FM was a Canadian symphonic/space-rock band that released three albums on Passport between 1977 and 1980, plus a special direct-to-disc instrumental LP on Labyrinth Records in 1978. A further round of activity during the mid-1980s yielded two albums on Quality and Duke Street. The band’s first album, Black Noise, features phantom violinist/performer Nash the Slash, replaced on subsequent releases by Ben Mink.

Members: Cameron Hawkins (lead vocals, synthesizer, bass, piano), Nash the Slash (electric violin, electric mandolin, glockenspiel, vocals, effects, 1976-77, 1984-88, 1994-96), Martin Deller (drums, percussion, synthesizer, 1977-86, 1994-2010), Ben Mink (electric violin, electric mandolin, vocals, 1978-83), Simon Brierley (guitar, 1986-93), Greg Critchley (drums, 1986-88)

FM started in 1976 when keyboardist/singer Cameron Hawkins met electric violinist/mandolinist Jeff Plewman. They initially played in the hard-rock combo Clear with two other musicians, Ken Worth and Tony Mendez. Clear recorded a three-song acetate. Footage exists of a Nimbus Nine Studio performance of one track, “Lovin’ On My Mind,” a windy rocker with running basslines and full harmonies.

Hawkins and Plewman, who adopted the pseudonym Nash the Slash, commenced recording as FM on July 24, 1976, when they cut a 13-minute version of their composition “Black Noise” at Cut-Throat Studios above the Roxy Theatre in Toronto. On November 3, the two appeared on TVOntario’s Night Music Concert program performing that track and two other originals: “Phasors on Stun” and “One O’Clock Tomorrow.”

FM’s TV segment was interspersed with free-poetry, recited by electronic musician David Prichtard. Earlier that year, Nash guested on the 13-minute improvised piece “An Admission of Guilt” on Prichtard’s Island Records release Nocturnal Earthworm Stew (Bouillabaisse Nocturne Aux Vers de Terre). Percussionist Martin Deller, also on that track, joined FM in early 1977. As a trio, FM performed on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s music program Who’s New. In turn, the CBC offered FM the chance to record an album.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *