Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Our Cyberpunk World: Robot Rock!

The article: Robot Rock Bands Intend to Replace Human Musicians Forever

Forget that standardized synthpop that John Shirley called "minimono" in his Eclipse/A Song Called Youth trilogy from the last half of the 1980s, the great lost masterpiece of cyberpunk. At least the band in Eclipse, the first part of the trilogy (not to be confused with a certain far more famous, and far less competently written, paranormal romance), allowed itself to be fronted by an old-fashioned rock guitarist. The bands of the real cyberpunk future don't even have human players at all. Their instruments play themselves. You see, they're robot instruments.

The first of these robot bands is being built by a music collective called Expressive Machines Musical Instruments. But keep in mind the whole battle robot subculture that grew up in the '00s. Robot instruments and bands will likely be the Next Big Thing in homebrew robot design.

New Wave was an '80s thing. Rave was '90s. The cyberpunk near-future is already going beyond both. This time, the instruments are playing themselves.

We've sure come a long way from the player piano...

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