FM

FM was a Canadian symphonic|space-rock band that released three albums between 1977 and 1980 on Passport, plus a special direct-to-disc instrumental LP on Labyrinth Records. A further round of activity during the mid-Eighties 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)


Background

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.


Black Noise

FM recorded their first album, Black Noise, in 1977 for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. In early 1978, the CBC pressed 500 copies for sale by mail order. In November 1978, Black Noise secured a proper release in Canada, the US, Germany, and the Netherlands on Passport Records.

A1. “Phasors on Stun” (3:49)
A2. “One O’Clock Tomorrow” (6:05)
A3. “Hours” (2:36)
A4. “Journey” (4:41)
A5. “Dialing for Dharma” (3:15)
B1. “Slaughter in Robot Village” (5:02)
B2. “Aldebaran” (5:02)
B3. “Black Noise” (9:55)

Producer – Keith Whiting
Engineer – Mike Jones
Engineer [Assistant] – Ed Stone

Cameron Hawkins — bass guitar, piano, synthesizer (Mini Moog, Micro Moog, Elka, Polyfusion Analog Sequencer), lead vocals
Nash the Slash — electric violin, electric mandolin, glockenspiel, backing vocals, effects
Martin Deller — drums, percussion, Arp 2500 synthesizer

Art Direction – Bob Krol
Design – James Cook
Cover Photo – Ron Ridout


Direct to Disc

FM released their second album, Direct to Disc, in May 1978 on Labyrinth. It features two instrumental suits: “Headroom” (composed by Cameron Hawkins) and “Border Crossing” (by Martin Deller).

A1. “Headroom” (15:36)
      a. “Tyra”
      b. “Reflections One”
      c. “Reflections Two”
      d. “Real Time”
      e. “Scarberia”

B1. “Border Crossing” (15:24)
      a. “The First Movement”
      b. “The Second Movement”
      c. “The Third Movement”
      d. “The Fourth Movement”

Direct-to-disc recording and mastering done at Phase One Recording Studios Ltd. / The Lacquer Channel Ltd., Toronto Canada.
Producer – Paul A. Gross
Engineer [Recording] – Alan Thorne (A1), Mark Wright (B1)
Engineer [Assistant Recording] – Jeff Stobbs, Mick Walsh

Martin Deller – Drums, Congas, Bells, Percussion, Synthesizer [ARP 2500 and 2600], Sequencer, Electronic Drums [Moog Percussion Controller]
Cameron Hawkins – Synthesizer [Mini Moog, Micro Moog, Elka String Synthesizer, Eko Bass Pedals], Bass Guitar, Effects, Vocals, Sequencer, Electronic Drums [Moog Percussion Controller]
Ben Mink – Mandolin [Electric], Electric Violin [5 String]

Photography By [Front Cover] – Paul Till
Photography By [Inside] – Carol Sherman


Surveillance

FM released their third album, Surveillance, in September 1979 on Passport Records. It features six joint compositions by Ben Mink, Cameron Hawkins, and Martin Deller.

A1. “Rocket Roll” (3:29)
A2. “Orion” (1:33)
A3. “Horizons” (4:21)
A4. “Random Harvest” (4:36)
A5. “Shapes of Things” (3:07) Written-By – McCarty*, Relf*, Samwell-Smith*
B1. “Seventh Heaven” (5:39)
B2. “Father Time” (4:23) Written-By – Cameron Hawkins
B3. “Sofa Back” (3:01) Written-By – Ben Mink, Elliott Feldman
B4. “Destruction” (6:00)

Recorded At – Sounds Interchange, Toronto, Canada.
Producer – Keith Whiting
Engineer – Mike Jones
Engineer [Assistant] – Ed Stone
Synthesizers Produced and Programmed With the Assistance of – Larry Fast

Drums, Percussion – Martin Deller
Electric Violin, Mandolin [Electric], Vocals – Ben Mink
Lead Vocals, Synthesizer, Bass Guitar, Piano – Cameron Hawkins

Art Direction – Murray Brenman
Photography By [Back Cover, Inner Sleeve] – John Herzog
Photography By [Front Cover] – Paul Till


City of Fear

FM released their fourth album, City of Fear, in October 1980 on Passport. It features ten group-composed songs with lyrics by Cameron Hawkins.

A1. “Krakow” (4:37)
A2. “Power” (3:28)
A3. “Truth or Consequences” (4:13)
A4. “Lost and Found” (4:25)
A5. “City of Fear” (5:07)
B1. “Surface to Air” (5:18)
B2. “Up to You” (4:21)
B3. “Silence” (3:22)
B4. “Riding the Thunder” (4:06)
B5. “Nobody at All” (4:09)

Recorded at: Soundstage Studios, Toronto, Ont & House Of Music, West Orange, N.J.
Additional Recording at: Phase One Studios, Toronto
Producer – Larry Fast
Production Assistant – Ian Murray
Engineer – Charles Conrad, Jim Frank

Cameron Hawkins — lead vocals, synthesizer, bass guitar
Ben Mink — electric mandolin, mandolin, violin, backing vocals
Martin Deller — drums, percussion

Engineer [Additional Recording] – Mark Wright
Engineer [Assistant] – Cliff Hodsdon, Scott Rea

Art Direction, Design – Murray Brenman
Photography By [Cover] – Eric Staller
Photography By [Inside] – Paul Till
Photography By [Stand-ups] – Bob Rock


Con-Test

FM released their fifth album, Con-Test, in 1985 on Quality Records.

Side F
A. “Just Like You” (4:05)
B. “We Hold On” (4:35)
C. “All of the Dreams” (4:05)
D. “Until the Night Is Over” (3:50)
E. “The Only Way to Win” (3:46)

Side M
F. “Why Don’t You Take It” (4:10)
G. “Distant Early Warning” (4:08)
H. “Friends and Neighbours” (4:33)
I. “Stop!” (5:00)

Bed tracks recorded at Manta Sound
Producer – Michael Waite
Engineer – Glen Johansen, John Naslin
Engineer [Assistant] – Mark Baldi, Mike Duncan, Noel Golden

Drums, Percussion [Electronic] – Martin Deller
Electric Guitar – Ben Mink
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Mandolin [Electric], Electric Violin, Harmonica – Nash The Slash
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Synthesizer, Bass – Cameron Hawkins
Sampler [Fairlight C.m.i.] – Rob Yale

Backing Vocals – Dave Moses (B2), Glen Johansen (B2)

Cover Art – Robert Vanderhorst


Discography:


Sources:

Leave a Reply

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