STM 237 - John Hodgson

John Hodgson of Blitzkrieg Bop and Basczax

John Hodgson, 1977. Photo by David Cornforth.

John Hodgson of Blitzkrieg Bop and Basczax shares a retrospective mix of his brilliant, outlandish synth-based archive music dating back to the early 1970s.


John Hodgson (b. 1955) is an English musician and multi-instrumentalist, probably best known for his integral role in one of the first British punk bands, Blitzkrieg Bop (first release in 1977), as well as the new wavers Basczax and Makaton Chat. In addition to these and other projects, John has also been a very industrious solo musician, mostly creating under the Fast Cakes moniker. In keeping with the fact that Blitzkrieg Bop was named after a Ramones track, the band had a fittingly pop-oriented sound. Among other things, this has a lot to do with John’s musical leanings - even before Blitzkrieg Bop, he was fascinated with pop music, and that fascination has shined through in his later work as well. His solo recordings are very lo-fi and leftfield, strongly melodic, bright and keyboard-heavy. Albeit more mysterious and not as openly humorous, at times it seems to be similar in vibe to the work of legendary American indie artist R. Stevie Moore (of course, neither is easily compared with anyone else). You can check more of John’s work on his Bandcamp - he has been kind to make thousands (yeap, thousands) of his tracks available through the platform.

Secret Thirteen Mix 237 is John Hodgson’s retrospective mix, Life After Death, was compiled using both solo tracks and tracks of bands he was part of at one point or another in the ‘70s and ‘80s. As such it couldn’t really be any more singular - no one really sounds quite like John. This smoothly mixed compilation of kosmische, new wave and outsider pop should be quite a gift for fans of quirky, whimsical music. The mood of John’s selection sways from bright to contemplative, always with a touch of humour separated from the tracks by the slightest of margins. Occasional sonic elements will boggle the mind due to their outlandishness, but in the end intuition says this is a thing you either like or don’t like. The feel of John’s mix is reminiscent of Tarsila de Amaral’s primitivistic landcape, Sol Poente. The softness and warmth of its surreal contents, and the hidden land deeper behind the mysterious hills rather accurately represents the perplexing nature of the music.


1. Basczax - Crazy Dreamers
2. Basczax - The Calm
3. Fast Cakes - Signals
4. Basczax - Mekanik #1
5. Fast Cakes - Velvet & She
6. Fast Cakes - Killing The Dream
7. Fast Cakes - Pulsing Party
8. Basczax - Darkstar 17
9. Fast Cakes - Passive Aggressive
10. The Glass Moths - Shoreswood Walk
11. John Hodgson - The Red Cardigan
12. Fast Cakes - Call Off The Dogs
13. Fast Cakes - My Pad #5
14. Fast Cakes - Mythical Bints #14
15. Basczax - Track XXX
16. Fast Cakes - Kaleidoscope
17. Fast Cakes - Confidence
18. Fast Cakes - Valley Of The Lost Women
19. Fast Cakes - Heart & Soul
20. Fast Cakes - Shambles
21. Basczax - Mekanik #2
22. Fast Cakes - Liam
23. Fast Cakes - Auld Lang Syne
24. Fast Cakes - Looking Back

About Author

Tadas Švenčionis is a Secret Thirteen editor and journalist. He organizes the occasional event in Lithuania and is obsessed with the harsh, the sad, the delirious, and the political.

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