Song: “UFO Tofu”

Artist: Bela Fleck & The Flecktones

Album: UFO Tofu

Last week’s discussion of The Dave Matthews Band got me thinking about other groups that feature non-standard instruments in their lineup. The musicians that make up Bela Fleck & The Flecktones are about as non-standard as you can get.

In the hands of virtuoso Bela Fleck, the banjo rockets away from its bluegrass roots into the realms of baroque, 20th century classical music, jazz, fusion, and rock. His playing is a joy to listen to and he has inspired a whole generation of banjo players.

Take a look at the musician on the right in this non-embeddable YouTube video. His name is Future Man and he is indeed from the future. The strange looking instrument that he is playing is called a Drumitar. Modified from a guitar synthesizer called a Synthaxe, Future Man refashioned the instrument to play drum and percussion samples. While novel in appearance, Future Man’s playing is always musical and often sublime.

Can you think of any other bizarre or sci-fi influenced instruments out there?

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