For Speedy Wunderground – 2019 has been a vital and pivotal year. As well as label boss Dan Carey having produced an array of critically-acclaimed albums including regular collaborator Kate Tempest’s The Book Of Traps And Lessons (alongside Rick Rubin), as well as the two Mercury Prize nominated offerings from Black Midi (Schlagenheim) and Fontaines D.C. (Dogrel) – the 7” imprint he runs alongside Alexis Smith and Pierre Hall has been developing and growing – and is fast-becoming recognised as one of the most exciting new labels in the country, culminating in an AIM award nomination for ‘Best Small Label’, hitting their landmark 30th single release, and putting out their very first non 7”/compilation releases.
With the release of the hotly-tipped Squid’s Town Centre EP and the digital release of the 9-minute opus Sunglasses from Cambridge’s Black Country, New Road – the label is moving outside of its original parameters to put out some of the freshest and most exciting new music in the country. ‘It’s all happening very organically’ says Carey, ‘it feels natural. As always, it is leading us. Not the other way around.’ This is clearly exemplified in the labels Year 4 Compilation (they’ve been going for 6 years in total). Among those artists / tracks involved in this collection are: the kraut-rock assault-on-the-senses of Scottibrains (Speedy house band featuring Dan Carey, and Boxed In’s Oli Bayston and Liam Hutton) – this track was mixed by Orla Carey – the 13 year old daughter of the producer. bmbmbm (7” single version) – the first ever official release from London’s enigmatic genre-defying black midi (who Carey recently performed this track with at The Mercury Prize show in which guitarist Matt Kelvin unleashed an awe-aspiring forward flip straight after running into a piano). There’s also Squid’s LCD-meets-Television punk-disco workout The Dial; the twisting and turning art-rock of Black Country, New Road’s Athen’s, France and in the labels strong tradition of new / unlikely collaborations the skittering post-punk jam of All We Are’s and Alex Karpranos’ Heart Attack – Carey having worked with the former on their self-titled debut and the latter on their third long-player Tonight:Franz Ferdinand.
Also present is the blistering jangle-drenched pop of newcomers Tiña; the acerbic existential lyricism of Leeds’s Treeboy and Arc and the powerful post-punk poetry of Ireland’s Sinead O’Brien.