Playlist: Robot Rock

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Robots! They are coming for you, taking our jobs, driving our cars, offering to help you over the internet, it’s all part of their dastardly plan to take over the world. Despite recent high profile robotic embarrassments, songs about robots have always been popular. This playlist avoids the most obvious, but gives an overview of some of the greatest robotic audio treats from the last 50 years.  Do the robot!

Robot Girlfriend – Big Boy Bloater & The Limits
A cautionary blues tale of robot love from last year’s storming Luxury Hobo album.

Rock ‘n’ Robot – Kim & Buran
Kim & Buran are Russian purveyors of cosmic easy listening music in the style of electronica pioneers like Jean-Jacques-Perrey and Enoch Light, every song hinting at the glorious chrome future we all expected.

Robotheque – Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited
Swiss instrumentalists who specialise in soundtracks for imaginary films.  This particular track is clearly from a 1970s view of a far future disco, possibly set on a space station looking into the void, where the robot house band play to people dressed in silver capes dancing on a light up floor…

Metal Fingers In My Body – Add N To (X)
Yes, the theme of sex with robots will be a repeating one on this playlist.

Paranoid Android – Easy Star All Stars
So there are other obvious robot songs, but as we’ve all heard the original, here’s the reggae version from “Radiodread” – an all reggae version of OK Computer.

Metal Mickey – Suede
Sadly the song isn’t entirely a tribute to the 80s tv show, but as the track stands as one of the finest remnants of Britpop, we can include it here.

Do It Like A Robot (DJ Hell Mix) – Princess Superstar
Princess Superstar’s take on the now classic theme of human / robot love is turned into an industrial battery by DJ Hell for full-on robotic impact.  Like making love to an assembly line.

Robots – Flight of the Conchords
“We no longer say yes, instead we say affirmative”, “yes, affirmative”.

Robot – The Tornados
Joe Meek brought his love of space and science fiction to many of his productions, here the Tornados (the UK version) attempt to follow up their massive global smash “Telstar”. The robot dance party video is a particular highlight.

Attack El Robot! Attack! – Calexico
From the 2003 Feast of Wire album, this track comes at you like a man wearing a metal suit in a low budget Mexican monster movie.

A Skit About Robots – MC Frontalot
MC Frontalot takes on a call centre robot – we’ve all been there.

Univac and the Humanoid – Sheldon Allman
Sheldon Allman’s classic “Folk Songs of the 21st Century” covers many themes, including space travel, 4th dimensional space and nuclear apocalypse.  This tender tale of falling for the wrong kind of robot will hit you right in the CPU, “You know that robots can’t afford to cry, for it surely rusts their gears”.

Wild Robots Power Up – Gruff Rhys
From the excellent compilation Psychedelic Guide to Monsterism Island, Gruff Rhys gives us perhaps the best and only example of shoegazing robots.

Yodelling Robot – Ed Sanders
The best song ever written about a robot who learns to yodel because he loves Dolly Parton.

Penguin Or Robot – Urban Surf Kings
There’s a lot of sci-fi themed surf music, and I’ve gone for Canada’s Urban Surf Kings and the title track from their 2014 album.  It’s possible they get confused as in Nova Scotia, only robots or penguins surf.

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots – The Flaming Lips
The manga themed title track from their album of 15 years ago.  Included as I predict one day this will be the anthem of the human resistance.  Be prepared for the inevitable robot takeover, and listen to this playlist today!

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