Sound effects box

Back in 2005, two electronic musicians from Beijing named Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian—collectively known as FM3—invented the Buddha Machine, a little plastic box available in seven colors. It contains a speaker that plays one of nine repetitive loops of meditative (or insanity-inspiring, depending on your frame of mind), electronic music (listen to the Buddha Machine “wall of sound” at Buddha Machine 2.0—with nine new loops and a volume control—followed the original. Virant is at it again—this time in conjunction with the UK’s Industrial Records Ltd., and 1970s industrial band Throbbing Gristle—with the brand-new, irresistibly strange Gristleism, another little box-with-a-speaker available in black, red or chrome that plays 13 loops that are even more odd than the Buddha-box sounds. As the site describes it, the palm-sized noise-unit delivers a mix of signature Throbbing Gristle “experimental noise, industrial drone, and classic melodies and rhythms.” Looped tracks include “Hamburger Lady,” “Twenty Jazz Funk Greats” and “Maggot Death.” The Gristleism even has a pitch-shift control for extra weirdness. At only $28, it’s surely the perfect Christmas gift for somebody on your list, and it comes “wrapped in exquisite ‘Chinese paper-cut’ wrapping.”