Electronic madman Tom Jenkinson, aka Squarepusher, has always dealt in futuristic sounds. Whether crafting some of the more frantic drum-n-bass rhythms ever put to tape or sewing together rubbery basslines and multi-colored electronic textures into his own breed of short-attention-span funk, there's always been something superhuman about his music. Music for Robots takes the superhuman
on-human elements of Squarepusher's sound to both its logical and literal conclusion, offering up five tracks composed by Jenkinson and performed completely by robots. Jenkinson spent part of 2013 working with a team of Japanese roboticists, coming up with original pieces of music far beyond the capabilities of even the most skilled human instrumentalists. The Z-Machines, a 22-armed drumming robot and a guitar-playing robot with the equivalent of 78 fingers, run through five pieces on Music for Robots that are immediately recognizable as Squarepusher material. Dead giveaways come in the form of the scattershot rhythms and head-spinning, MIDI-transposed arpeggio runs of "Sad Robot Goes Funny" and the slow, melodic build of "Dissolver," which breaks out into anthemic, neck-breakingly quick rhythm patterns. Jenkinson's jazzier impulses come through on the EP's quieter moments, as with the airy intro "Remote Amber."