Classically trained media artist and robotic musician Moritz Simon Geist just premiered the video for “Entropy” the lead single from his upcoming debut EP “The Material Turn“, out October 12 on his newly formed label “Sonic Robots Records” with global distribution via Kompakt. The EP precedes the release of Geist’s full length album, “Robotic Electronic Music“, on November 16. The EP and LP, both co-produced with Mouse on Mars, will be the first techno records played entirely by self-made futuristic robots.
As the core piece to his 4 track-EP, the visual for “Entropy” chronicles the process of building a deep techno track from scratch with Geist’s motorized hand made instruments referred to as his ‘Sonic Robots’. Using 3D-printed robo-kalimbas, tonal glasses, drone guitar, recycled hard drives, and pneumatic hi-hats, Moritz gradually creates a bassy, staccato club track. As the rave-ready track becomes more layered, the room becomes increasingly filled with musical machines until the track peaks.
Among the machines are his futuristic version of the kalimba, an African finger piano made of tines, which he created with the intent to sound similar to the legendary Roland TR-808 drum machine. For a snare effect, he repurposed old computer hard drives, and for hissing hi-hats, he created an air compressor filled with styrofoam bubbles. To add dissonance, he cut an electric guitar in half and connected whirring motors to it. Through repetition and arrangement, the individual sounds collectively become a booming techno track.
“When you listen to robots playing, you realize, that they sound precise, but in contrast to digital sounds they transport an immense organic feeling,” says Geist. “No beat is like the other, everything is played with actual acoustic physicality and thus actual error. It’s industrial and organic at the same time. The repetitive nature of the robots make it perfect for playing electronic music.” It took Geist several years to build, tweak, test and play all his DIY robotic instruments. To help music fans understand his process more clearly, Moritz has also released a behind-the-scenes video where he describes creating the track.