Happy New Ear 2024!

Happy New Ear 2024! \,,/(^_^)\,,/

It is with great pleasure that we wish everybody a very Happy New Year in 2024! Let’s hope it’s a memorable one for all the right reasons.

The whole team would like to say a massive thank you to everybody who supported us in 2023. Without you, we couldn’t do this. We are very grateful and humbled by the support we have had from every corner of the earth. You lovely people continue to amaze us and make us smile.

2023 proved to be a pretty good year for Wud Records. In January, our long-awaited studio upgrade took place – ahead of schedule – and then we set about correcting and repairing the audio which we’ve simply never been able to hear properly since the days of Silent Running Studios back in the mid 1990s.

At Least 1000 Words by Flicker was remastered and re-released, and distributed to all the big streaming services.

This work was finished shortly after the serendipitous discovery of raw material for an interview that took place shortly before the album was first officially released. It was packed with amazing insights into the creation of At Least 1000 Words.

Cosy Lube Turtle by The Bastard Sons of Dennis was remixed, remastered and released, and also distributed to all the big streaming services.

Both At Least 1000 Words and Cosy Lube Turtle quickly paid for their own distribution costs and are in profit. Yay!

The first two Dark Company albums, Signmaker and Rage in Heaven were also globally distributed and quickly started earning a profit.

The merch stores for Wud Records, Flicker and Dark Company also produced a few sales throughout the year. All in all, these things have been a tremendous help.

We even managed to release some new music in 2023!

Osobní Hv​ě​zda by Flicker was released in April and added to the HappySad album.

Then in November, The Dark, The Ring and The Knowledge by Pok the Bard was released and added to his Anthology album. Both tracks are exclusive to Bandcamp at this time.

A fair amount of work was done to progress many more tracks towards their release, especially for Pok and Flicker. We are very hopeful of further new music releases in 2024.

Three of our long lost friends discovered Wud Records and got in touch during 2023. This was unbelievably amazing!

The legend who is Mark Drower first wrote to us back in March, which blew all our minds. Mark was the man who helped light the fuse for us all back in 1982.

Al Shalliker, the main man behind Plymouth reggae band Watershed, who really should have achieved international superstardom, finally wrote after many years of searching for him. We are currently working with Al to distribute Watershed‘s amazing music from their various albums and EPs.

Dave Danielli, bass player, drummer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and former member of Flicker and The Ug Brothers found us and got in touch. We were blown away by the things he wrote.

Towards the end of 2023 he felt inspired to make some bass parts for us, and started making and sending us the basslines for all the Cosy Lube Turtle album songs.

We plan to release the new versions of the songs as bonus tracks. Most of them have been recorded and are in the process of being mixed and mastered.

A couple of legacy song collections were added to Bandcamp for your downloading pleasure. We wanted to experiment with some old recordings using the new studio setup. The Subterraineans Demo was released there in March, and Cander by Laughing Sun was added in May.

Wud Records increased its global profile with a kindly earlybird invite to BlueSky (thanks to the very splendid Grunge Norris :) ) and new linktrees were created for Flicker, Dark Company, Pok and The Bastard Son of Dennis.

We also set up a Twitch channel for livestreaming from our studio, although due to the haphazard nature of when we can actually do anything in there, it hasn’t had much uptake. Why not follow the Wud Records Twitch? Simply click here!

We’re considering using Discord as well, as that platform seems to be more popular.

Although our sales and streams on Bandcamp, and streams and engagement on SoundCloud were both down a little on 2022, presumably due to the slow painful death of Twitter, the streaming and sales revenue from distribution has more than made up for that.

Not such good news, the demise of Twitter. Our engagement there has dropped from 300K-500K per month to such a low rate (around 0.0015%) that the platform has become virtually unusable. We have set up camp at BlueSky and Mastodon, and so far both of those have been even quieter. Holding out some hope for BlueSky in the future.

Is social media dead? Perhaps it is. With luck, somebody will buy Twitter from Musk and start repairing the damage he has inflicted on that once fabulous platform.

Anything owned by Meta, such as fb and ig is not worth the effort. So the jury is well and truly out on that particular front. It is impossible to see Wud Records participating in such futile activity very much for the foreseeable future.

What about the Musical Discoveries compilations we have been publishing for more than seven years? We started making them to shine a spotlight on some of the most obscure musical treasures you will ever hear. For a long time there was interest in these compilations, but that has now waned to the point where we are planning to stop making them unless the interest returns.

Have people become tired of the war against independent music? Do fewer people actually care about this amazing artform? Is the number of people who want to preserve real music for the benefit of future generations dwindling and dying?

We just don’t know. However, the future of the Musical Discoveries compilations is now in severe doubt due to the lack of interest.

Life tends to take all manner of twists and turns and events that have taken place recently have further reduced our opportunities to make music. Time has become more and more scarce. In fact, the machines in the studios have sadly remained silent since the end of November, due to the lack of time. We hope some more time will be found from somewhere soon, but as there are only 168 hours in a week, that remains a conundrum.

Apart from wishing for a little more time for making music, what we would love to see in 2024 would be a lessening of the hate and polarisation that seems to be growing around the globe. As teenagers we had great hopes for the future, hopes that when the older generation shuffled along, the new blood would create levels of understanding, tolerance and comradeship not seen before on a global scale.

While we can look back with joy upon events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, those spring flowers of hope we once had have largely crumbled to dust, in a very similar way to that awful cold war monument itself. Everyone seems to be becoming more aggressive, more offended, more entrenched in their separatist views, and the whole world, politically at least, seems to be lurching sharply to the right. Did humanity learn nothing from the two world wars in the last century? Perhaps not.

Let’s pray to the gods of rock n roll for an end to wars, more tolerance and understanding, the eradication of hunger and poverty, better distribution of wealth, cures for diseases that affect so many in the poorest nations of the earth, a reduction of misery and suffering for all, and a global humanity where we are all brothers and sisters together. We only have one world and one species and being kind to each other would be a pleasant change.

What are you planning to achieve in 2024? Whatever it may be, we wish you success beyond your wildest dreams and a very Happy New Ear 2024!