The New And Improved Buddha Machine, An Ambient Boom Box Now In Neon Colors

<p>FM3&#8217;s sonic invention gets a makeover and more meditative loops.</p>

As the holiday season comes on, you’re likely reminded how much you hate those ubiquitous holiday jingles meant to get you into the spirit. You may find yourself needing a mental massage to sooth that anxious holiday shopping nerve. After two years of waiting, FM3 is about to release the fourth generation of their much loved Buddha Machine on December 21st. And they come in lots of bright colors.

We’ve previously introduced this pocket-sized, single-button chant box created by Beijing electronic music pioneers Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian, collectively known as FM3. When the first Buddha Machine debuted in 2005, it earned praise from the likes of Brian Eno and David Byrne, and has since gained wide popularity in Europe and the United States.

We caught up with Jian to learn about the new features of the Buddha4, as the new version is known. He said, “It has nine new loops of the signature FM3 drone style. The sound is designed to draw listeners into a surging analog world from the very first song, created with pianos, clarinets, and more. It comes in four different neon colors and handcrafted corrugated sleeves. The Buddha4 also has an improved audio sampling bit rate.”

And there’s a little bonus for mobile device users: a free iPhone and iPad app download on iTunes from now until tomorrow at 12 PM. Zhang Jian explains the difference between the two apps, “The iPhone version is just like the original Buddha Machine, with one on and off button and has been upgraded to the third generation. The iPad version contains six Buddha Machines. It’s like a game simulating the ‘Buddha Boxing’ concept, which is something we do for our live performances. The music is updated to the second generation Buddha Machine.” Check out some Buddha Boxing here

Download the iPhone/iPad Touch app here and the iPad app here.

Below, get a first listen to a few loops from the Buddha4.

Loop 01 “Hao” from Buddha Machine 4.
Loop 02 “Da” from Buddha Machine 4. Video by Zhang Jian.

Image courtesy of FM3.