Brooklyn-based songwriter and tinkerer Matthew Steinke fronts a hand-built robotic musical menagerie he has dubbed Octant.
Steam, bellows, and clockwork would seem to be appropriate tools for the ghostly powers directing this orchestra. The songs lurch like a haunted Model T from childlike singsong to dense mechanized arrangements, from triumphal player-piano chaos to spare, melancholy chamber pop.
Octant was created in 1998 as the ongoing solo project of Matthew Steinke, the frontman of Olympia, Washington’s Mocket and Seattle’s Satisfact. Steinke studied art and analog electronic music at The Evergreen State College, and received his MFA in Art and Technology Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has exhibited and performed with his robotic inventions all over the country in festivals, academic institutions, art galleries, and rock venues.
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“…tender, cerebral music, aided by tiny, idiosyncratic robot companions who truly feel more like supportive band mates than automated devices”
– Benjamin Wigler for The Deli NY
“…an unsuspectingly beautiful and oddly touching experience. How is it that a show comprised mostly of a robotic band provided far and away the most intimate show of CMJ 2010?”
– Avalanche Leed AP for The Sound of Indie