Of more importance to his wide circle of UK friends is his natural propensity for living it large and sharing his enthusiasm for music across every conceivable spectrum.
He travels widely both to find great records and to share them as a DJ and has done so obssessively since the age of fifteen.
To clear a common misconception, Andy Votel and Boney Votel are not blood-related but their close friendship was forged via their shared passion for making music.
Votel stands for Violators Of The English Language, a Hip Hop crew started by Boney whilst he was still at school. V.O.T.E.L may well be the only (and therefore the finest) Hip Hop crew ever to emerge from Northwich / Stockport UK.
Boney has yet to see it, but lying around somewhere out there is a recording of an early 90s BBC2 show about the way the English language evolves featuring a seventeen year-old Boney being interviewed by Alan Yentob.
It definitely aired, as Boney was congratulated on his performance by his colleagues at Sainsbury's where he earned vital record buying wages as a Saturday assistant while he was still at college.
His first ever lp at the age of 9 was a Blood, Sweat and Tears one which his brass band loving grandfather paid him 50p to turn off. It didn't put Boney off.
As a skateboarding teenager in primary school he found an affinity for the Electro music he began hearing on the radio and graduated quickly into breakdancing and the world of street counter culture.
At the age of thirteen his record collecting began in earnest with the purchase of a cheap stack record player and two 45s from Woolies; Jackie Wilson - Reet Petite and a Housemartins one.
...accelerated Boney's immersion into Hip Hop culture kicking off as it did every week with Grandmaster Flash- Whoop containing the refrain Bus' Diss!
Grandmaster Flash - Bus' Diss
Beastie Boys, LL Cool J and Public Enemy lps became his listening staples and lead later on to searches for the sample sources at Omega Records second-hand branch in Northwich Cheshire.
Along came Cold Chillin' records and the passion took a firmer hold with the likes of Biz, BDK and Shante.
Forumusic is saving Boney's stories of creating bedroom tapes, enthusiasm for UK Hip Hop, the formation of V.O.T.E.L, his meeting with Andrew Shallcross (soon to be Andy Votel) and early funk DJ-ing experiences in Manchester for a later date.
Today it's exactly a dozen years on from Boney's Southport Dance Music Weekender excursion and the man who graduated from rapping at youth clubs in Stockport to spinning twisted funk jams, Krautrock, and Bollywood at B-Music nights is reminiscing about his old Wants lists as we drive into Preston town centre to visit Boney's lock-up.
Gingerly tip-toeing through the tiny amount of available floor space Boney darts here and there fishing out potential records to share with forumusic to add to the stellar ones he's already pulled from the record racks at home.
At breathless intervals I'm presented with a variety of platters. A full run of UK Electro lps resides in one box and a little later Boney turns around and fans out a large run of choice Chappell library lps like a deck of cards.
There are amazing soul and funk 45s and when a small pile of lps collapses the minor avalanche reveals some rare 50s and 60s British jazz lps.
Boney frequently indicates records which were important to him in his youth before we head back into daylight and backto Boney's neat semi-dtached home in Preston for an afternoon listening session.
I bought this primarily for the A-side Hugh Godfrey - Go Tell Him.
I say 'bought' this record I actually traded it for The Trees - Epitaph on CBS with Sie Fly (Sie Norfolk) at the last years Byker Groove record meet.
The Hugh Godfrey is a rocksteady bomb but flipping it over you've got Marcia Griffiths doing After Laughter and just to hear something you dearly love done over a rocksteady / ska beat is just so exciting and kind of struck a chord with me.
I think the reason I like it so much is because the vocals on the original are so aching and painfully delivered and this version just kind of gives the song a completely different edge and really made me buzz.
Plus...it's a minter! So thank you Sie Fly.
Plus! It's Studio 1. Red and White.
You can't f***in knock it!
Marcia Griffiths - After Laughter
Hugh Godfrey - Go Tell Him
This is a privately pressed free jazz lp from Detroit released on the Black & White label in 1982.
The track here is XY Moch; the main theme that gets a short reprise as the last track on the flip side. Whilst many folk baulk at the term free jazz this lp is actually a very accessible listen with a nice nod to funky fusion and elements of the avant-garde.
I especially dig the almost slap-disco bass that features on this track.
Entry level free jazz for for those with sensitive ear drums maybe?
Griot Galaxy - XY Moch
I pulled this one out because I was looking at one of my old mid-90s Wants Lists and I've only just realised I can now cross it off!
For me it's one of Lateef's best records. It's on the label with the trumpeter on which is the original Verve label.
I made forays into listening to a lot more jazz round about 2005 or thereabouts and first heard this track on Talkin' Verve which despite being a very poorly pressed compilation had a lot of good stuff on it.
When I got the lp I was also impressed with the track Before Dawn which is a Lateef track I already knew from John Cameron's Off Centre lp on Deram.
Chang, Chang, Chang is definitely something that I would play if I was DJ-ing a set out for jazz people and wanted to get them dancing.
Yusef Lateef - Chang, Chang, Chang
I spoke to you earlier about my affiliation to Hip Hop and I used to obssessively collect a lot of UK Hip Hop like Hijack, Krispy 3, MC Mello and lots of stuff released on the Music Of Life label.
This is a 12" from 1998 from the Demon Boyz debut lp which stands alone for me as one of the top 3 UK Hip Hop records of all time. Vibes has got that kind of heavy backbeat going on which certainly worked in clubs at the time and it's got kind of ragga influences going on.
It's a deviation from the kind of stuff i buy now but when I look back I would say that the Demon Boyz certainly have a very important place in my collection.
The Demon Boyz lp - Recognition & The London Possee lp - Gangter Chronicles are the dog's doodahs as far as that era goes.
Demon Boyz - Vibes
This is the lp This Is My Country, the UK issue on Buddah records and it's just beautiful soul music.
Expertly written songs delivered by the falsetto voice of Curtis Mayfield and I don't think you can mess with it as an album.
One of the best things about playing records in the funk genre was that you could 'impress' with soul! I always threw Impressions records and the like in and they never failed to hit and they still do.
We're A Winner! Play that and it's hands in the air time.
In terms of gut-wrenching, heartachingly beautiful music I don't think there's anything to touch it.
You've got Donny Hathaway right in there, Curtis Mayfield obviously, and it's got that Black Power / Civil Rights movement thing going on too.
You just have to listen to the live version of Stone Junkie - 'I think I fell in a hole' the coolest shit I'd ever heard.
Impressions - This Is My Country
Impressions - Fool
Adam Lever introduced me to this one and I just think it's a great, great soul record; Mister Rookie did this a lot! It's got that sort of hands-in-the-air groove to it and impassioned vocals.
As soon as I heard it I went down to Beating Rhythm and bought two of copies of it one of which I've since sold. It shouldn't be too hard to find. It's a staple in my box.
Rozetta Johnson - Mine Was Real
Privately pressed obviously. It talks on the back cover about Gus Poole playing in and around Los Angeles with people like Al Hirt etc.
I did pay a pretty penny for this because of the two tracks that really deliver on here.
I got this when I was listening to and buying a lot of organ grinding jazz, things like Rusty Bryant - Fire Eater, Jimmy Smith and the like.
The main track for me is Hallelujah, Alright, Amen simply because it's got that groovy church organ thing going on but an additional bonus is an enormous drum break from back when I was into drum breaks.
Not that you could sample it, it's just a really groovy organ grinder.
Sod breaks! That's for backpackers, great records contain breaks and they remain great records with or without the sweated thirty second break segment.
I played this at one of the Byker events thinking it was unknown and it was to all but TOWNY!
It's fairly rare, especially in the UK I think. You're not going to find this anytime soon down your local Oxfam shop but here it is.
Gus Poole - Hallelujah, Alright, Amen
I'm not going to try and tell you that I know loads about this record but it does have Dudu Pakwana on it on saxophone who did a lot of UK jazz work on the Ogun label; another label I fetishized about for a period, and various free-jazz ensembles.
This record is I suppose typically defined as Afro funk. I I bought this off Preston Car Boot sale for £3 and to this day I still rate it. It exemplifies rare-groove and funk... there's all sorts going in here.
The New Matata - Talkin' Talkin'
Having been a big fan of the Trees and the Incredible String Band type of sound, I was introduced to this sub-genre (for want of a better phrase) via time spent on the Waxidermy forum.
A lot of stuff can gets labelled as Xtian folk with maybe psych attached to it but solid listens like this lp are few and far between. You're doing well if you fish anything remotely from this bracket from a charity shop or even a fair these days.
In many respects it is what it is; a whole bunch of Christians; but they sound like they haven't been to church in a while, have spent the collection tray funds on a couple of guitars and have gone bad, real bad! Which is what I really like about it! This is a private press lp out of Missouri and it's also got, believe it or not, shades of Velvet Underground / garage-esque instrumentation going on and some of the spoken
word stuff on here is just ridiculous. That combination of things makes this lp for me, perhaps one of the best lps I bought last year and it's one I frequently return to.
Jesus Is The Bridge - Call Yourself A Christian
Jesus Is The Bridge - Things Get A Little Easier
You used to go to Northern Soul nights and it was very staid and you'd hear the same sort of thing all the time; safe and good but 'played out' dancers. This sound; it's kind of a bit wibbly-wobbly but the introduction of stuff like this fits very well into moving Northern nights on a little bit these days.
I've got another record like this that I've been hammering recently by Chuito and the Latin Uniques called Spanish Maiden and these two songs kind of fall in the same bracket to me.
They're both Latino Soul but they've got that certain edge to them that appeals to a Northern Soul crowd who've expanded their minds a bit and have got away from the four to the floor sort of stuff.
I got a bit fed up of going to Northern Soul nights and
listening to the same sorts of tunes all the time. These kind of tunes are taking the scene a bit wider.
They demonstrate the kind of club sounds i'm really digging at the moment and they're similar to some of the stuff Tom B posted about in his forumusic interview.
Joe Bataan - Gypsy Woman
Chuito and the Latin Uniques - Spanish Maiden
As you can see it's got a pretty radical cover, the concept being that Mr Reject stands out from his peers and the crowd; dressed all in paisley and he's a bit of a hippie.
He refects the strait-jacketed lifestyle of his home and hooks up with a hippie girl named called Sue and heads to a commune!
This has also got a kind of Xtian slant to it and it's no understatement to say that audiophie bods would not rate the sound quality.
You can see the hand pasted labels have started to peel and come off. which makes it a tad difficult to find the right tracks! (Record label can be seen on the May 2012 Home Page)
Looking at the titles of the songs and you get an understanding of what it's all about; Hitch Hike To Freedom, Disco, Mr Reject etc.
There is some wigged-out organ madness on here, some dodgy singing and some dodgy bossa moves, all in all making this lp a bloody dream!
Mr Reject - Disco
I've presently got two copies of this and on the other one it states that it was pressed at the Deroy pressing plant at Cairnforth in Lancashire. If I could find them you do get printed notes with it about all the kids who were involved in making this record.
I've had tthree or four copies of this in the past and the selling point is that there's a version of A Whiter Shade Of Pale on it.
It's a terrible version but there are collectors out there who just collect versions of that song and have been happy to pay up to 100GBP for it.
The sleeve image is a screenprint that's obviously hand pasted on. It's rough and ready but that's part of it's charm. I do warn you that as you may expect, the sound quality is not the best!
The main thing that lifts this above a lot of the other private presses of the era and the UK generally is the fact that it's got a nice folk standard on it called Thomas The Rhymer which I think I'm correct in saying was used by many folk artists like Pentangle and Fairport Convention. The added bonus is the fuzz!!! If this were an Ebay listing it would read 'Acid Folk with Femme Vox and added Fuzz!
Thomas The Rhymer is sung by a female from the school. Sadly I can't state her name here unless I can find the missing insert.
I'm bringing this local to the world here!
The Ashton-on-Ribble High School Music Society (Mister Trad. - Thomas The Rhymer
From my fairly limited knowledge, this is from the south side of Chicago and is as rare as rocking-horse shit or so so I've been told.
It certainly didn't come cheap in terms of trades and I sourced it from a Waxidermist. I think there is a version of this record without this cover but looking at this I think you'd have to agree you'd rather have it like this.The cover alone is a good selling point and this girl could definitely drive my car any time she wanted to.
Via listening to various gospel records on Checker and Cadet I kind of got more into listening to a lot of funky soul and gospel type music and I think that's one of the areas I want to explore further.
So I was hipped to this by a Waxidermist but I think I actually won it from a link to a BIN (Buy It Now) or on one of the auctions over there..
I'm going to play the title track from this.
This record exemplifies a kind of record I could never find in the Uk and wouldn't have found if it wasn't for hanging out at Waxi.
The Windy City Four - Don't Let The Devil Ride
It's just an incredible record and one of the ones I sourced very early on when I was listening to a lot of black radical, spiritual and free jazz. I went a bit mad on the Strata East imprint trying to buy everything I could. It's such a brilliant label to me, the music as well as the aesthetic. Clifford Jordan's Glass Bead Games lp is another lp I rate very highly, so much so I almost missed my taxi back to JFK airportas I ran to the shop where I'd seen it.
This track was booted I think on one of the London Jazz Classics lps and became a bit of a stalwart of the old London jazz scene. A major pull of this is that Dee Dee Bridgewater on it and it's funky as well as being spiritual.
Billy Parker's Fourth World - Get With It
It's got dialogue in it but more than enough music as well. Very often you can buy different issues of Bollywood records some of which don't have music on them at all..
This is one of many I bought on that trip and this track has a great groove. I've played it out a few times when I've been DJ-ing and it always seems to hit the spot with some people. I've been lucky to nab a fair few Bolly titles over the last few years and I'd say it's defo one of my favourite play out genres.
Bappi Lahiri - Mausam Hai Ganne
Soundclip to follow
A very privately-pressed 'nun funk' record!.
The band is called Nun-Plus with guitar and vocals by Sister Wanda Mary Jordan. The thing that sets this apart from other private-press releases is that it's absolutely off the rails really.
It's got a version of St Ives which is crazy and super dope! Walk about the Craters of the Moon is also a great tune.. Tthis is another lp I was hipped to from hanging out on the Waxidermy forum and I bought it off a set sale over there.
Another lp I have in this narrow genre is called The Minister and his Nuns that is, to use modern parlance, ILL-SICK. I don't think it's that expensive, the non- nun on the cover is pretty fit and coupled with the crazy sisters well!... Whoopi G never did anything like this did she?
Ljubimo - St Ives
A lot of people say this is poorly produced and poorly mastered and doesn't convey on a loud sound system. I'm not arsed, as it's such a bomb you have to deal with that. On reflection it isn't that bad anyway.
This is 1001 so it's the first release from Big-9 records and it's hard as nails. I've got the other Inell Young record on the yellow label (Libra)which is one of the most soulful records I've vere heard in my life. George Mahood from Big Daddy magazine told me there's another one by her too and I don't have that yet so I'm going to have to search for that shizzle.
Despite the sound quality, it's still an enormous Eddie Bo banger from N.O that is a play out box staple.
Inell Young - The Next Ball Game
It's an interesting one because it's an issue of a song that was never issued at the time it was recorded.
It's proper hands in the air stuff like Margie Joseph's - I Can't Move No Mountain or Gloria Scott's - Too Much Love Makin' or Bettye Swann's - My Heart Is Closed.
It was originally recorded in Dallas, Texas in 1970 but was put out in 2008 so it took 48 years to see the light day. This is just another enormous record and a great one to end any soul night, or any night for that matter.
Gloria Shannon - Tears Are Gifts From Heaven
A huge thanks from Forumusic to Boney, his wife Cleata and his daughter Serena for their warm hospitality and for an afternoon of great conversation, great music and a lot of laughing.
Ian Townsend / Boney Votel interview / April 2012