Record labels take commitment, hard work and an insanely silly love and passion for music that trumps everything else. Also kinda like running a blog. So here at Too Many Blogs, we thought we’d pay homage to our favourite record labels in this new interview feature. It’s June and we’re back with exclusive info from one of the most innovative labels around – Speedy Wunderground.
For those who don’t know, who is Speedy Wunderground?
Me (Dan Carey), Alexis Smith & Pierre Hall.
Where are you based?
Streatham, South London.
And at what point did you release you wanted to start a label?
I started getting frustrated with the amount of time between finishing a piece of music and it’s being released. I wanted to start a label where the releases were all surrounded by the excitement of the recording process.
Where did the name Speedy Wunderground come from?
It was a mixture of speedy noodle, Stevie Wonder, and underground resistance.
I think everyone appreciates your distaste with being slow. Why is being speedy so important?
Sometimes being slow is important, and I do often like to take plenty of time over things, but, in this case what I’m after is recordings that reflect the instincts of the people involved. Your first thought on something always has a kind of naive and fresh or uncalculated feel to it, and if you only use those, you get a particular type of record; something that is an accurate snapshot of how you’re feeling at that time. Doing things quickly is simply a way of ensuring that I don’t go back and keep over thinking things.
You first worked with Steve Mason & Emiliana Torrini, when was that?
We put the first single out in Feb 2013 – but I’ve been friends with them both longer than that.
How do you decide who to work with?
Lots of different ways. there are some people who I’ve wanted to work with for a while, and a speedy is a nice simple invitation – like Guilty Simpson. Some I’ve been friends with for years and just like making music with – like Emiliana, Oli (Boxed In) or Kate (Tempest). Sometimes I meet someone, and just decide in the moment to do one straight away – like with DEWEY.
Your 10-point plan is legendary. Where and when did you come up with them?
It was just meant to be a handy guide to keeping the day moving. I quite like working to rules. I find it creates freedom. It’s like DJ-ing with only one deck. Much more fun! I actually made an album called ‘the rules’.
Have you ever broken any of your own rules?
Yeah, look on the back of the first comp …
Do you not get hungry with no lunch breaks recording all day?
I discovered SW and FEWS at the same time when you released ‘ILL’. How was working with those guys?
Amazing. Ill was one of the most intense sessions ever. It really shaped how we recorded the album subsequently.
What’s the hardest thing about running Speedy Wunderground?
Fitting them in.
What are some of your favourite Speedy memories?
The Year 1 Launch @ The Heavenly Social. Kate and a few other of the bands/artists played and DJ’d. All our friends were there. It lasted a few days…
If you had to pick, what’s your favourite record/vinyl you’ve released so far?
DEWEY. We haven’t released it yet (at the time of writing) – it’s the next one. It’s all about now. I think I would usually say the most recent is the best, but that’s just in the nature of what we do.
Your latest release is from J.W. Ridley which we love here at TMB. How was recording with him?
Absolutely lovely. He was really worried about it beforehand because he’s always just worked on his own, and one of my favourite things was the look on his face after we first played through the song together when he suddenly realised that is was going to be OK.
What’s next for Speedy Wunderground in 2017?
Don’t know yet!