British record label Warp Records has announced the forthcoming release of ‘Music For Robots,’ an album of songs performed entirely by a band of Japanese robots called Z-Machines, including a guitarist with 78 fingers and a drummer with 22 arms. The album’s first single, ‘Sad Robot Goes Funny’ can be heard below.
The developers of the Z-Machines collaborated with composer Squarepusher, initially to explore creating music with the bots. However, the project soon erupted and an entire five track album was composed.
Squarepusher said the album will give music fans the chance to hear some of their favorite instruments being played in an, ’emotionally engaging’ way never before heard: “For me there has always been something fascinating about the encounter of the unfamiliar with the familiar. I have long been an advocate of taking fresh approaches to existing instrumentation as much as I am an advocate of trying to develop new instruments, and being able to rethink the way in which, for example, an electric guitar can be used is very exciting.”
While the bots extra fingers and arms allow for them to play like no human can, Squarepusher admitted composing for them was no easy feat: “Each of the robotic devices involved in the performance of this music has its own specification which permits certain possibilities and excludes others.”
He explained that there were limits to their capabilities, especially dynamically: “The robot guitar player, for example, can play much faster than a human ever could, but there is no amplitude control.”
‘Music For Robots’ is set for release on April 8th.