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Dial Zero

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Album Review

Howard Rigberg, a New York sculptor and musician, performs under the guise of My Robot Friend; "guise" is indeed the correct word, because My Robot Friend's live performances feature Rigberg performing to backing tapes while wearing a metal robot costume with a strategically placed flamethrower/dildo. The outfit implies a less than sanguine view of human romantic relationships, and to be sure, Dial Zero isn't exactly all hearts and flowers lyrically. The sentiments of songs like "The Good Part," "Swallow" and "Rapture" are mostly sardonic, with occasional dips into juvenile misanthropy, while more overtly comic tunes like the self-explanatory "Electric Pants" and the giddily dopey closer "JerBear" lighten the atmosphere with their unapologetic goofiness. Musically akin to the charmingly rinky-dink synth-pop of the very early Magnetic Fields and more recent Momus, Dial Zero is an often appealing album with a reach that occasionally exceeds its grasp.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

My Robot Friend is an electro-pop project from New York City comprised of performance artist and producer Howard Robot. Born Howard Rigberg and influenced by Devo, Kraftwerk, and the Pet Shop Boys, he made his full-length album debut in 2002 with Hot Action! Originally self-released, the album spawned a few singles ("The Fix," "Walt Whitman," "Why Won't You Call Me Back?") and was re-released in 2004 by the Proptronix label. The follow-up album, Dial 0 (2006), was released on the Scottish label Soma...
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Dial Zero, My Robot Friend
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