In 2005 the Beijing-based duo of Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian released their first “Buddha Machine” loop box, a quirky pocket sound system that propelled sound art into the consumer mainstream.
Over the past 12 years, they have released more than 6 different versions of their pioneering loop device, including collaborations with artists as diverse as industrial music pioneers Throbbing Gristle and American composer Philip Glass.
The original unit was long sold-out and in high demand among collectors. This 2017 edition of the Buddha Machine features the original loops in all their 8-bit Lo-Fi glory and comes in 4 soft-tone colours: red, blue, green and orange.
Since the beginnings of the Buddha Machine our motto has been "Soft Sound, Happy Life."
This re-issue of the original soundbox aims to be a calming, gentle voice for stressful, noisy times. The machine is designed to be played softly, at low volumes, allowing the loops to mix with the background sounds of your life and create a feeling of calm and ease.
The Buddha Machine is a truly unique musical device that prefers to sit in the background, quietly and gently working its sonic magic.
Our commemorative coins are cast in metal from the very same factory that makes belt buckles, rings, necklaces and other metal items for the world's leading fashion labels. Your coin could have been a Gucci!
The chinese characters are the words "ting" for "listen" and "shuo" for "speak"
Includes free download of FM3 - Ting Shuo album
The Buddha Machine was never hermetically sealed. You could break into it, and with a smattering of audio and electrical knowledge work out how the thing worked.
What you could not do however was replicate the process that led to its manufacture and therein lay the secret beyond the sounds. Now despite being virtually omnipresent over the last decade via their world-ruling Buddha Machine it must come as a surprise that FM3, Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian, have released no original music together on CD format for almost ten years.
"Ting Shuo" comes with a title of typical Chinese wordplay, literally translated it could mean "listening speaking" but the actual colloquial Mandarin understanding would be "heard of" or maybe "known about"; in other words many Chinese have heard about FM3 through their global reputation but few have heard their music. FM3’s plan of hiding sonically and physically in plain sight is finally put to rest by this new set of audio pieces which, although fully conceived and worked as a conventional album, are easily related back to the loops that inhabit all the many versions of the Buddha Machine.
The duo will soon be on tour in the East and maybe next year in the West to bring this new set of quiet music to audiences who will need to listen hard.
Steve Barker, BBC radio host and columnist for Wire magazine
Track List: 1. San Lang 2. Ting Shuo 3. Dui Xiang 4. Hei Guan 5. Fo Wu 6. Yi Gui
Christiaan Virant, creator of the legendary Buddha Machine, finally escapes his box of loops with this nine-track CD of contemplative, classically-inspired tunes.
Weaving instruments from East and West into a web of pulsing, moody music, Virant delivers a highly-listenable disk that rewards repeated visits to his ambient wonderland. Moving between China and Europe has allowed Virant a continuous access and appreciation of musical developments across the continents.
Whilst still deeply Zen in mood and tone, the tunes here interweave minimal textures through drone and drift. Beats move in soft boom or trippy pulsing glide rather than the rigourous edgy engine of techno.
Classical-trained Virant pays due homage to structure, drama and effect whilst completely understanding that, as Lou Reed once so accurately remarked, "repetition is antiglop".
Devotees of the Buddha Machine will treasure the connects and departures. Steve Barker, BBC radio host and columnist for Wire magazine.
Tracklisting: 1. Title Sequence 2. River Pearl 3. Monkey Mind 4. Fistful Of Buddha 5. Grey Zone 6. Metropolis Waltz 7. Do Better 8. Cricket 9. Yuan Yi