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Music by VICE

Squarepusher Recruits Robo-Band For New EP

"A guitarist with 78 fingers and a drummer with 22 arms was too hard to resist."

by Zach Sokol
Feb 13 2014, 8:30pm

Back in September, we wrote about a new song from experimental electronic producer, Squarepusher, where he collaborated with a robot band called Z-MACHINES. It turns out that one song was not enough for the already-machine-inclined musician.

Now, he'll release a whole EP with the same robo-sidekicks, appropriately titled Music For Robots. "A guitarist with 78 fingers and a drummer with 22 arms was too hard to resist," he said in a press release via Warp, who's releasing the record on April 8th. 

The robots, sort of like animatronic MIDIs, were made by Japanese roboticists, along with producer Kenjiro Matsuo, with the goal of creating polyphonic tunes. The team invited a variety of Japanese composers and Squarepusher to develop music specifically for this project, and Music For Robots could be the apex of the experiment. 

"In this project the main question I've tried to answer is ‘can these robots play music that is emotionally engaging?’" said Squarepusher. We'll find out this spring, but for a taste of what's to come, re-visit the original Squarepusher/Z-MACHINES song "Sad Robot Goes Funny" below.

See more on Squarepusher in The Creators Project archives, here.

@zachsokol