Andy Votel Styles of the Unexpected

Being Andy Votel can be either a great job or a disappointing one. The founder of Twisted Nerve Records, Votel has become one of the British music industry's most creative participants. Anyone who has Badly Drawn Boy's The Hour of the Bewilderbeast has heard Votel's production or seen his artwork (he does pretty much every sleeve for all of Twisted Nerve's acts), yet no one seems to know of him because of BDB's giant shadow. Styles of the Unexpected, his first album (a mini one), blends folk music with hip-hop. A member of Grand Central's crew and a DJ known for clearing the floor, Votel knows his beats but avoids any conventional styles to create one of his own. Using spooky keyboards and plenty of echoes, à la Broadcast (whom he has remixed), he makes some really interesting music. "Girl On A GoPed," with his girlfriend, Jane Weaver, on vocals, is a laid-back, U.N.K.L.E.-esque floater that brings Marianne Faithfull on her scooter to mind. "Return Of The Spooky Driver" is a sequel to a track he did with BDB, but sounds more like Add N To (X) than his scruffy pal. When the final track, "RiderBrow" (with Alfie's Lee Gorton) appears, you get a sense that Styles of the Unexpected is just something to show that he makes records too, and the real thing will come on his proper debut album. (Twisted Nerve)