Certainly among the most thorough sets of Buddha Machine remixes must be Buddha Machines on Fire by Salakapakka Sound System, a Helsinki, Finland-based musician. Or make that Hell-sinki, as he puts it on his blog, at ikuinen-kaamos.blogspot.com, which is where he posted Buddha Machines on Fire as a pair of rapidshare.com-served, freely downloadable archives (tracks 1 – 4: ZIP; tracks 5 – 6: ZIP). These are sourced from the first Buddha Machine, though at times Salakapakka utilizes small modulations that suggest the pitch bending that is part of the recent Buddha Machine 2.0 upgrade.
Though the original loops on the FM3-produced Buddha Machine are generally less than a minute in length, Salakapakka’s mixes range from five minutes to a dozen, each combining the loping cadences and heady synthesis of the FM3 material with various effects and sonic elements. For example, “Street Buddha,” the album’s penultimate track, add the tremulous, quasi-flamenco original (fans of the Machine will know which I mean) with street noise and chanting, before the piece expands into a chasm of echo. “Monk with No Name” suggests a gothic dance effort by Enigma or Dead Can Dance. “Delayed Mantra” adds heavy, noise-laden feedback, much of which is applied to a clip of a spoken prayer. Another, “Kapina Tiibetissä,” adds the thundering heavy metal; the translation of “Kapina” is explanation enough for what might otherwise sound like an inexplicable combination — the word means “rebellion.” Two particular favorites are “Lo-Fi Buddha” and “Buddha Doesn’t Smile Anymore,” both of which are among the album’s softest, most pleasant tracks, and are, for Buddha Machine regulars, tonally most of a piece with the source.
Salakapakka is a good guide through his own work. On the post in which he announced these mixes, he said the following of “Street Buddha”: “Street Buddha is a growing piece which includes various FM3 loops, material of chanting beggar monk, shopping mall noises and ringing bells I recorded during my visit to Osaka.”