Interview with Vocoderion
Hello and welcome to Spacesound Records. We would like to shed some light on the individuals who make the music we all love. What better way than hearing it from the artists themselves. Vocoderion, nice to see you at Spacesound!
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and what do you do?
I am 23, I live in Gdansk, currently working for a company which does games (in a way it is connected to my university studies that I was graduated in and more over my interests). I think the official part of the question might be finished … in spare time … I sleep! Nowadays I am little busy but when there is a chance I try to spend it as much comfortable for myself as I can.
2. How did you get involved in music and do you have a music background?
I haven't got a musical background (none of spacesynth musicians had one except Mr. Kuy I believe) so I am a self-taught one. Luckily my parents did not force me to play instruments or did not send me to an afternoon music school. It would kill any will inside me to treat music as a pleasure I think that for some graduates of such schools music is only a subject of a course and does not make it funny or enjoyable.
I experimented with sound even being a child recording my voice on a tape and then in my own primitive way I tried to edit it. I spent many hours alone in my room playing around and having a lot of fun.
During school time I played guitar in some local garage rock bands. There were even little successes but some members of the groups did not stand the pressure and left them … Well experienced I got an idea in my head „you want to do sth, well do it yourself”. That's why nobody was required to help me while producing an album Biomechanical Structure.
3. Besides spacesynth what other hobbies do you have?
I am not restricted to Spacesynth… I listen to wide range of electronic music and that's what I compose. I do love to make some drawings, as well. If there is anybody interested I have got my own profile at Deviant Art. My artwork oscillates mostly around post industrial-cyberpunk, you know „post apo” or cyborgs with legs or hands torn off and also some deserted huge buildings, factories or even whole districts. I like exploring such ones searching for an inspiration. What else is Voc doing in spare time… aha, I rummage in PC's… my own or somebody else's (yes, I like to sit and solder a bit to repair things) I also play Unreal Tournament (but occasionally under my own nick name). Do not delude yourselves you pick me up on one of the on-line servers. I also like walking along the beach with my dog Revan.
I often take part in Star Wars promoting activities. I consider myself a fan of the saga. If there is a chance I help in video editing, montage or operating fan-filming.
4. What other music interests you?
Widely regarded electronic music. Since I remember that's for sure Electro, Industrial, Dark Ambient, EBM, TBM. For some time Harsh, Noise… and a little bit of Trance, Ambient, as well.
5. Do you compose any other music besides spacesynth, if yes, what might that be?
You can easily call it remixing what I do. I mean all of mentioned above genres because Space it's only a narrow part of my artistic work. Even Biomechanical Structure is not strictly a Space sounding album. It's out of question the most of the songs tend to have space subject matter, it was just planned to be placed on the Space music market. I did not wanted my album to be a copy of Laser Dance, KOTO, or something similar. I had my own idea to make the sound. So the title song is not even Space one. Well, I can say that I was able to realize something I wanted to be like this (less than more but it wasn't fully depending on my side).
6. How did you find spacesynth or when did you first come in contact with this genre of music?
The story isn't complicated although quite funny. Sometime ago, far far away (it was year 2000 I think) one of my colleagues brought to me a tape with a song The Challenge. I do not know actually where from he got it, probably from the radio … He described the song more or less like this: „Listen to it, look what a trip into space! It's even better when you're high, simply little green men, aerials and flying saucers! Totally the same as if you was kidnapped by UFO!” – Let's summarize it like: heh, there must be something in it…
The song was copied and after few playings it caught my ears. I went here and there, asked about a composer and I reached the name of a performer. Then getting the other songs by the artist wasn't hard.
7. What draws you to spacesynth and why do you like this music?
It's not a complicated electronic music meaning the harmony, often with a heavy snare, also basing on creating ambiance around a listener. It feels like there is the above mentioned magical cosmos. The songs generally are not consisted of lyrics and despite of it we know what they are all about. Unfortunately the music is classified as Italo Disco what I consider as extremely harming. Space as it is – generally constructed in a different way is ruled with quite a different principles – it's not a dance music.
Italo Disco played a very important role in dance history and that's why it must be treated seriously and with respect. Musicians in large numbers got some synthesizers creating something that thousands of people have fun with until now. You cannot deny it - but placing Laser Dance on a compilation „The Best Of Italo Disco” I regard as a complete absurd. Space musically is located a rung ahead.
8. Is there anything that you dislike about this genre?
Only repeatability … but this is an element which is specific for Space.
9. Are there any group or artist(s) that have influenced you?
Truly there are! Each of the ones I listened to - now and then.
11. Do you have a favorite spacesynth album and why?
Out of doubt Discovery Trip. Why? Sentiment… The first cassette, hard-won, found in a pile of the others forgotten and left somewhere in a bazaar, on a stand with relics.
The ones favorite are Discovery Trip, Changing Times and Masterpieces, as well. I get back mostly to them. Each album has got its own little pearly tracks. I often get some Ambiente – it really depends on a mood. I really appreciate Marco Rochowski's and Mind-X-Pander's productions.
12. Would you be interested in working in a duet or with other artists if yes who would that be?
It's a matter of course. Everybody (not really a Space musician) who created sth interesting is not afraid to leave the rules but also can make some compromise.
13. Do you like Italo Disco?
Why not? It's not my favorite genre but I am not against the one. It's a perfect music for dancing, not a complicated melody, catchy and entertaining. Personally I prefer to have some fun with Electro but I remind myself lots of parties with Italo that I was wonderfully enjoying.
14. A few Spacesynth artists have come from the Demo scene, were you ever part of that, if yes what was your artistic name and do you think there is any advantage to Demo artists?
No doubt, there are some. Demo scene was close to me, I grew up on C64 and Amiga. Demo-scene songs were consisted of electronics. Trackers taught us to fill up every empty space on a channel, to play with it, mix e.g. bass drum with a snare, and to gain one additional place required for bass line. Musicians derived from the scene are undemanding persons. You can say it was not a bad survival school meaning composing.
15. Lets move to composing. How do you start with a new track? Do you, start by trying to compose a new melody or do you play around with chords and then try and fit a melody into that or is there perhaps another way?
The song that I plan never gets to the point of a masterpiece. And the reason is that when I get to create something I have got countless number of ideas for finishing it. Composing should be a pleasure and not a compulsion. So I do not force myself any rules that I have to keep up with. With such a rules compositions are made by computer freaks or dimwits after music schools.
16. Recently there has been some debate about the importance of melody in spacesynth. Do you have any opinion or thoughts on this?
What about it? There must be a melody! Space isn't Industrial to base on drums only…
17. Spacesynth currently has many different styles for example Protonic Storm is very futuristic and pushing boundaries on the other hand Marco Rochowski epitomizes the Golden era with his classical interpretation. Where do you think you fit?
Not in their Galaxy, somewhere far away and I am not the one to assess it. I was framed long time ago … a great pity.
18. This question is a sort of follow on. Where do you think the genre is heading? Some people have said that we should move on from the LD influence and embrace influences from other genres i.e. different drums, bass and not have to rely on melody. Others have argued that the melody is the essence of spacesynth and overhauling it would kill the uniqueness of the style and thus create just another electronic sub genre. Any thoughts?
So let the ones go away who claim it is necessary to draw on the other genres, and let them compose whatever they want. Space, what would that be with influences of e.g. heavy metal? Would it be Space anymore?
When I compose Electro I do not mix it with Space, when I want to go harsh, I do not call it Space because this is a very hermetic music with canons that stay behind it.
19. Any thoughts on how we could improve the genre (musically and gaining more mass appeal)?
Why forcing Space to the masses they simply do not like it? If anyone wants to create for the masses let it be Dance.
20. What sort of gear do you use?
The one that is required to reach satisfying effect.
And now some info for the catties… No. My gear is not limited to Yamaha. Showing off the cool studio is kinda lamering. I recommend the people who do it watching a movie „Peak of Destiny”. Whether they catch the meaning or not– it's their business.
21. At times debate has centered on Software synths vs. hardware, do you have a preference if yes why?
As mentioned above. I create music with a help of what I need here and now. None of VSTi's or real instruments can make you a musician.
22. What's your favorite TV show?
I do not like TV.
23. Anything you would like to say to the fans of the Spacesynth Genre?
There would be probably something … but I think this is not the right place.
Now for something light hearted. Just give the answer to one you prefer or "Neither" if they aren't applicable. (No explanations required!!)
1. Tea or Coffee? A little tea with rum, honey or vanilla and caramel, extraordinary! It might be cinnamon, dried oranges, it depends on what is at hand.
2. Market or Shopping Mall? It depends on the shopping purpose.
3. Demo or Italo? Demo. The hardcore style with music on Pokey or Sid.
4. TV or Sport? I do not watch TV unless it's a DVD movie. Sports if possible – not the extremal one but reactive. Skating, rollers, swimming, light sabre duels, if there is a volunteer to make it.
5. Books or Cinema? A good book for lonely winter evenings. Cinema with a friend or familiars.
6. Resort or Camping? Resort (I live in such one).
7. Summer or Winter? Certainly Summer and scorching heat - 30 degs in the shade! And Vocoderion runs to the beach!
8. Cat or Dog? Surely a dog. Even two… three would be even fine.
9. Beer, wine or Spirits? Beer on parties to ease the thirst. Wine on evenings to make things savour and tasty. Something stronger (or extremely cheap) occasionally.
10. Blonde or Brunette? Red.
11. Sweet or savoury? It depends on the occasion.
Once again thank you for allowing us your time in answering these questions, it is very much appreciated! We hope this gives the spacesynth community a little better insight into you as an artist.
Space Sound Records Team.Translation from the interviewee's specific language: Zbigniew Danielewicz.