By Andy Votel
Record label boss for Badly Drawn Boy, DJ, entrepreneur, sleeve designer, tea maker and generally good bloke Andy Votel has his own proper album out.
It's a studio job, built from household objects in Blue Peter style. Some of the objects are very esoteric, it must be said. Former front man of art band Can, for example. Malcolm Mooney (apparently less than committed to realities that you and I would recognise) and a slew of other musicians supplied samples of their various talents for Votel to splice together for this very jaunty and agreeable set of 15 tunes. Texturally like something from the Chicago Underground or Do Make Say Think, it does lack the buzz of human interaction that minimalist improvisation can achieve.
Maybe those Pro Tools and Cubase environments can be too beguiling. Everyone becomes a musician, as long as they can cut, paste and count.
But Votel goes well beyond geekdom, and the result is very listenable, witty and moody by turns, and likely to be playing behind almost any TV drama or low life documentary that you will watch over the next three years.
A live gig would be a trial. But this is a recorded work, it succeeds as a recorded work, and it could be your first step out of the rock cul-de-sac that's restricting your musical view these days. The wide variety of unexpected noises is a joy in itself. (except the badly played bloody recorder on Track 14!). And he has nicked the best left hand piano part of all time from Joan Armatrading's "I'm Lucky")