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Andy Votel

Like most teenagers growing up in England in the early '90s, Andy Votel was an avid hip hop head and record collector. He provided the beats in various Manchester hip hop cliques, soon making himself a well-known face in the city's underground music scene. Votel has been involved with numerous production and graphic design projects for the Central Station label, as well as remixes for the likes of Mr. Scruff, Death in Vegas, Texas, Lamb, Elbow, Kings of Convenience, Jan Brown, and Badly Drawn Boy. He has held residences at a number of northern U.K. clubs, including Headfunk, Frying the Fat, Electric Chair, and Missing Link. He also co-founded the trendy Manchester record label Twisted Nerve with his partner Damon Gough (aka Badly Drawn Boy)

Andy Votel's production manner is one of diverse sounds and influences tastefully pureed into a delicious musical smoothie. The album deftly combines percolating hip hop production with bits of '70s rock guitar, dusty cinematic samples, high-reverb surf rock, and twangy bluegrass, providing a testimonial to Votel's reputation as a sought-after producer. The title track, "Return of Spooky Driver," includes a sample from Primal Scream's"Kill All Hippies" and might very well remind the listener of an unwanted childhood trip to the dentist. Manchester singer-songwriter Jane Weaver and fellow Twisted Nerve label mate Alfie also lend their talents to the album. To say the least, Styles of the Unexpected is a very cool album that helps bestow upon the listener a feeling of being "with it" and happily amused at the same time.