We have followed the PsychCloned musical journey since the project’s inception in 2020. That is when The Static Dive readers were introduced to North Carolina-based producer, Gabriel Pureco. A lifelong music and video game enthusiast, the cinematic scores to his favorite games inspired the budding composer to create his own epic instrumentals.
After a dizzying array of album, single and EP releases over the last three years, PsychCloned is closing out 2023 with a series of eleven singles, released in bi-weekly succession until the end of the year. Gabriel was kind enough to let us have an early listen to all eleven of his upcoming singles. Here is a preview video sampler, available exclusively on The Static Dive.
From the Trans-Siberian-Orchestra inspired fireworks of “Resonate” to the ghostly prog-rock dance of the wintry “Shadow Waltz”, Pureco offers some of his most exciting and musically sophisticated work to date. His usual entourage of international collaborators is there to join him, as well as a long list of new names.
There are quiet melancholy moments on acoustic instrumentals like “Call of the Wild” and “Windfall”, and then we swing into emotional cinematic highs on the prog-rock epic “Masters of Magic”. It will be an exciting ride as we revisit Halloween with PsychCloned’s first sequel “Night of the Haunt II”, and then walk through the hypnagogic ether on the lucid dream inspired experimental art-rocker “Dreaming Awake”.
We recently had the chance to chat with Gabriel Pureco of PsychCloned, to catch-up on all of the news from this boundlessly creative and energetic musician. Check out our conversation below. Follow the links at the end of this article to connect with PsychCloned.
Catching up with PsychCloned
We first met you back in 2020. Your music was more electronic based back then, and with far fewer collaborators. Tell us about your songwriting and recording process in those early days.
PsychCloned: Back then, I did not have the means to hire and seek out professional musicians to play along to each song. Everything was composed and arranged relying entirely on Virtual Studio Technologies (VST) equipment. This is probably why my earlier albums and EPs like, “Melodrama”, “Tumultuous”, “Sakura”, “Showtime”, and “Wild & Free” feel more “electronic”. They did not have human musicians playing along, unlike my recent releases where each instrument is recorded by a professional musician at their own studios. Nonetheless, I still hold those tracks very dear to me! They demonstrate the beauty found within simplicity as well as serve as a wonderful reminder of how far I have come as a musician, composer, and producer.
Your music has expanded in scope and style since then. You now work with musicians around the world, creating everything from jazz to metal infused prog-rock. Has your production process experienced a similar evolution?
PsychCloned: Very much so! Whereas in the past I approached music more from a much more rudimentary perspective, nowadays, I feel like my music starts and ends with an adventurous air. Rather than staying within one scale or mode, I can now plug and play melodies and progressions within various scales and modes, feel the way they move me, paint pictures and scenes in my head and influence my imagination, to produce songs beyond my wildest dreams. This has resulted in my most recent works feeling much ‘wilder’ and ‘eclectic’. I feel much more comfortable and free interweaving multiple scales, time signatures, modes, and BPMs shifts within a song. This allows for my songs to feel more boundless and limitless with potential from start to finish! This is also reflected in how much more profoundly the musicians I work with connect with each song as they play along. I cannot express how ecstatic they are when I hand them the next song to record. Even with my songs being a bit mind-boggling, they approach each challenge with vigor and determination, knowing that by the end of each song, they will feel more fulfilled and have gained new knowledge and skills to leverage in their own musical endeavors.
Your music covers such a broad spectrum of styles and genres. What would you say is your “sound”. Where do you feel at home, musically speaking?
PsychCloned: Without a doubt it would have to be my most ‘alchemical’ songs, like “Our Melodia”, “Music in my Bones”, “Canvas” and “March of Progress”, where my intention is to take instrumental music to new bounds by fusing genres not normally woven together. These songs not only show the evolution of my compositions, but also the infinite ways music can reach us and guide us towards realms of endless fun and entertainment. I hope my Listeners and fans enjoy the chaos and find the journey to be just as rewarding, exciting, and thrilling.
The video game industry was a big early inspiration for you. Is it still? Do you ever compose with specific games in mind
PsychCloned: Not really. Similar to how I try to approach each song without a specific goal, I try to avoid leaning too heavily on external works when working on any new track. There are some songs that evoke similar emotions to games I enjoy playing, like “Castle Crashers”, “Halo”, and “Remnant from the Ashes”, but that’s usually an end result sort of thing. I don’t come in saying “I want to make a song that could be a part of this game”. I feel like coming into the composing process with that sort of mindset would severely limit the stories the song could tell. There is no denying that my songs may make someone think of certain games as they listen along, but I have yet to make any song with a specific game or soundtrack in mind.
Most musicians, when asked about the emotional content of their work, will explain how their own emotions inspired them. However, you seem to come at it from a different angle. You have a great knack for understanding the emotions that your music conveys to others… how it makes THEM feel. Is that intentional?
PsychCloned: Not sure if intentional is the way I would describe it since that feels forceful, but I am happy you feel that way about my music! I know there is a ton of value in conveying my own emotions through my music, and that listeners and fans would have an easier time understanding me if I put myself more personally within each song, but in my eyes, if I followed that path, then I would feel like I am just following a trend and not really setting my own path. A lot of what I aspire to communicate with my music is adventure, exploration, and freedom. To let the music and instruments themselves guide us through each track. Yes, there are some tracks that are more personal to my own life, like “Little Treasures”, but overall, I want to give the instruments the freedom to paint the story so that Listeners can experience each song differently.
Plus, now that each song features real musicians across all instruments, I want to give them the freedom to insert their own souls and expressions into the tracks. Sometimes they have MIDI and arrangement as a guide but I always tell them, “Play from your heart! Tell me your story, not mine”, and I think that mindset is what has made my songs as of late feel more personal to the Listeners. You are not hearing MY story, you are hearing OUR stories!
What instrument(s) do you play, and on which do you prefer to compose?
PsychCloned: My musical repertoire is limited to the Drums. Guitar Hero and Rock Band introduced me to the joys and wonders of drumming, but it was not till the end of my high school years when my parents bought me my first acoustic set and hired an instructor to teach me about the art of drumming. Thankfully, in college I found a group where I could continue drumming as I had to leave my set at home due to their size and lack of portability. When it comes to drumming within my own songs, I have never owned the equipment needed to record my own playing so to this day, none of my music features my own drumming. It is all either digitally produced with VSTs, or played by Kiwi (Space Hobo), who does a phenomenal job conveying the emotions and intensity I would want to convey if I was behind the set myself. The rest of the instrumentation is either completely VST-led or played by the ever-growing cast of musicians that have joined along for the ride.
Sadly, acoustic drums are not melodic instruments so there is only so much they can help with when it comes to writing chord progressions and melodic leads. When composing or arranging parts for a new song, I find myself leaning heavily on Guitar and Bass for the majority of the songs. Piano is great too but something about the sounds of Guitar and Bass inspire me more and allow me to unlock new progressions and motifs. If I ever decide to pick up a melodic instrument, it would probably be one of those two. They not only have great melodic and rhythmic leading potential, but they are also much more versatile, portable, and home-friendly than drum sets!
You have a long roster of musicians on your team. A few names appear on almost all of your newest material. Folks like Ryan Jones, Space Hobo, Camilo D.G, etc. Have they gotten to know each other at all? Do you have virtual band meetings
PsychCloned: You would think so, wouldn’t you! Unfortunately, given the vast difference in time zones that we have, plus the fact that everyone leads their own busy lives outside of music, we have yet to have a virtual meeting for us all to meet and formally introduce ourselves. I do hope to be able to meet with each of the musicians I have worked with, but I am also too much of an introvert to gather 10+ people in a virtual room at once! I know Kiwi is pumped to one day meet and have a drum-off with me, but aside from that, I am not sure if the rest of the folks feel as passionately to meet up as he does!
You’re closing out the second half of the year with a bang… two singles per month for the next 6 months. That’s a shift from your usual album-centric releases. Why the change?
PsychCloned: The short answer is, albums are simply more complicated than singles. When it comes to making albums, it’s not just about composing 6-12 songs back to back, but it is also about what is the overarching theme I want to convey from start to finish? What adventure do I want us to embark on together? That takes more time for me to flesh out so that things feel a bit more intentional and controlled. Additionally, when I release any album or EP, music streaming platforms only allow for one song to be highlighted for editorial playlist consideration. I wish I could give every song within my albums a chance to shine and possibly land themselves in one of Spotify’s playlists, but that is simply not possible.
With singles, I have much more freedom to expand upon the melodies and sounds that come to mind without having to think too strongly on continuity and cohesion from single to single, although you will find some connectedness amongst these upcoming releases. I also have the ability to pitch each single for playlist consideration and hopes of landing on new playlists and gaining new fans, As a rising artist, singles simply make more sense for me to continue experimenting and evolving my sound all the while maximizing my opportunity to reach new fans and listeners through the tools I have available to me.
Tell us about your two releases for July. “Resonate” (July 7) and “Music in my Bones” (July 21)
PsychCloned: I wanted to start July off with a BANG and I could think of no better two songs than ‘Resonate’ and ‘Music in my Bones’! They not only bring infectious levels of energy to the mix, but the performances from each musician truly captures the fun and joy of making music with friends, even if we have never met in person.
Resonate kicks off our jam-packed summer with a fireworks-level performance! Drawing inspiration from Trans-Siberian-Orchestra, this song begins with a whimsical acoustic melody that welcomes a full orchestral rock band to join in and deliver an emotional powerhouse of a show. This track welcomes Riccardo Falcari (Guitars) and Polina Kermesh (Cello) to the PsychCloned family as they take center-stage and deliver heart tugging solos and leadwork, leaving nothing left in the tank to be desired. There is no better song to follow up the iconic Fourth of July holiday and kick off our grand musical tour of 2023!
Music in my Bones is what I like to call, the successor to ‘Our Melodia’. While not a true sequel, this song delivers in featuring a worldwide cast of musicians as well as an exquisite fusion blend of rock, pop, prog, and jazzy motifs to deliver seven minutes of infectious, joyous melodic charms. This song welcomes Enrico Scarpa (Sax) and Irina Savenkova (Acoustic and Rhythm Guitars) to the PsychCloned family, joining a virtuous cast of musicians as every musician takes their turn to solo and lead us through the peppy drive of Music in my Bones. This is soulful music at its core, with a ‘PsychCloned’ twist!
Do you ever dream of taking your show on the road? It would be quite a live ensemble.
PsychCloned: It certainly would! I have not played in front of a crowd since college so I would definitely need to freshen up my skills and mentally prepare myself for getting back up there, even if I do have the Drums shielding me from them. I know Ry, Donata, Joylin, Mercedes, Enrico, and a few others are back at performing regularly at their venues and some even touring across their countries, so perhaps they may be able to give me some pointers and guide me along the way! For now though, I am more than happy being able to continuously work with them and make such beautiful works of art.
What’s on the books for 2024?
PsychCloned: For those of you waiting to learn more about the adventures of Perlivash, then you’ll be happy to know that Ry and I have begun working on the second installment of the 26 minute epic. It will not be another 26 minute song, but given the new cast of musicians that have joined us since the release of Perlivash back in January of 2022, it will be more epic, and more thrilling! Hope you all are ready!
Be sure to check out the video above to get an exclusive sneak peak to all the songs coming your way this year. Hope you enjoy and let me know on Instagram and Facebook which song you are most looking forward to! Thank you, The Static Dive, for bringing me back for another catch up! Always a pleasure reading up on all the new and upcoming artists in the scene!
Till next time, fellow music enthusiasts!