Watch An Insane Robot Band Learn How To Shred On Their Instruments

A new collaboration between U.K. DJ Squarepusher and a Japanese robot band known as Z-Machines hints at a future where human musicians might have to practice a bit harder.

First ping-pong. Now this?

Tom Jekinson, better known by his DJ alter ego Squarepusher, partnered with a Japanese robot band known as Z-Machines to put out a five-song EP called Music for Robots. And while most humans put down their guitars after learning the tabs to “Wonderwall,” these bots can legitimately rip. I guess having 78 fingers helps.


Still, the behind-the-scenes look released today is fascinating. Watch how the team calibrate the machines’ physical movements, like banging a snare drum without smashing it to bits, or delicately plucking a string with a guitar pick. Now, before you get too disheartened that your prog-rock band didn’t go anywhere, know this: The verbiage-heavy critics at Pitchfork weren’t very impressed (naturally), calling the album a “daring vision of the future that turns into a humdrum training session at the office.” The final verdict? A paltry 5.7.

Better luck next time, machines.

About the author

Chris is a staff writer at Fast Company, where he covers business and tech. He has also written for The Week, TIME, Men's Journal, The Atlantic, and more.

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