Placed somewhere between high-brow and low-brow, technology and music, seriousness and fun, two out-of-the-box projects shed a light on twerking. Artists, designers and engeneers created TW3RKBOT 1.0 for Basement Jaxx video Never say never . Headphones brand AIAIAI teamed with dance floor professionals and designers to launch the Real Booty Music, a project where dance does the talking thanks to a high-tech system that turns booty into a musical instrument.
In their video Never say never, British electronic-dance music duo Basement Jaxx foresees a future in which humanity have given up on dancing. That’s why a team of Japanese scientists create a twerking robot that shakes its rubbery buttcheeks to save the planet from misery.
The team who developed the so-called TW3RKBOT 1.0 was captained by Tony Gardner, Peter Chevako, and Lilo Tauvao and involed artists, designers and engeneers – Below: posters of Basement Jaxx Never say Never video, courtesy of Alterian, Inc.
The Danish brand involved a team of dance-floor professionals and designers: Branko from Buraka Som Sistema who operates at the forefront of the tropical bass movement, leading booty-shaker Louise Kjølsen a.k.a. Twerk Queen Louise and the Dutch design company Owow which focuses on design, technology and engineering.
The overall idea was to let Branko make a new track by using the movement of buttocks to build the beat. In collaboration with the designers and utilizing a dancer as their instrument, Branko ultimately produced a track powered and shaped by the dancer’s booty movements.
Owow say: “The Booty Drum is a device that records movement through accelerometers attached to the dancer’s booty. These movements translate into a lot of unique velocities and directions of movement. The movements, which are being mapped into unique MIDI values through Arduino hardware and processing software, can in this way be used to trigger samples and create sounds in Ableton. As every single movement sends out a unique set of values, the dancer is able to play around with sounds“.
TW3RKBOT 1.0 and the Real Booty Music projects go playfully beyond Miley Cyrus’s hype. Indeed, twerking (twisting+working or twitching+jerking, according to linguists) is a sexually provocative dance involving thrusting hips movements. The dance originates decades ago from West Africa and became popular in the ‘90s amongst hip hop scene and African American culture. The term has seen its fair share of media limelight again quite recently thanks to pop-stars video-clips and was added to the Oxford dictionary in 2013.