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“[Punk and electronic music]  were so close at the start and then went off and became their own thing, but now like old siblings, they’re realising they have a lot more in common than they thought.”

 

Illustrator and producer Robert Mirolo hasn’t released music publicly for a few years now. He composed three fringe shows in Dublin and “one smutty art show” in Berlin during that time but his focus has been primarily on illustration and design.

In fact, when we caught up him this time two years ago he was only beginning to realign himself with producing again.

His new project, under the moniker SSMMÜTT, features Jason McNamara on drums, recorded in Ailfionn Studios with Ben McKenna from Meltybrains?.

“What took so long? I got completely dissatisfied with how laptop music sounds, while it was the main thing I used in all the theatre work, I was never happy enough with the quality of the sounds to release anything outside of a theatre environment. I routinely wrote and scrapped hours and hours of music. I was also just totally not happy with my approach to rhythm or melody or anything. I could write an essay about my shortcomings but that’s another story. It took a long time to start making money drawing pictures, and then it took a long time to buy all the equipment that I needed to achieve what I had in my head. Great things can be done with laptops but distortion and character and grit are really central to the kind of music I like, and what I want to make, and that’s not really possible with software.

“In the mean-time most of Dublin’s mid-size clubs closed down or changed tack and the scene and the community I’d grown up with had changed completely. While all that was happening I was playing live music and performing with Spudgun and trying to get little punk bands on the go and stuff. Again it was just a process of amassing the right things. Right spaces, right gear, right people. It took ages. So I’m definitely far more immersed in the whole ‘rock and/or roll’ thing for the past few years, so inevitably that’s kind of where my music is coming from, despite still being electronic. I feel like punk music and electronic music are kind of finding their way back to each other now. They were so close at the start and then went off and became their own thing, but now like old siblings, they’re realising they have a lot more in common than they thought.”

According to Robert the track ‘BBŁÖDD’ is his attempt at a ‘pop’ track.

“It clocks in under four minutes, and almost has a verse chorus structure. That is something I have literally never done, and the rest of the EP will almost definitely be a bit more meandering. It’s definitely got some feet in krautrock/kosmiche music and psych. I think that’s mostly down to an overarching escapist and nostalgic attitude in a lot of modern music (Because everything is terrible right now).”

Catch SSMMÜTT at Knockanstockan and keep an eye out for the debut EP under the moniker in May.

Words: Eric Davidson / Photography: Eoin Mulligan 
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