Terminator Salvation: a robotic musical tribute

From NIN remixes to Korg covers, we celebrate the music of our metal 'friends'

Terminator, as Arnie famously promised, is back this weekend. A substantial reboot of James Cameron's supercool original from Charlie's Angels director McG, Terminator Salvation stars Christian Bale as John Conner, leader of a group of survivors and pretty much mankind's last hope. And some robots. Nasty robots.

And what the hell has that got to do with MusicRadar? Erm, not much BUT it does give us the chance to run a fun feature about robots playing instruments (a staple ingredient of our Best of YouTubes over the last year), robot instruments such as this, robot bands (come on down, Mr Roboto!), stupid music videos featuring robots and, of course, a little look at the musical heritage of the Terminator franchise.

And, of course, that clip of Arnie with the glow sticks.

Enough. Pull up a chair, click Play a few times, enjoy the robot madness when you hit the cinema next week and remember - that toaster might not be your friend.


Terminator Salvation: official trailer

We'll kick off with the official trailer, only because it features a remix of Nine Inch Nails' The Day The World Went Away. Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of remixes thanks to Trent's online army just a Google away but the best on YouTube can be found here - keep an eye out for the Red and Green mixes too.


Terminator Theme [HD] on Korg X-50

Back to the future now with this cool mash-up of those classic T1 and T2 themes as played on a Korg X-50 using its Studio Orchestra patch. There are plenty of these homebrew treats to be found in YouTube's back alleyways - the theme from Ladyhawke played on a Roland Fantom X6 anyone? Suit yerself.


Goldie Lookin' Chain - Half Man Half Machine (2004)

Time for a "tribute". The Newport rap collective's first single/video provides a lo-fi, stoner take on robot chic. Transformers on a budget, or as the song says, "Like Terminator/Only filmed in Aberdare."

Terminator Theme - Trance Remix in Acid Pro 6

Back to the homebrew. This samplehappy trance tribute uses audio from T2, sampled drumloops from JDS and East 17 plus string and oboe sounds from a Edirol Orchestral plug-in. Whatever, dude - we're on a podium and we're raving!


GuitarBot Vs. Violin

Time to check out some other metal men. This clip featuring a GuitarBot (or Robot Guitar) playing with ace Japanese violinist, Mari Kimura. The GuitarBot is actually listening to Kimura's instrument via Max/MSP, with certain commands being executed depending on the volume and pitch. Cool.


The Trons

It's nice to know that not all robots are intent on going back through time and killing/protecting/delete as applicable humans. The Trons, who hail from New Zealand, are lovers not fighters, and much prefer to kick back and jam together. They're not half bad, either.

Terminator 2: Future War

One for the gamers out there - or indeed any wonky producer who can't get enough of old school game soundtracks (we'll do the Bionic Commando feature next week, okay?). The hardcore will be more than aware this is taken from the MegaDrive version and not the arcade original. We can only apologise (and get some sleep).


Björk - All Is Full Of Love

Some more music now. On this serene closer to Homogenic (1997), Björk sings that love is everywhere, even amongst the inert. Chris Cunningham's video, depicting robots in the midst of passion, illustrates this brilliantly, and MusicRadar for one didn't realise machines could be so saucy...


Dry Rise - The Terminator Chronicles

"In the year 1984 a roadie was sent forward in time..." So runs the legend in this spoof Terminator video from Brighton-based angst rockers, Dry Rise. "AWESOME" and "EPICALLY AMAZING" [sic] are amongst the comments - and, surprisingly, they've got a point.

i-Sobot plays drums

The world's smallest robot plays an electronic drum kit. One YouTube responder said it seemed like a big robot version of Phil Collins. That hardly seems fair. Everybody knows Phil has more hair than a robot. Ba-dum tish!


Radiohead - Nude (played by printer, scanner, hard disk drive)

Radiohead might've embraced the online remix community with their 'stems' strategy but the hardcore don't need bits of songs to be able to perform a faithful cover version. Nope, they just need a trip to Staples and a week or two to get planning... Cue lo-fi robot bliss!


Robot drummer

The clue's in the title. Enjoy this MIDI-controlled rhythm setup. DAW fans should note that the MIDI signal was created using Ableton Live.

Keepon keeps on dancing

While the Keepon may have a bit of trouble taking on a T-800 series in a fair fight, it'd be murder if they battled on the dancefloor, and the little yella fella would be the last robot dancing. Watch the Keepon tear it up for indie rockers Spoon in their video for Don't You Evah. Caution! You may well find yourself nodding along to the multi-machine dance party at the end…


Beastie Boys - Intergalactic

We had to, right? Right. It's hard to top a hip-hop-dancing giant robot who wrecks havoc on Japan while battling a massive squid-like creature but the classic line "I'll stir-fry you in my wok/Like a pinch on the neck from Mr Spock" go a loooooong way.


Kanye West featuring Daft Punk - Stronger

The robots come thick and fast here: the vocal sample used in the song is heavily vocoded; Daft Punk are done out in their full robot garb; they're using JazzMutant's decidedly futuristic Lemur controller; and Kanye would later produce a whole album's worth of Auto-Tuned material (ie. he, erm, sounded like a robot).

Christian Bale: The remix

Back to Terminator - and this time, it's a classic from the all-too-human side of the now-revived franchise. Terminator Salvation will forever be associated with Christian Bale's leaked on-set rant at a crew member. His potty-mouthed tirade was swiftly remixed by revolucian, turning the actor into a presumably reluctant hip-hop star.


Arnold goes rave

And lastly - the original and the best. We looked everywhere for a more 'roboty' musical tribute to Arnie but couldn't find one. Instead, we've settled for this cult hyperglo ravetastic treat featuring The Governator as a raving barbarian. Think yourselves lucky - we could've gone with this.

Happy Skynet Day everybody!


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Liked this? Then try:

Star Trek: The musical timeline

9 songs that should be on the Watchmen soundtrack

7 classic sci-fi sounds – and how they were created

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