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Dying Buddha Machine MP3

If you meet the Buddha on the road, you know what to do: kill him. But what if you meet the Buddha on the Internet, and he’s already dying?

Back in early August of this year, at a website called santafesound.blogspot.com, the site’s owner posted a unique sound sample of the Buddha Machine. Now, the Buddha Machine, that little box of lo-fi sound loops, has been written about a lot since its initial release, and it has been a source of sonic inspiration for musicians as diverse as minimal-techno guru Monolake, dark-metal band Sunn O))), and dub figure Adrian Sherwood, among others.

But this santafesound post is special. The half-minute recording is that of a Buddha Machine dying (MP3): “I was thrilled the other day when I switched it on and heard a brand new sound — the sound of the almost-dead Made-In-China Gaosheng batteries trying to drive the built-in speaker.” That image to the left accompanied the original post and shows the back of the Buddha Machine in question.

As the name of the santafesound website suggests, it’s focused on sound. Other previous entries include a nearly five-minute field recording in an apartment where a new swamp cooler and some window blinds colluded to create a haunting sonic atmosphere (MP3, santafesound.blogspot.com):

For this recording I cranked up the mics and made the background very foreground. It’s actually a mix of 2 recordings, one done at 4:30 pm and the other at 10 pm. I’m not usually the sort to say “listen to this on headphones” but in this case there are lots of low frequencies that will be lost on the average laptop speaker so whatever you can do to hear the low end would be good.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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