We took a moment with Pselodux, aka Rob Curulli, to talk about his upcoming performance, and the worlds of chipmusic and gaming.
Hey Rob, thanks for coming on board with BAM! We’re excited to check out your set.
Thanks for having me! I’m excited to see what the event is all about.
What in the world is a chiptune artist?
Chiptune artists are, essentially, people who like expoiting old game consoles for use as synths, or composing music with sounds inspired by those consoles. Independent developers have even created software for use on Game Boy, Nintendo DS, Sega Mega Drive and other consoles, specifically for music making. It’s awesome stuff, and you’d be surprised at just how much bass a Game Boy can produce!
How long have you been on the scene making and performing music?
I’ve been performing under various pseudonyms (and genres) around Australia for over ten years. The Pselodux show is relatively new though; I’ve only been playing that material live since 2009.
What kind of gamer are you? Favourite genre?
I was all about first-person shooters for the longest time, and I got heavily into making custom levels for Doom, back in the day (with custom music too, of course). These days I still check out the occasional FPS, but I mostly go for arty iPhone games—most recently, Time Surfer (featuring music by regular SoundBytes performer Derris-Kharlan) and Hiversaires (created by Aliceffekt, who played at Square Sounds in February); both ridiculously excellent!
Tell us about Sound Bytes and the Square Sounds festival?
SoundBytes is a regular chip music event that showcases local, interstate and sometimes overseas talent, and quite often draws an awesomely large crowd. They also occasionally have ‘open-mic’ segments at their shows where anyone can come along, plug a gameboy/laptop/other noisemaker in and play whatever they like for seven minutes. The shows are always lots of fun, since even though most performers use chip sounds, a wide variety of genres are represented—including synthpop, dubstep, hardcore punk and everything in between.
Square Sounds is a similar concept, but a bit more large scale in that it’s a two-night festival, with more overseas and interstate performers, and representing a somewhat wider variety of electronic styles. The inaugural event was in February; in addition to the two nights of the festival there was also a pre-party and an afterparty.
They’re heading to Japan in September for a second round, and I believe the plan is to branch out to other countries as well. Should be awesome!
Tell us about your approach to chip music. What type of music do you make and what kind if instruments do you use?
My music isn’t as ‘pure chip’ as others in the chip scene, but still retains a heavy Amiga-style sound—the music from the early 90s demo scene has been a huge inspiration for my music. As well as that, I like to throw in elements of space rock, progressive rock, industrial and metal to make things interesting. Onstage, I try to handle as many of my solos as I can on guitar, and have been known to pull out some home-made electronic instruments to make things just that little bit more ridiculous (one of the many benefits of having an inventor for a dad).
Tell us about your experience with competitive gaming
1995. Family home in Perth. Two-player Doom II serial cable tournaments between myself, my brother, my neighbour and anyone else who was around at the time. Many tantrums were thrown. There have been other experiences (mostly just drunken Smash Bros ridiculousness), but nothing as epic as those days seemed to us back then.
Do you have a favorite fighting game?
Seriously though, the 90s DOS game One Must Fall 2097. It definitely had the best music out of all the games I’d played at the time, which is probably why I played it so much; also, robots beating each other up is pretty awesome. I also played a hell of a lot of Killer Instinct and Mortal Kombat 3 on SNES; and I’ll never say no to a Smash Bros game.
What can we expect from your set on Friday night at BAM? Any themes or special tunes for the show?
Expect ridiculousness! I’m pulling out some fast-paced tracks to get everyone pumped. As for special tunes, I might have a few tricks up my sleeve 😀
Where can we check out your music and what’s coming up next for you?
I’m on Bandcamp
and various social media sites as Pselodux
, and I’m finally Google-able without my name being autocorrected to a brand of nailguns, hooray!
The next few months are pretty busy for me! I’m playing a synthpop gig on the 8th of June (supporting Limb at the Grace Darling hotel) and have a couple of special gigs coming up in July and August. Actually they’re all special in that I’ll be busting out some new material at all of them. I’ll post more details on Facebook and Twitter as they’re available.
Thanks for your time, PSELODUX!