Best Crate-Digging DJ (2012)


Alex Votichenko doesn't just collect records — he stockpiles them. When local filmmaker and blogger Gregory Harshfield interviewed the turntablist (who's better known by his nom de guerre Djentrification) for the online documentary Vinyl: A Phoenix Story, viewers got a glimpse inside Votichenko's Central Phoenix home, where an entire room is lined from floor to ceiling with haphazardly stacked milk crates and mismatched bookshelves overflowing with thousands of records. Thing is, that was only a small part of his entire collection. By his estimate, Votichenko (who also works as an artist and sells vegan burritos) has amassed an arsenal of thousands more, all of which serve as potential ammunition for his unforgettable and ultra-eccentric sets at nights like 602'sdays at Bikini Lounge.

During said affairs, he'll constantly cut and blend such disparate sounds as Latin beats, gospel sounds, children's music, and drops from vintage spoken-word albums into a bizarre bazaar of audio. To fuel such schizophrenic sessions with fresh grist for his turntables, Votichenko haunts Valley vinyl emporiums like Stinkweeds, Revolver Records, and Tracks in Wax. Crate-digging is an art form as much as it is an exercise in persistence, which he has in spades. He'll exhaustively thumb through bin after bin during twice-weekly excavations in search of obscura, rarities, and gems. Cash, on the other hand, is a different matter. During one funny moment in Harshfield's doc, Votichenko jokes, "I'm giving them all my burrito money."


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