Last Thursday, five musicians joined forces for the debut performance of their new band 'Mostly Robot'. This time not conceived by a record label but a music technology company. Very clever. Native Instruments is behind the idea and were promoting it during a special showcase at Sonar 2012 in Barcelona.
The band is not made of robots but real musicians: Jamie Lidell, Tim Exile, Jeremy Ellis, Mr Jimmy and DJ Shiftee. According to Sonar: "In the tradition of jazz concerts they will interplay between technology and musical virtuosity". This means it's all live, and there's no sync or MIDI clock involved!
At last Thursday's show, the band played unreleased song material from each member but managed to improvise and use some classics as well such as 'Windowlicker' by Aphex Twin (with Jamie Lidell on vocals) and Herbie Hancock's 'Rockit'. This last track sounded like a homage to another great group of musicians: Herbie Hancock, Thomas Dolby, Stevie Wonder and Howard Jones. They performed their well-known Synthesizer Medley at the Grammy's in 1985.
Mostly Robot's music was accompanied by Berlin's design collective Pfadfinderei who used the note events, controller data and audio material created during the live show to show visual elements in real time on the hall's screen. Impressive.
If want to get a glimpse of Sonar watch Friendly Fires, Richie Hawtin and Fatboy Slim perform live on Sonar's YouTube channel tonight. Tune in!
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