Zima never really took off in the U.S.. Molson Coors’ clear malt beverage never even made it out of puberty in its home market, lasting just 15 years before the last Zima made for American consumption shipped in 2008.
In Japan though, it’s been a solid hit, particularly at clubs. The company recently asked the lofty question of whether the way human beings party is advancing at the same rate of other aspects of our modern lifestyle, and has decided to give it an evolutionary kick in the backside by creating a robot party band.
Z-Machines, with the Z standing for Zima of course, consists of three metallic musicians. There’s a guitar-playing front man with fashionable dreadlock-style cords that also provides vocals, along with a six-armed drummer. The third slot is occupied by a member that appears be immobile and flashes lights as the others perform, which we’re guessing is the robo-equivalent of giving the lead singer’s girlfriend a tambourine.
Band supervisor and Tokyo University Professor Yoichiro Kawaguchi says he was inspired by the way the physical form of life is continually evolving, such as the progression from the nautilus to homo sapiens. “I wanted to create something that might exist hundreds of millions of years from now,” he comments.
The lowly carbon-based life forms who support the band have released a video of the band’s speed test, wherein the guitarist shreds to speeds of 148, 300, 600, and finally an inhuman 1,184 beats per minutes.
But Z-Machines was formed to do more than just lord their capabilities over non-robotic musicians. The band was created as part of the Future Party Experience. The project’s three components are superhuman musicians, an unprecedented experience for the audience, and a borderless performance that can be enjoyed by anyone. The project is coming to fruition this month on June 24, when Z-Machines will make their debut live appearance together with DJ Kentaro at the Liquid Room in Shibuya. Who knew the future was just a quick ride on Tokyo’s Yamanote Line away?
As the members of Z-Machines haven’t yet become self-aware (that’s right: yet), the playlist will be selected from compositions submitted to their website, whether in MIDI or WAV formats, or through files created with the iPhone sound-recording app nana. Nana files as basic as even a cappella vocals or a single instrument will be accepted.
Anyone can offer a song, so here’s your chance if you’re a budding musician who wants to hear your work performed at one of Tokyo’s hottest venues, or just want the undeniably cool bragging rights of saying your song was performed by robots.
Venue: Liquid Room Shibuya
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya Ward, Higashi 3-16-6