Album Reviews

Andy Votel – Styles Of The Unexpected

UK release date: 20 November 2000

Andy Votel - Styles Of The Unexpected Andy Votel, founder of Twisted Nerve Records (which he runs with his first signing, one Badly Dawn Boy by the name of Damon Gough), is a man of many talents. Quite apart from owning over 100 pairs of trainers (I really hope he keeps a similar number of airspray canisters), he designed the cover of Badly Drawn Boy’s The Hour Of Bewilderbeast and many other graphics. Not content with this, he is directing Twisted Nerve videos in coming months and DJ-ing up and down the country, supplementing his producer role with the likes of Add N to (X) and Ian Brown.

With such a varied selection of careers laid out before him, it is perhaps surprising that he found the time to offer us his own music too, although not much of it, as the mini-LP contains a mere seven tracks, two of these being collaborations with Jane Weaver (Girl On A GoPed) and Lee Gorton (RiderBrow).

The first track, Urbanite Rocks, could only really have emerged from Manchester and sounds like an Ian Brown song without the lyrics. Mid-range keyboards populate the harmony sections of several tracks, with loungey chords being the mainstay of Girl On A GoPed and Return Of The Spooky Driver being dominated by “cosmic” effects and jarring percussion laid over the top of a very Badly Drawn Boy-esque piano riff which gives way to a rough-sounding 1970s guitar arrangement. You can nearly dance to Pickpocket, with the next two theme tracks typifying the album.

This couldn’t be played at parties or in bed, in the car or in a night club, but is more likely to be at home somewhere within a film score. Quite an antidote to all that Badly Drawn Boy pop stuff, then.

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