A robot band is about to get its big break.
The Z-Machines, a three-robot band with more fingers and drumsticks than 27 human band members, is dropping its first album April 8. Believe it or not, the music isn’t completely terrible.
Z-Machines is the creation of a team of Japanese robotiscists who rose to a challenge from beverage maker Zima (that’s what the Z stands for): make a music-performance system that was beyond the capabilities of the most advanced musicians. These scientists teamed up with several composers, producers and artists to create the music the band would play.
Yes, your favorite college beverage disappeared to Japan but it now funds a robot band that plays techno-metal. Life is strange. Moving on.
The guitarist, “Mach,” has 78 fingers and 12 picks. The drummer, named “Aschura,” has 22 arms and can plan four times faster than a human. And “Cosmo” the keyboardist, well, he has the coolest headgear.
The upcoming album, dubbed “Music for Robots,” was performed by the Z-Machines, but the robotics team recruited British recording artist Squarepusher to compose and produce the music.
It seems the robots still need some human help — if only to act as their agents and be behind the scenes. Poor humans. No groupies for you.
The five-track EP will be released April 8 in North America digitally, on CD and vinyl. Pre-orders from Bleep and iTunes will come with a download of bonus video, “Sad Robot Goes Funny,” according to Warp.
The Z-Machines video below gives a taste of their debut album and actually starts out rather relaxing. The speedy instrumentals might make you type faster (if you are watching at work) between the 2:30 and 4:30 minute mark, but definitely worth a listen.
Not so bad right? But EVERY human or robot band sounds better in their carefully produced videos. The real nightmare begins when you watch their first-ever live performance. You’ll quickly see even robots have terrible live shows when they can’t sing. It seems human and robot artists aren’t that different after all.
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