Chances are you probably won't have heard of Andy Votel, but his credentials are impeccable. Along with Damon Gough he co-founded record label Twisted Nerve and signed his friends band, Badly Drawn Boy and Alfie. He's also a successful DJ and "All Ten Fingers" is his debut album, following last years mini album, as a fully fledged solo artist.
"Metro Attitude" begins with a tantalizingly seductive French female vocal, while this is a superior slice of electronica it's 60s influenced easy listening feel gives it a comfortably reassuring mellow groove. The welcome addition of drum and bass makes the track both modernist yet retro. "Hazelwood" has a production that recalls the best work of Nelly Hooper and Tracy Elizabeth's voice is Bjorkish in the extreme. Coincidence, homage or tribute - who knows? Structurally the song sounds half finished and the meaningless lyrics of "Pacify, petrify, butterfly" are baffling. So while it's definitely left of centre it's not particularly wonderful to listen to.
The laid back groove of "We Are You" is reminiscent of classic Groove Armada with lashings of drum and bass. The title of the song is repeated mantra like throughout while in parts it sounds like out takes from Daft Punks "Homework" album. Elbows Guy Garvey lends his mournful vocal to "The Viy" with bollywood instrumentation. Typical of Garvey it's a downbeat song that obviously wouldn't get the party started, but is more suited to the type of bedsit depressive Smiths fan. The album finishes with the low-key acoustica of "I'm Lucky" instead of the electronica overdrive of the rest of the album.
"All Ten Fingers" is an eclectic mix of jazz, easy listening, drum & bass, electronica, ground breaking experimentation and with the added bonus of guest vocalists including Malcolm Mooney and Sam Lynham. It has moments of genuine genius and is so eclectic that it would be churlish to even attempt to pigeonhole the music styles of "All Ten Fingers
Nicholas Paul Godkin
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