Unlike a lot of kids growing up in the 1990s, Toru Koda didn't have much hands-on experience with video games.
"My big brother always hogged the system," the 32-year-old, who records electronic music as Quarta330, says with a chuckle at a cafe in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward. "But I really liked watching games more. Even now, when I drink, I'll watch video game speed runs on YouTube."
Maybe he didn't have the controller in his hands too often, but Koda absorbed those console-born bleeps and has made them a central element of Quarta330. His music — whether released via influential English label Hyperdub (he's the only Japanese artist putting out work with them) or domestic imprints such as Maltine Records — leans heavily on notes generated by Game Boys and Commodore 64 home computers. His latest Hyperdub release, an EP titled "Pixelated" that came out last week, even nods to his 8-bit tendencies right in the title.