Richard Metzger writes:
When Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin and I interviewed Throbbing Gristle in Los Angeles, during the sound-check we were talking to Charlie Poulet, TG's brilliant sound engineer. There was an insanely trippy song coming over the PA system and I asked him what it was. "Oh, THAT. That is a Buddha Machine—ever hear of one?"
A Buddha Machine is a little plastic box that resembles a cheap transistor radio. It has a built-in speaker and runs continuous tape loops of chanting or soothing, natural, trippy, etc, sounds. They are hipster remakes of the Tibetan prayer loop boxes (they're ubiquitous all over China) and are manufactured by a company called FM3.
Charlie was running several of them at once to create the amazing sound-scape going on in the background as we spoke. A little while later, Chris Carter hinted that soon TG would be announcing a "special musical project" that involved no CD or MP3s whatsoever. I suspected at the time he was hazily describing something similar to a Buddha Machine. TG-stylee and I was right. Check it out!