When Damon Albarn released his debut solo LP, Everyday Robots, he probably didn’t expect to play the tunes for actual robots. But, as The Creators Project reports, that’s exactly what happened last week at Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, where the Blur/Gorillaz frontman performed a mini-set in front of 48 humans – and two androids.
The two robots – Otonaroid (described by the Creators Project as a “life-like female”) and Telenoid (described as a “more abstract human form”) – reportedly sat in the front row for Albarn’s set, which featured new solo tracks “Everyday Robots” and “Hollow Ponds” alongside Blur gems “Strange News From Another Star” and “Out of Time.”
But the description gets more fascinating (and a tad bit creepier): Otonaroid was riveted by the performance – moving her body in rhythm with the tunes, humming along with select melodies and even changing her facial expressions to reflect the overall quality of the music.
“It was interesting performing alongside the androids,” Albarn said after the show. “While they definitely look artificial up close, when seen at a distance they look like normal people. They’re fake, but they’re also real. I mean, they’re definitely there. But I don’t think the fact that robots are completely alien will ever change. So in that sense, technology is perhaps a bit melancholic.”
This isn’t the first time Albarn has performed to an unconventional audience: Back in May, he released a music video for new track “Mr. Tembo,” which features the musician serenading a baby elephant (who inspired the song itself).
Albarn has been touring behind Everyday Robots in recent months, and he even treated Boston fans to a rendition of Blur’s 1997 anthem “Song 2” – his first performance of the song without his Blur bandmates.