Bioplan – Arcade Dreams
Bioplan is a one-man project by Andi Kravljaca. Andi has done a lot of singing for other bands but takes a break from vocals here and uses his prodigious talents with guitars and synths to create a futuristic, progressive synthwave disc very reminiscent of video game scores. This disc has tons of sound effects that will remind you of classic arcade-style games, hence the record’s name. Sit back and enjoy a sonic trip back through some of the best times of your youth.
- Andi Kravljaca – Guitars, Bass, Synths, Songwriting
With only four songs and running at just over 16 minutes, Arcade Dreams is a short trip down memory lane. Released May 6, 2022. On Layered Reality Productions, it’s a bit of nostalgia and a lot of excellent musical work.
- Dobrovolsky City
- Robots Cost Rent
- For The Sake Of Smoothness
- Wanton Mechanics
The record opens with “Dobrovolsky City,” which begins very synth-heavy before going almost jazzy with the guitar work. The riff is not a djent heavy on this track, as it will be later on the disc. This is more melodic and even relaxing. I can get lost in the airy tones and mid-tempo rhythm. Part of what really shines through on this album is how every instrument played gets a “moment in the sun.” The bass gets some leads and fills, the synths are ever-present, and the guitars cycle through the different phrases of each song section.
“Robots Cost Rent” has some seriously “mid-career” Rush vibes in an early section. That is surrounded by heavy guitar riffs and all the beeps and boops of a classic arcade game. I’m not sure if Power Windows era Rush was the goal here, but Andi nailed it regardless. The ethereal lead work over the djent heavy riffs really plays to the strength of the compositions. A clash of sounds tells the tales of the main character working through the quest in the game and meeting lots of challenges along the way.
The opening of “For The Sake Of Smoothness” is eerie and almost haunting. That “whomp whomp whomp whomp” keyboard sound that starts, then stays under the riff for part of the song leaves me with a slight feeling of trepidation. Some of the guitar lead work is alien-sounding, hinting at an invasion that must be stopped. The shift into the final song, “Wanton Mechanics,” is very well done. The tune changes and shifts, but it feels a bit like a continuation in a progressive metal kind of way. Had there been a full break between songs, this might not be the case.
Bioplan could be just an outlet for someone who needs to let a different part of their creative self out, or it might be a new project that will take off and consume large chunks of Andi’s life. This is primarily up to him, though I’m sure the fans will also give their opinion. The good thing is that we’ve been given this tasty piece of music to snack on while we contemplate how we feel about his latest offering. Being the prolific musician he is, and this being somewhat of a departure from his other works, we gaze intently on the brilliance of his musical mind. It’s a good day when we get these kinds of choices.
- Guitars – 10
- Rhythms – 9
- Vocals – N/A
- Songwriting – 9
- Production – 9
- Overall – 9.25