560

DJ I-Bot and Proto-Jazz-One: Robotic Jazz Funk

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
DJ I-Bot and Proto-Jazz-One: Robotic Jazz Funk Now this may seem simply blasphemous: Robots performing jazz music? Well the scientists at Toyota and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have collaborated on this new release which features "DJ I-Bot, (the first random-access, analog robotic DJ system) and Proto-Jazz-One (a humanoid robot which plays various musical instruments.)

This new CD should come as no surprise as today's DJ's have taken full advantage of the current technologies making use of sampling, mixing, and editing of sounds from endless sources. "Sound Chemists" like DJ Logic and DJ Spooky have collaborated with jazz musicians with success and now the emergence of DJ I-Bot which consists of a computer and three turntables that can mix, scratch, and cut beats like a human disc jockey - it's hard to tell the difference whether it's live, Memorex, or your local robot?

But what is shocking on the recording are the exploits of Proto-Jazz-One, who sounds like a cross between Miles Davis (Tutu and Amandla) and Dave Douglas (Freak In). The scientists have done an admirable job with the mechanics that emulate musician reflexes combined with advanced fuzzy-logic-microcode to create the next phase in pseudo-improvised music.

The six compositions, if you will, are extended variations on a theme - an extended funk groove with DJ I-Bot laying down some heavy turntable mixes which sound a lot like the 80's Sir Mix-A-Lot and Tone-Loc remakes. It's old school to the max. What is more interesting is Proto-Jazz-One's trumpet playing over I-Bot's sampled beats and noises as he, (correction) it plays spitfire notes and raspy slurs thanks to a liquid injected mouth piece attached to the robot. Ah, the wonders of technology.

Does it all work? Yes and no. At times the music becomes monotonous in spite of DJ I- Bot's turntable prowess. We've heard sampling and scratching; now it just done by a albeit very interesting robot. There also seemed to be limitations in the scientist's programming with the redundant vamps and randomized trumpet notes. The scientists are still honing the software and mechanics with future plans of having an all robot band and more fleshed out interpretations of jazz and classical works.

With the challenges that "real musicians face these days it would seem that this is just another slap in the face. Will the future become "accustomed to automatons performing for the masses akin to a Star Wars jam band? Sadly in some cases we already have. But for bow the formula is simple: (1 robot DJ + 1 robot musician) = randomly accessible sounds for the 21st Century.

For related info check out these articles: DJ I-Bot and Proto-Jazz-One



Track Listing: Molecular Funk 1; Molecular Funk 2; Molecular Funk 3; Molecular Funk 4; Molecular Funk 5; Molecular Funk 6

Personnel: DJ I-Bot - turntables, loops, affects. Proto-Jazz-One - trumpet.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Electronica

April fools!


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "New York Connections" CD/LP/Track Review New York Connections
by David A. Orthmann
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "On Hollywood Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Live In The South Bronx" CD/LP/Track Review Live In The South Bronx
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "I Go Back Home: A Story About Hoping And Dreaming" CD/LP/Track Review I Go Back Home: A Story About Hoping And Dreaming
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "I Walk Amongst Humans" CD/LP/Track Review I Walk Amongst Humans
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: August 3, 2016
Read "Breathe" CD/LP/Track Review Breathe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 25, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!