Two hours of unadulterated streaming Buddha Machine loops are what DJ Cactus (aka Daniel Hintz) provided to listeners of his KUSF (90.3FM San Francisco) radio broadcast this past weekend. Check out the original post at kusf-archives.com, which has the set available as two streaming audio files (MP3, MP3). The sound quality is strong, and the loops are pretty much bare, with the exception of some humorous cues for the station’s call letters (which refer to the University of San Francisco), including one with the voice of William S. Burroughs. There are also some introductory comments by Hintz, who is using the first of the two generations of Buddha Machines created by the China-based duo FM3. (The image associated with this post isn’t entirely accurate, as Hintz mentions that his Buddha Machine is orange.)
The KUSF site has them as two separate streams, but they’re shown here in this interface as one playlist, so it’ll play for two hours in a row (or you can flip back and forth between the two parts using the little arrows):
What’s been noticeable as time has passed since the machine’s initial commercial release is how different settings highlight different aspects of the devices — how a given environment influences the Buddha Machine’s sound. This is partially the result, no doubt, of a low-budget production process, which results in slight variations between individual devices, but more than anything it’s a testament to the FM3 duo’s sound-design ingenuity, which involves brief loops whose ambient properties are just as capable of being subsumed by a given listening situation as they are of subsuming it — sounds that are just fragile enough that they’re easily, if subtly, altered by whatever technology mediates their presentation.