Fistful of Buddha
Christiaan Virant is known mostly as the creator of the Buddha Machine, a pocket-sized loop-based sound generator that comes housed in a beautifully designed casing with a built-in speaker. Active on the Beijing punk scene during the '90s, he's also collaborated on a loop device called the Gristleism with UK industrial noise terrorists Throbbing Gristle. Those familiar with the Buddha Machine will find that Fistful of Buddha has that same resonance and meditative quality as the loops in the physical machine. Over nine tracks that all hover around the four-minute mark, Virant makes classically-inspired ambient music that borders on ambient techno. Whereas some tracks, "River Pearl" for example, have a Zen-like ambience to them, incorporating Chinese instruments, others ("Title Sequence" and "Do Better") are underpinned by a sense of drama that would be suitable for incidental film soundtrack material. This is an enjoyable album of quality ambient and ambient techno that speaks equally of East and West.
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