Christiaan Virant
“Monkey Mind”

Christiaan Virant — Buddha Machine co-inventor and one half of electronic duo FM3 — just dropped a solo album called Fistful of Buddha. The peripatetic drone nomad splits his time between Beijing, Berlin, and Hong Kong, but lately has been posted mostly in southern China putting the finishing touches on the fourth-generation Buddha Machine. Fans of “songs” and “disks” might enjoy Fistful. Stream track #3, “Monkey Mind,” below:

Plastic music box purists must hold out until December, when the day-glo Buddha4 ships, but for now, you can also listen to “Monkey Mind,” as it is the source for two loops on the new machine. Buddha4 packs more aural weight into its pocket-sized packaging, with upgraded 16-bit audio and an improved amplifier chip. Christiaan says the loops “sound smooth and zen-like at low volume, but get really dirty and distort nicely when turned up.” So it’s cool for both subway headphone meditation and as a plug-and-play “my first harsh drone band” starter kit. Nice!

Here’s a video featuring Buddha4 Loop 1, for now the next best thing to an infinite (or at least an average AA battery lifespan) loop:

Fistful of Buddha is available now via Christiaan and Merja Kokkonen’s CVMK imprint. Buddha4 will ship internationally in early December.

• FM3/Buddha Machine:

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.