FM3 Ting Shuo (Listen Before Speaking)

FM3 is Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian, a duo that create sublime sounds that, to paraphrase Timothy Leary, are ideal to turn in, switch off and wind down to.

Ting Shuo is FM3's first album despite the fact that they have been a live act for a long time. They have previously collaborated with Dou Wei and appear on two of his albums (Jing Hua Yuan Ji and Houguanyin) but it has taken them ten years to realize their own project.

Virant is no stranger to the club scene, having been a DJ in Beijing in the eighties and nineties, pioneering techno and drum ‘n’ bass way back when it was virtually unknown. In so many respects Ting Shuo is a complete volte-face from the brashness and bombast of the dance music of Virant’s past. Thus, as architects of sound, FM3 have moved from shed building to interior design, focusing on the needs of the spiritual and aesthetic rather than club-lands earthy excesses and physical meltdown.

Listening to the work is akin to being immersed in a fish tank of swaying water grass, six tracks of white faced euphoria that melts the senses and creates a state of uplifting melancholia—like sadness with an upturned smile. With their subtle phrasing, minimalist structure and restrained use of piano, cello and vintage Roland keyboard, they have created something of great beauty, something worth waiting for, something special.

If Ting Shuo is a cloudburst of sound, then the compositions leave plenty of space to walk between the raindrops. Live, the soundtrack is reserved and peaceful, easy to get engaged with, to get lost in—the perfect foil for the mayhem and pace of modern China where much of this work was conceived and the album initially, toured.

Timothy Leary also famously said, 'Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger?' Good advice, after all you also don't know what you might hear. If you want to find out you can listen to tracks from Ting Shuo at: or just click on the widgety thing on the sidebar.

"Ting Shuo evolved during a series of concerts across China and Hong Kong in 2013-14. It was recorded in hotel rooms and studios along the way and mastered in Berlin by Kassian Troyer. Many thanks to all fans and supporters who encouraged the development of this album."

More information about FM3s roots and their Buddha Machine (now in its fifth generation) plus free loops can be found at:

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