Squarepusher: “Sad Robot Goes Funny” (Music for Robots, Warp 2014)
The next Squarepusher release is a five-track EP called Music for Robots; this video shows off the gimmick, reaffirming that the music of the near future will indeed be brought to you by Skynet.
In 2013, a team of Japanese roboticists was assembled with the challenge of creating a music-performing system that was beyond the capablities of the most advanced musicians – Z-Machines were the result. The roboticist’s musical producer, Kenjiro Matsuo, and his team, invited a number of Japanese composers as well as Squarepusher to develop music specifically for the project.
The opportunity to explore the compositional possibilities of a guitarist with 78 fingers and a drummer with 22 arms was a temptation impossible to ignore. The resulting ‘Sad Robots Goes Funny’ was a poignant and highly praised piece, composed and produced by Squarepusher and performed by Z-Machines. The video produced by award winning director, Daito Manabe, can be seen below.
The rapport that developed between Squarepusher and the Japanese team led to a lingering feeling that the project still had unexplored potential. Squarepusher approached Matsuo-san with a view to further investigating the possibilities of the collaboration. This led to additional pieces being created, involving an intense four weeks of composing, then two more months of transferring and adapting data, various technical hurdles and the eventual recording of ‘Music For Robots’.