Vocoderion "Biomechanical Structure"
Review by Jouni Airaksinen
Vocoderion is the first woman composer doing spacesynth and this makes her album, "Biomechanical Structure", unique. This is also one of the last releases by AXIS Records before the company changed name into Alpha Centauri.
The album has very different covers than we've used to see on spacesynth albums. The covers have few Aleksandra's pictures digitally edited to look like Terminator. Unfortunately the cover is a bit dark and has dim color saturation which makes the details hard to see. However I like the idea and it suits spacesynth very well in its own way. Being different is not bad at all. The cover paper is thick, but the paper is very sticky. I already ruined my covers with visible fingerprints just by taking the front cover out of the case. Small thing, but still annoying.
Biomechanical Structure contains 14 average length songs with intro and outro songs. About half of the songs are fast and second half, well, slower. Long Way to... starts the album in a very calm way and in overall Vocoderion album is very calm and moody, so Long Way to... is a very good beginning. This song has fantastic melodies and atmosphere which remind me a bit combination of X-Files and Twin Peaks themes. Long Way to.. is definitely the best song on the album, and one of the best "ambiente" spacesynth songs around. Alone in Space continues smoothly in very Jarreish way from the previous song and these transitions are used between other tracks too. Very nice touch.
The album fastens the pace gradually and slows down till the end. Faster songs have more classic basslines and melodies are also faster, but follow the calm Vocoderion style and you need to wait melodies a bit due long intros or build ups. Overall the album has very good melodies and I especially like the fast arpeggion style solos which aren't that easy to get sound good - but Vocoderion has succeeded in that. However in general the faster songs are the weaker side of this album. Due the build ups and long parts, the songs flow through with less melody as if something was missing from the songs. Still it's hard to say any bad song from the album because, dispite the downsides on some songs, every song has something which makes it enjoyable.
Vocoder seems to be the key to Vocoderion's music, as a lot vocoders are being used in a various ways. The vocoders most of the time blend very well to the songs, so you don't even notice that there's vocoder in use. I would definitely say this girl masters the use of vocoder.
Women in spacesynth are rare and that alone makes this album worth of having, besides the fact that this album is very good if you like moody music. That said, one really isn't true spacesynth collector if he (or she!) doesn't have this album in the collection.