Hou Guan Yin


Founded in 1999 by Christiaan Virant & Zhang Jian, two active members of the Beijing music scene, FM3 are considered pioneers of abstract electronic experimentation in China. FM3 are also the artists behind the genius that is The Buddha Machine -- the unique "soundbox" from China, a totally dazzling item which causes jaw-dropping delight everywhere. Known for dedicating prime space for "live" aspects within their work, FM3 produces mysterious, meditative and minimalist soundscapes, while subtly adding certain elements of ancient Chinese folk tradition into a universe abundant in micro-sounds and synthetic glitches. FM3's latest release, Hou Guan Yin marks the rise of a new Chinese sonic art form. Teaming up with legendary Chinese rock singer/musician Dou Wei, they go beyond the boundary by creating a new sonic map of their own. With additional sound input from well-known Chinese experimental music icon, Yan Jun, the release is a project that brings together remarkable musical talents that shape the Chinese music scene. Converging two lineages of Chinese underground music: the microsound/noise ambience of FM3 and the ever evolving rock experiment of Dou Wei, Hou Guan Yin showcases a new sonic activity that blends both the Western and Eastern mentality into a system of its own. While the sonic appearance of FM3 + Dou Wei is apparently Western in nature, the poetic thoughts and emotions that flow through their sounds show a deep appreciation of Eastern thinking and sensibility. It is like a group of avant-garde musicians, meditating on the classic Chinese ink painting or an abstract expressionist painting, translating ancient Eastern philosophy into landscapes and free-form brush strokes. The most impressive part of Hou Guan Yin is the chemical interaction between FM3 and Dou Wei. FM3 with their microsound gestures trigger the ambient undercurrent of Dou Wei's drumming and turn it into a new pulsating energy; Dou Wei at the same time reveals the hidden motions and shifting patterns in FM3's ambience. The result is a unique poetic beauty that lies within the rhizomatic presentation and interaction of their sounds and instrumentations.