Squarepusher to Team Up with Z-Machines

Typically when you hear the word robotic in relation to music, it’s being used as a synonym for describing bland music without any semblance of emotion. Here, however, we are employing a much more literal use of the word: electronic pioneers Squarepusher have teamed up with some robotics developers to create an entirely automated (and slightly terrifying) 78 fingered robot player. The guitarist robot has 22 arms, can hold up to 12 picks at a time, and blazes through licks with lightning speed, and his fellow robo-musicians match him in technical skill. The project is called Z-Machines, and together with collaborators Squarepusher have announced an upcoming album release through Warp Records. The album, titled Music for Robots, will be available for public consumption on April 8th.


If you can’t take the time to watch the video embedded below, it’s tough to describe the music of the band. Although this song is not among the official releases from the upcoming album, it does an idea of the constraints on the robots performance. For instance, all of the robot performers in the video below can follow incredibly complex rhythms in a breeze, but have absolutely no control over amplitude and very little grasp on tonality. Clearly, these robots won’t be putting human musicians out of their jobs any time soon, but it will certainly be interesting to watch the development of robotic music in the next couple years.



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