Vosto from Romania has just released Metro Holographix, a fabulous cyberpunk synthwave album. We took the opportunity to ask himl a few questions;
Check out the interview.
Headphones For Robots: Who is Vosto?
Vosto: Vosto is my internet nickname and I guess now it’s my artist name. One could think it’s almost the Russian reel to reel company from the 80s called Rostov but backward, without the R and with a switch between the “ t “ and the “ s “ … One could also think that it’s from Vladivostok since my real name is Vlad! but in short, I am a music creator from the depths of the Carpathian mountains within Transylvania / Romania!
HFR: How did you start making music? Could you tell us a bit about your influences?
V: I guess I started making music since I was very little and my parents bought me my first toy piano! later on, in 3rd grade, I started playing guitar! All my childhood I have been listening to music because my dad used to be a DJ so he had all the music monthly sent to him, I loved it all and I could sing all the lyrics even if I didn’t understand English that well! I started doing classical guitar training when I was 17 but in parallel I was also playing a lot with Fruity Loops. I made more bass oriented music back then. Recently I found synthwave and I was like wow!
HFR: What does Synthwave mean to you?
V: when I found synthwave I knew that this was exactly where I want to be! it combines the elements of the 80s with the modern sound design techniques! The analog lives! For me, I personally like more the dystopian branch of synthwave since Blade Runner is my favorite movie ever ! and it has that perfect soundtrack written by Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou which by his artist name is called Vangelis! I had to tell you his real name so you can truly feel the power, he is the synth God and has an Epic Synth God name! I also love the Terminator! Iove post-apo themes and I think the 80s were the best at representing it , it just feels so real when you watch because they had that practical effects edge ! so I guess Brad Fiedel’s Terminator theme really had an impact on my ears ! the dystopian side of synthwave tries to recreate that feel so what’s not to like ! I like the nostalgia feel in synthwave and I like the badassery! Synthwave is a realm of infinite potential and I really want to contribute to it …make my own mix of hard basslines and nostalgic 80s things!
HFR: What can you tell us about your new album Metro Holografix? Is it a concept album? What kind of message do you want to deliver?
V: Metro Holografix is composed of scenes from the book “ Neuromancer “ written by William Gibson in the 80s, the man who coined the term “ cyberspace“. That book is the definition of dystopian sci-fi, it has hacking, gangsters, rich, poor, high tech, evil corporations, etc. and the action takes place in Night City. You have neons, night rides, and all the good stuff in synthwave in that book! so I take you on a journey through some of these scenes, however, I leave it open to interpretation and imagination. For example “ Metro Holografix “ is a junk store from within the “ Neuromancer “ book! I really like how it was described “ old metal door “ “ fading grey neon “ small details like that give me ideas. The album has no clear message however it does have a certain atmosphere, one that emanates cyberpunk and this feeling of revolution and victory that is brought with tracks like “ trails of freedom “ or “ nano fire flies “ …booth these songs are quite powerful and they are booth collaborations. Nano Fire Flies is a story about a revolution in which the nano fire flies swarm together and help defeat the big machine robots …so I needed the delicate voice of Kashmir to transmit that graceful movement of the fire flies !
Every song on this album is special and I hope you can make your own stories in your head while listening to them. Forgotten Robots is another interesting image, I was thinking of a camp outside of Night City populated by outdated robots. They are a bit rusty but they patch themselves up and later on they will help with the revolution as an allied faction.
HFR: What was your approach to write the album, musically speaking?
V: I think I wanted it to be cinematic but also have catchy beats, a combination of credible ambient atmospheres but that you can also dance to and occasionally even bring a strong bassline drop. I wanted to make a combination of Vangelis with Hans Zimmer, Miki Chieregato, and DJ Madd! You probably don’t know the last two, Miki Chieregato is an Italo disco producer from the 80s and was responsible for a lot of smash discotheque hits in the European discotheques while DJ Madd is a deep dubstep producer from recent times and does a lot of cool sound design in the bass and sub-bass regions. I say these big names but by no means, I consider my producing quality close to theirs, but hey music is about fun in my opinion and I am having a lot of fun with it! In this album you will see many feelings expressed, from chill to intense to nostalgic to epic, I hope you will have a nice ride!
HFR: Could you tell us a bit about your “go to” equipment? What do you use when writing a song and which are your favorite instruments?
V: I use a novation launchkey 49 mk2 controller hooked to Ableton Live 10 with a lot of vst’s installed . My most used synth is without a doubt Serum because it’s really intuitive to use and you can create very clear sounding and highly effective synths for all purposes . Then I play with multiband compression , add some nice reverbs from Valhalla where I think I use “ Valhalla room “ the most. Let’s not forget eq-ing and there I like to use Fabfilter’s Pro Q 2 . The other synths that I use are Massive, Spire and some classic synth emulator vst’s such as DEXED . As a microphone I use an audio technica AT 2020 and for the vocoder effects I like using Izotope’s Vocalsynth!
HFR: What is the rekt network?
V: I don’t just like to fantasize about revolutions, I actually live them. REKT NETWORK is a response to the overly spied on social media platforms, it’s a response to the overly censored platforms as well. It’s an IRC network which allows you to create channels and communicate anonymously in those channels. No one asks you for personal information or phone numbers, we consider that platforms that require that sort of thing open big vulnerabilities for you as a person. REKT is also a website with a radio station, we made it so people can stream what they want when they want and it’s all in 320kbps too, so it’s better than youtube and SoundCloud when it comes to audio quality! 😀 Rekt Network is basically a place where a bunch of nerds hang out and interact peacefully in a habitat made by them for them! You are welcome to join, just type rekt.network in your favorite browser!
HFR: Vosto in a near future? Are there any shows coming up within 2018?
V: Unfortunately I am not in a position to do live shows, I am more of a programmer/composer than a performer but who knows maybe one day I will hire a symphony of synths and create grand spectacles! Hey that’s a good name for a track or an album!
HFR: Last words?
V: You can expect interesting material coming up next, me and a few other synthwave producers like Turbo Knight, Straplocked, Moonraccoon, Dimi Kaye, are working on a shared universe idea where you will see our characters connected in each others album stories! No one has done this kind of thing before and I think it could be interesting, we will have possibly a comic book style animation to tell the story of each episode, you will see! here is my character.
Character design by Aimée Mclernon
V: Other than that I hope we all do the best we can in the synthwave community, if we all do our job at the highest standard I believe we can make the movement grow even more, there are fascinating things happening on all levels and I’m really glad to be a part of it , this is my home ! Thank You very much HFR, you are also doing a fine job and I wish you all the best!
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