78-finger Guitar, 22 Drums, Beyond-Human! Squarepusher and robot band from Japan in Music of the Future collaboration â€” a must see video!
Online PR News – 11-September-2013 – Japan – On September 10th, ZIMA, an alcoholic beverage brand of Molson Coors Japan Co., Ltd. (President: Kenichi Yano) that has always been at the forefront of youth culture, will start streaming the video of â€śmusic of the futureâ€ť created together by the party robot band Z-MACHINES and highly acclaimed UK electronic artist Squarepusher. The music will be released on iTunes store under the artist name Squarepusher x Z-MACHINES on the same day.
Referred to as â€śan attempt to break new ground for emotional machine musicâ€ť by its composer Squarepusher, Sad Robot Goes Funny features the superhuman prowess of Z-MACHINES, showcasing in particular the stupendous chops of the guitarist playing multiple melody lines with 78 fingers and 12 picks at lightning speed in the latter half of the song. On the other hand, the music also tells an emotional story contrary to the image of robots always being mechanical. This makes it a truly groundbreaking piece of music from Squarepusher to open the way for new music of the future.
The music video featuring Z-MACHINESâ€™s performance was produced by Daito Manabe of Rhizomatiks, an up-and-coming director who recently garnered attention at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. To project the cool, minimal image, the robotsâ€™ playing were captured at super-close distance using cameras attached to a robot arm which enabled some dynamic camera work probing into the close-ups of Z-MACHINES in action. Highlighting Z-MACHINES' structure in detail and how they produce sounds, the music clip is filled with astonishing images that youâ€™ve never seen before!
[Squarepusherâ€™s comment on Sad Robot Goes Funny]
When you received the offer (to make a song for Z-MACHINES), what was your first image of the song for Z-MACHINES?
Squarepusher. My first idea was about the robots being sad because they are just treated by the public as entertainment machines, and all of their other qualities are neglected. And so this sadness comes out in the music they play, and strangely becomes one of the reasons why the public likes them because they seem to be able to evoke strong emotions in their audience. But when the public goes home, the robots play their own music which is more fun and to do with their playful aspect - they think back to being young robots, before they were employed in the sphere of public entertainment, and remember the silly antics they used to get up to. So the first section of the piece is them entertaining the public and being sad, then the second section is them having fun when the public goes home, and lastly the third section is when the public comes back and they are sad again.
Why did you decide to join on this project?
Squarepusher. The idea of making music with machines fascinates me, as people have often assumed that for music to be emotionally powerful it has to come directly from a human hand, whereas I disagree with that, and enjoy proving those people wrong. This project is an excellent way of exploring that area more.
When you actually joined this project, how did you feel?
Squarepusher. I was very excited and once I had all of the technical information I got to work on it straight away. I made the piece in three days I think.
What do you think about your song?
Squarepusher. I think that it explores some of the many fascinating possibilities of music-playing robots. I kept the guitar sound clean (i.e., no distortion) so I could freely explore the possibilities of polyphony. The majority of the guitar element of the piece is written to sound like four guitarists playing even though there are only two guitars in the actual performance. There are so many other aspects of the capabilities of the robots that I would like to explore.
What do you think about Z-MACHINES and their playing technique?
Squarepusher. So far it seems very impressive. I especially like the way guitar robot plays.