FM3, “Buddha Machine 3 (Chan Fang)”

cover imageIn its fourth iteration (including the Gristleism special edition), the duo of Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian have once again created a small box of rudimentary loops that, in its increased technological capacity, has somewhat diminishing returns.

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Throbbing Gristle, "Gristleism"

cover imageThe original FM3 Buddha Machines appear to have struck a chord with the members of Throbbing Gristle (a number of them appearing in some of Chris Carter’s gear photos on his Flickr account) so it is no surprise that they have created their own version with the help of Christian Virant. Containing 13 loops from the TG arsenal and redesigned to look far more stylish than previous models, Gristleism is a slimmed down Buddha with teeth.
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The Black Box

cover image Flingco's tombstone shaped speaker might be the perfect gadget for scaring children during Halloween celebrations this year. Actually, among its nine loops I've found a couple capable of unnerving unsuspecting adults. Put it in the right environment and chances are someone will find one of its various outputs less than comfortable. Part toy, part loop machine, and part gimmick, the Black Box is an entertaining gizmo with contributions from Cristal, Haptic, Wrnlrd, and Annie Feldmeier Adams.
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FM3, "Buddha Machine II"

cover imageThe original Buddha Machine caused quite a stir when it first appeared a couple of years ago and the emergence of a second generation machine begs the question of whether such a device has a lifespan beyond that of a novelty toy? Having spent some time with both devices, my gut answer is yes, it is far more than a trinket. New loops, new colors and a new feature (control of playback speed) have breathed new life into an already spunky little gadget.
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Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian, "The Buddha Machine"

The box cover depicts what could be a strange retro-digital flower with Buddhist temples pictured in the background. The writing is entirely in Chinese, with something which loosely translates as "electronic prayer machine" on the spine and on the back a list of good things about buddhism (being nice to others, not killing, etc,...) and the all important "Made in Hong Kong."
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