ten songs from Wud Records in December 2016, as played, downloaded, liked and reposted by listeners, please click here.

If you prefer to listen here at Wud Records, you will find that it is our new default music player and you will find it on all non band-specific pages at our site, such as our News service or our homepage.

Wud Records: Welcome to 2017!

Posted by Wudmaster on 02/01/17

Warmest greetings to you dear reader, and a joyous welcome to 2017 from all the team at Wud Records! If you are lucky enough to still be alive, and if you are reading this there’s a good chance you are, award yourself 5000 XP and a power-up for your musical instrument, microphone or drum of choice.

As well as losing Pete from Dark Company after a very long illness, we lost so many cultural icons in 2016. Just look at this picture by Chris Barker (@christhebarker) and be amazed.

So this year, how about Rupert Murdoch, Simon Cowell, Robert Mugabwe, Nigel Farage, Bashar al-Assad, Nick Griffin, Donald Trump, Tony Blair, Kim Jong-un, Gordon Ramsey, Wladimir Putin and all the people responsible for creating the Jeremy Kyle show? Come on 2017, you can do it! Yin and yang, you know how these things ought to work…

Every year since we first launched the website, the number of friends, fans, listeners, readers, radio plays and global influence we have has grown and grown. Last year was the biggest and best yet and we’d like to thank everybody who helped make it so. You know who you are! :) During 2016 we released a few tracks for Pok the Bard‘s forthcoming Anthology album, repaired a load more broken playlists at our website and unearthed a few gems that we added to the Archives section of Wud Records. Behind the scenes and in our studios, a lot more was done as well.

So what about 2017? Well, there are a number of very exciting things to come in the next few weeks and months. Let your dreams feast on these thoughts!

Recently The Bastard Sons of Dennis reconvened after a long break, due to the effects of work and life and other such inconveniences. They are sounding absolutely terrific once again and still have all the sparkle and fun that they used to have. We are anticipating recordings, videos and live performances from the dynamic duo to recommence very soon.

Fans of Pok may or may not know about the reforming Space Goats. Yes, it’s true! You heard it here and it’s happening! Space Goats have always been one of our favourite bands on this planet with their unique sound and wonderful live shows, full of storytelling, dramatics and great songs from the past and the future. We will keep you updated with further developments on this front.

During 2016 we did a massive amount of work to Pok‘s Anthology album and more tracks will be released this year. We are hoping a session visit from former Alchemeon and Invisible Opera Company of Tibet keyboard virtuoso Jim Peters will round off a few tracks. There is just the slight possibility that we may even complete the album this year depending on how other things go, although we are not setting a definite deadline. Once the album is finished we are planning a vinyl release, as well as CD and digital downloads. Look out for more new releases in our News service.

Flicker have made some progress with their forthcoming HappySad album, finally. We hope to be able to release some more tracks for this and perhaps even complete it this year or early next, depending on when equipment is repaired. We believe there will be a couple of tracks coming fairly soon for this album.

Dark Company suffered the terrible loss of Pete last year. Whilst there will be no more new songs, we intend to move some of their back catalogue further forward and are hopeful of some releases later in the year. George, Maxx, Zak, Sven and Josh will all be coming for a visit and a cup of tea and a biscuit to look at the immediate future. The band and ourselves have unearthed a possible vocalist to record the parts Pete was not quite able to nail during our many sessions. Watch this space for any further developments.

We have been grappling with some video editing software and believe there will be some new films heading your way from our studios. We hope to record some performances of The Bastard Sons of Dennis and attempt some live streaming with them as well. Flicker and Dark Company studio sessions will be filmed and uploaded to our YouTube channel, as will some of our sessions with Pok.

Our Archives are nearly complete as far as we can tell. However, we are hoping that some of our friends and contacts will be able to supply some of the material that we don’t have and believe there may be some new additions to this part of our website soon. We’ve been in touch with a couple of them and things are looking promising at this stage.

In addition to all of these things we shall be further investigating our cassette vault and uploading the digitised results if they are worth hearing. We intend to work on some of the ‘coming soon’ items on our homepage so they can be removed and replaced, including the repair of the Alchemeon playlists and the mastering of a ‘Best Of Alchemeon‘ compilation.

On social media we hope to expand our presence even more. We shall continue to champion the cause of all musical underdogs we find interesting in the face of corporate mainstream brainwashing and censorship. Together we are invincible!

Don’t forget – you can listen to an ever-growing collection of songs from Wud Records artists on SoundCloud by clicking here – and you can follow Wud Records on Twitter right here – and you can support us by downloading some music from our shop at Bandcamp by clicking here.

Happy New Year! :)

Sam, George, Kim, Dan, Tessa, Pok, Andy, Sven, Maxx, Zak and Josh.

Watershed: Life, Times and Dreams uploaded

Posted by Wudmaster on 14/12/16

The Life, Times and Dreams cassette EP by Watershed has now been uploaded to the Archives section of the Wud Records website. Released in 1990, this recording features four of the songs from the mighty pen of Al Shalliker that were regularly performed live by those Grand Ubermeisters of Skank. These songs are Capital City Hero, Friendship and Life, Crusin’ in Contours and Living in the Gap. If the artwork for Life, Times and Dreams is anything to go by, this is the fourth cassette EP by Watershed, after Are YOU Normal?, Do It and In Niceness.

We have spent many years hunting the web for signs of this great band from Plymouth and found very little. As far as we have been able to tell, there is one more cassette EP called If The Sun Don’t Rise available to listen to on Youtube. There is also a more recent recording called The Eyes of Eli Wallach, which you can hear on on Myspace.

By the time the band recorded The Eyes of Eli Wallach, their sound had changed completely from reggae and funk to rock. Although we were still able to recognise Jo’s voice on a couple of songs and snatches of Al’s guitar and Mark’s bass, this was nothing like the Watershed that we knew and loved.

We believe that Jo may have suffered some kind of vocal damage due to the band’s constant gigging and become unable to sing very much, which would explain the apparent change in gender on the vocal front. Such a shame, she had a fantastic voice, full of power and expression. We also know that the awesome talent of Dave Gregory on keys will never be heard again live. He sadly passed away a few years ago.

Life, Times and Dreams has an interestingly light and fresh sound and is reasonably representative of the way the band played these songs. It was recorded around the time that Mike Baldwin on saxophones was leaving Watershed and Dave on keys was joining, as both of them make an appearance together. We are not certain if this ever happened in a live situation, although there must be somebody out there who can confirm or deny this fact. Dave’s signature sound in the band was the Fender Rhodes, and at the time of this recording he played a grand piano instead, suggesting that he had not yet integrated that particular instrument with Watershed’s sound.

Somewhere out there in the universe are copies of Are YOU Normal?, Do It and In Niceness. We would love to hear these wonderful collections of songs again and have the honour of hosting them here in the Archives of Wud Records. If you happen to be in possession of one of these cassettes, please contact info@wudrecords.co.uk as we would be very interested in hearing from you.

On top of all of that, Al used to keep a big box of cassettes under his bed on which there were recordings of just about every live performance the band ever did. Watershed would listen to these tapes after shows to analyze the performance and listen for possible improvements or adaptations. If those tapes still exist, there is an absolute gold-mine of fantastic live performances just waiting to be edited and compiled onto some web pages for the world to enjoy. Such a tantalising thought. Down in our ancient cassette vaults we have a very small amount of this live material and hope that we can bring it to you in the next few weeks.

Should there be any further developments with regard to Watershed-related discoveries, we shall let you know in our News service and on Twitter.

If you would like to hear Life, Times and Dreams by Watershed in the Archives of the Wud Records website, please click here.

If you prefer to listen over at SoundCloud instead, please click here.

Ug Brothers: Cute But Weird remastered

Posted by Wudmaster on 13/12/16

Cute But Weird, the 1995 studio album by The Ug Brothers, has finally been remastered. All of the remastered tracks have been uploaded to Bandcamp and SoundCloud. They can also be enjoyed right here at the Cute But Weird page, among The Ug Brothers’ pages of the Wud Records website. They are, without any doubt whatsoever, sounding significantly better than the previous versions of these splendid tracks. The album consists of eight studio tracks and a bonus live recording of The Ug Song.

Due to the effects of cassette copying from the old master back in 1995, the original files that we have seem to have suffered a certain amount of audio degradation and distortion. Using modern techniques, we were able to minimize some of these losses and repair some of the distortions.

We were also able to go a little way to balancing the original mix a bit better, which was always somewhat light in the guitar department. This was due to it originally being mixed by the guitarist in the band, who wanted to be sure he didn’t mix any of the other band members too quietly. The final result was far from what we would call ideal.

We are still in possession of both the master tapes and the DAT masters. Sadly we have no DAT machine in our studios any more. Not only that, the ancient device on which the raw audio tracks for the songs were recorded is no longer working and replacement parts are extremely hard to come by.

However, we believe that during the course of 2017 we may be able to repair our old recording device and acquire a decent DAT machine. This means that a complete remixing and remastering of Cure But Weird is a definite possibility for the future, especially if fans of the band are interested in such a thing. If there are any further developments on this particular front, we shall inform you in our News service and on Twitter.

If you would like to download Cute But Weird from Bandcamp, or simply listen, you can do so by clicking here.

If you would like to listen over at SoundCloud, please click here instead.

If you prefer to listen to Cute But Weird by The Ug Brothers here at the Wud Records website, please click here.

Watershed: new Archive page

Posted by Wudmaster on 11/12/16

Watershed have a brand new Archive page here at Wud Records. Plymouth’s finest exponents of reggae music are one of our favourite bands of all time and after some research and some delving in the cassette vaults we are delighted to be able to bring you a few goodies from them.

When we discuss the various truly great bands that we have encountered over the thirty-ish years that we have been doing this kind of thing, Watershed are always pretty much at the top of the pile. It seems a great cultural crime that they were never picked up and developed by a major label. If in the early 90s you were to compare Watershed with the band Muse, both of which were operating at the same time within just a few miles of each other, Watershed had a substantially bigger fanbase and arguably better material. We are not saying that Muse don’t deserve all the success they have had because they absolutely do, they are still a fantastic band and we love their music as well. But back in the day, Watershed were better.

However, such conjectures are for an alternative reality. Is this one, Watershed have never been easy to find on the internet. As massive fans of the band, we felt that their music still needs to be heard and appreciated by the world and adding some material to the Archives section of Wud Records seemed like a reasonable way to go under the circumstances.

Our searches for them have gone largely fruitless over the years, although we did find a couple of links to their later works on MySpace and Bandmine. Fans of bands on the Plymouth music scene may well be interested in the link that we found to past bands on the Plymouth Live Music site.

There are two links to YouTube as well, which are both fantastic! One of them takes you to their 1992 demo If The Sun Don’t Rise, which features five of the tracks they frequently used to perform live. The other one is a real beauty. It is a video of the band performing the song I’ll Take You With Me When I Go (also on the demo If The Sun Don’t Rise) in 2013, to commemorate the sad passing of the band’s long-time piano, Fender Rhodes and synthesizer virtuoso Dave Gregory.

We have a small amount of material to add to this meagre collection and hope to do so in the coming days and weeks. We shall keep you informed of any such developments in our News service and on Twitter.

In the meantime, if you would like to read some more about Watershed or check out the two pages of them on YouTube, you can visit their new page by clicking here.