Vanello (by his real name, Razvan-Dumitru Voicu) is a producer and composer from Romania. He started working with electronic sounds in 1994 (at the age of 14) and his first album in Electronica genre, "Sidereal", was unofficially releases in 2000. He also made music for tv documentaries, radio jingles and remixes for different artists covering styles from Electronica to Trance, Electro or Ambience.
Since 2007, he began working at his first album in spacesynth style, which hopefully will be released by the end of this year. Here are some songs samples for this upcoming album, called "Planet Synth". For this album, Vanello uses synthesizers like Korg Triton Pro, Korg Ms-2000, Roland JX-10, Roland D-50, Korg 03R W, Korg Polysix, Korg Wavestation etc...
Interview with Vanello
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.
Razvan Welcome to Spacesound!
Hello, Spacesound! Hello, dear spacesynthers from all over the world!
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and what do you do?
Well, I am 28 years old, I live in Bucharest, Romania, a big and crowded city like other European capitals, I studied in Bucharest, I have a journalism degree and I work as a Production Executive in one of the top radio stations from Romania, Radio Pro FM.
2. How did you get involved in music and do you have a music background?
Well, I remember when I was a kid I used to drum in all kind of objects that could make rhythm. In 1994, at the age of 14, I bought my first keyboard, which was the small Casio SA-20 and begin to play electronic sounds, make funny little songs and enjoy my folks... I always was an auto-addict, although I have musicians in my family... a few years later, I naturally bought a bigger keyboard and soon more serious ideas came out... but the first real step was in 2000, when I unofficially released my first Electronica album, "Sidereal", using only one keyboard and the computer. That was a successful album but made in limited technical conditions. From 2000 to 2006 I've composed 6 albums in Electronica style but none of them was released because I didn't think there were completed (and I still think that now but who knows what tomorrow might bring)?
Beside my Electronica project, I also made some music for TV documentaries, a lot of radio jingles and promos and different remixes from Dance, Trance to Electro or Ambient style.
From 2007 I began to work at my first spacesynth album, "Planet Synth", which hopefully will be released until the end of this year.
3. Besides spacesynth what other hobbies do you have?
I like all the things related to space: music, SF books, movies, documentaries, magazines, I guess I am a space maniac. Except that, I like being in the middle of nature, it always inspires me, I like radio, football, and I like spending time with my girlfriend.
4. What other music interests you?
Working in a radio station made me listen to all kind of music... but mostly I like 80 synthesizer music (Italo, Dance, Electro, Pop), movies music, ambient music, trance, electro and pop music.
5. Do you compose any other music besides spacesynth, if yes, what might that be?
6. How did you find spacesynth or when did you first come in contact with this genre of music?
In the late ' 80, there were a lot of spacesynth songs playing on the national radio station along with other famous synthesizer themes from Jarre, Vangelis, Kraftwerk. It was then when I discovered Koto and LD songs, although I didn't know the names of the artists neither that this genre was called spacesynth.
7. What draws you to spacesynth and why do you like this music?
Well, when you make electronic music and you love the magic sound of 80's synthesizers and all those spacey stuff, it's impossible not to try to compose space synth too. For me, this is more simple music than what I use to do in my Electronica project but the satisfaction while working at the songs is maybe greater. It's actually another side of me as a composer, a more energetic and jovial one. Working on "Planet Synth" album made me many times enthusiastic and that's really motivating for an artist.
8. Is there anything that you dislike about this genre?
Well, to be honest, for the first time I didn't liked those storyteller voices from songs like "Dragon's Legend" for example, but now I got used to it. What I still do not like that much is the monotony of some songs, repeating the same themes over and over and this is something I try to avoid in my own songs.
9. Are there any group or artist(s) that have influenced you?
In spacesynth music my influences were Koto, LD, Hypnosis and italo dance music. Generally speaking, there a lot of influences from artists like Jarre, Vangelis, Kraftwerk, Kitaro, Enigma, Space, Mike Oldfield, Depeche Mode, Erasure, Ennio Morricone and many others.
10. I guess this question follows on from the next but do you have a favorite artist and why?
I always considered Jean Michel Jarre my favourite artist. His music, especially his earlier albums are just great, I listen to them often and I am still amazed. For me, JMJ is a complex artist that I always wish to have as example. I learned from him many things from the passion within he plays his instruments in live shows to his courage of experimenting and surprising each time the audience. Of course, he's not the only one but he's still my number one artist.
11. Do you have a favorite spacesynth album and why?
The first spacesynth album I heard had a big impact on me. That was Koto - "From the Dawn of Time", I still think is the best one. It seems to me more mature than Michiel previous albums and it's got that killing koto bass I just love it.
12. Would you be interested in working in a duet or with other artists if yes who would that be?
I do not have any preferences, any artist that appreciates my music and wants to collaborate with me in a way or another can contact me.
13. Do you like Italo Disco?
Oh, yeah... italo is great... dance music of the 80' is great... I use to listen in my car and I always get into the good mood. Silent Circle, Fancy, Joy, Sillicon Dream, Max Him, Eddie Huntington, Grant Miller etc. still burn the 80' floor.
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?
I'm afraid I am not so familiar with the Demo scene, I recently found out about it.
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?
Usually I left myself flying away while playing my keyboards and record all those ideas for future songs. For the spacesynth songs I do the same thing, I have a basic idea that I like, I'm telling my self: "This could be a cool song" so I start working and then construct the other themes around it. Sometimes I just make some drums, then some progressions and find a good melody for it, but this happens more rarely. I can't say I have a standard procedure; it depends on the songs and my mood, of course
16. Recently there has been some debate about the importance of melody in spacesynth. Do you have any opinion or thoughts on this?
I think spacesynth without melody is not spacesynth, it turns into something else..that's not necessary a bad thing, music has to evolve, there are so many hybrids-styles today , perhaps the future of spacesynth is to be mixed with trance, electro or anything else. There are always different directions and different tastes and that's the way it should be. Having more influences may attract a bigger audience, especially the youngsters who didn't have the chance to listen 80' songs. I still go for the classic... he he...
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?
My music is between classic spacesynth and italodance so I guess I'm more into Marco's side. I remember when creating the "NS2" project, my intention was to take classic spacesynth forward and mix it with trance and electro. While I was working at the songs for the album, I discovered that I was getting more into classic feeling of 80's so I decided to stay there because this is what I feel and this is what I like to do now. Recreating the magic of '80 in my own way, as I feel it today.
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?
I like using in my spacesynth songs 80' kicks, 80' stabs, 80' synths, 80 ' basslines etc. That doesn't necessary mean that we should always try to recreate sounds LD and Koto use, but I think there is a certain reason those artists use those sounds... are incredibly good, so making spacesynth by using only modern synths sounds just doesn't fit so well, the magic is gone, and spacesynth has something magic that must be kept. But everybody is free to try any combination and move forward as long as melody remains. Experimenting is always good as long as the results are too.
19. Any thoughts on how we could improve the genre (musically and gaining more mass appeal)?
This is hard but I think this genre has a certain audience which can grow if more labels will release spacesynth (synthesizer dance) albums and they will try to promote this style on events, parties, radio stations, even makings some professional videos. I observed nobody made until now a good video for a space song, there were a few tentative efforts but nothing really serious. Images have always such a big impact and can give much more power to a song. My belief is that audience can be educated, I see there are a lot of electronic music sub styles like electro, minimal, progressive (instrumental music, mainly) which 10 years ago were considered as being underground in many countries from Europe and now there are parts of our life ( you can hear them on the radios, in the clubs, basically everywhere). So, maybe spacesynth could be reconsidered too if DJ's , people from labels and all of us will involve more into this area.
20. What sort of gear do you use?
I currently arranging my home studio in which I use synthesizers like Korg Triton Pro, Korg MS-2000, Roland JX-10, Roland D-50, Korg 03R W, Korg Polysix, Korg Wavestation and others, many samples, an Intel Core 2 PC with an RME FireFace 800 audio interface, Event TR monitors, Fruity Loops Studio, Cubase , Sound Forge and Wave Lab with a bunch of FX plugins. The vocal parts recording and the final mixing are made in a different studio using an Neumann U 89 microphone, Genelek 1019 A monitors, Crest Century mixing console and a PC with a Echo Layla audio interface.
21. At times debate has centered on Software synths vs. hardware, do you have a preference if yes why?
Definitely hardware... I use hardware synthesizers sounds in more than 90% of my music, I know there are some good VSTI today like Korg Legacy, Atmosphere, Stylus or Trilogy from Spectrasonics and others but still I think there are some differences in sound quality between hard synths and soft ones.
22. What's your favorite TV show?
I do not watch TV too much, I prefer to do other things like composing, reading or... just walking, but I won't miss the European Cup at football, that's for sure. :)
23. Anything you would like to say to the fans of the Spacesynth Genre?
I would like to thank to all spacesynthers for having the patience to read this interview and I'd like to tell them that making music is not an easy thing, artists are often making sacrifices by giving up to other things and working maybe years for an album so fans support is essential, without you guys we would listen our songs only in our bedrooms, so if you like the music, buy it and support us, even praise us, we do it for you because the real artist's purpose is to make the other people feel emotions and maybe change them into better persons.
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? Tea.
2. Market or Shopping Mall? Shopping Mall.
3. Demo or Italo? Italo.
4. TV or Sport? Sport.
5. Books or Cinema? Both.
6. Resort or Camping? Resort.
7. Summer or Winter? Spring.
8. Cat or Dog? Doggies.
9. Beer, wine or Spirits? Cold beer.
10. Blonde or Brunette ? Beauty has no particular colour.
11. Sweet or savoury? Sweet and savoury.
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.
Thank you too and good luck with your label, you're doing a great job and many many releases from now on!!!