Founded in 1999 by Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian, two active members of the Beijing music scene, FM3 are considered pioneers of abstract electronic experimentation in China. 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.
Christiaan Virant is a Beijing-based sound artist and musician. Active in the Chinese punk underground for nearly a decade, he founded the experimental electronic act FM3 in 1999.
Since then, Virant has worked closely with computer musician Zhang Jian to develop FM3 into one of China’s leading platforms for avant-garde music, performing at the Louvre Auditorium in Paris and at media and art festivals worldwide, including Maerz Musik (Berlin), Impakt (Utrecht), Dissonanze (Rome), Marke B (Berlin), Nuit Blanche (Paris), Arborescence (Marseille), Sprawl (London), Out the Window (Tokyo) and Mutek (Montreal).
Zhang Jian is China’s top session keyboardist and leading computer musician. He has appeared on nearly every underground rock release over the past decade and was a member of many seminal Chinese rock acts, working with ZHANG Chu, Ziyue and DOU Wei, among others. He is also one of Beijing’s most sought after film and television composers, working with a diverse range of artists from underground filmmaker CUI Zi’en to leading stage producer LIN Zhaohua.
FM3 has been called “the most prominent experimental act in China” by the US magazine Grooves. XLR8R described FM3’s sound as “poetic noise” and the UK magazine The Wire calls FM3 live sets “meditative,” “soothing” and “engagingly intimate.”
FM3 records for the Berlin-based Staalplaat record label, and has also released music on Bip-Hop records in France, Mutek_Rec in Canada, Mousike records in Italy, Nascente records in the UK, Leerraum records in Switzerland and Sublime Frequencies in the United States.
2005: Mort Aux Vaches (Staalplaat)
2003: Ambience Sinica [mini-CD] (Dreamland Records)
2005: Radio Pyongyang (Sublime Frequencies)
2005: Street of Lhasa (Sublime Frequencies)