Sound Sample: Vertigo Mixed

The name will be familar to anyone interested in the strange world of vinyl obscurities. Andrew Shallcross or, as he is more commonly known, Andy Votel is the DJ, Producer and Musician who co-founded the Twisted Nerve record label. As a DJ  Votel earned a reputation for his esoteric selections of songs he played during his sets. Always making an effort to stray far from the usual club sounds and beats, Votel had a unique approach. Mixing hip-hop backing tracks with odd and wonderful interludes into psychedelic, jazz and rock. He also helped developed the B-Music DJ Collective, which went on to collaborated with the likes of David Holmes and Belle and Sebastian. A venture that expanded his love for those impossible to find physical LPs. Dismissing the digital versions of the obscure records, Votel jumped into the reissue market in 1999 with his own Finder’s Keepers reissue label. Releasing difficult to find classics like Jean-Claude Vanner’s La Bette Noireand lost soundtrack music, including Bruno Nicolai’s The Case of the Bloody Iris. 

Vertigo Mixed is a prime example of Votel‘s skill as a DJ and Remix Producer. When presented with the idea of curating a compliation of Vertigo artists, Votel had some ideas of his own and took the project to a new level. Mixing a dizzying selection of artists into one hypercharged stream of music. Any fan of the original Vertigolabel will need to hear what Votel has accomplished. And more importantly, the project has a sound and feel of it’s own. If you aren’t a big fan of the “hairy funk-rock party music” of the legendary swirly-label, no worries, you can still find much to appreciate here. 

Perhaps that is what is most brilliant about this little gem is the diversity of sounds to discover; Black Sabbath and Aphrodite’s Child find a home next to Juicy Lucy and Cressida. The original leadership of the Vertigolabel truly did have a progressive attitude toward the bands that were signed to the label. And Votel‘s mix is revealing on this point. Pulling the music into a new musical context, Votel gives his selections room to breath and dance without the usual retro vibe. When heavy tracks like Willie the Pimp rub shoulders withLiving at the end of time, the music simply jumps out of the speakers. There are 38 different songs titles listed on the back cover, however during an interview with Waxpoetics in 2006, Votel mentioned there are artist on the Vertigo Mixed CD that remain uncredited. Give it a try. Digging through this remix album to identify individual track is a interesting way to spend an evening with someone in front of your stereo. Enjoy