F.M. - 'Black Noise' / 'Direct To Disc' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 16, 2013    
0.0 (0)
4244   0   2   0   0   0




Still being a joy to behold to this very day.

Regular readers of Fireworks & Rocktopia will know that we have a soft spot for all manner of Canadian rock and while the likes of Coney Hatch, Moxy and Santers led the underground in melodic rock, Saga and Rush were setting the standard in Canadian prog. By 1977 both of these enduring bands would be well on their way down the long winding paths we've loved wandering with them, however along with the likes of Max Webster, there were other Canadian melodic prog delights to be found. None less than the duo, turned trio FM (not to be confused with the UK AOR act of the same name) whose debut effort 'Black Noise' would initially be released as a limited run of just 500, through the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, before being picked up for full release by Passport Records.

Formed by the enigmatically monikered electric violin/mandolin/glockenspiel playing "Nash The Slash" (Jeff Plewman) and synthesizer/piano/bass wielding lead singer Cameron Hawkins, the pair began formulating a sound that through the innovative use of electric violin and synthesisers, did away with the need for a guitarist and initially drums. However realising the lack of live percussion was holding them back, by the time 'Black Noise' was to be recorded, Martin Deller was adding that aspect to an FM sound that veered wildly between hard rock, prog and avantgarde, making for a compelling, captivating experience. Based round Star Trek for its concept, although some songs hint at other popular sci-fi of the time, the likes of 'Aldebaran' and 'One O'Clock Tomorrow' show the melodic, vocal led side of the band to perfection, being soft, beautiful and seductive, while the noise and effects of 'Black Noise' or 'Hours' bring an altogether less song based format, being almost free-form prog workouts. Both aspects of this album work well and any prog fan will find much to entice many repeat visits.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site

By the time 'Direct To Disc' was recorded "Nash The Slash" had set off on a solo career, Hawkins wryly mentioning in the excellent sleeve notes that "Nash... is fundamentally a solo artist... From when we started FM, I figure he played with us a third of the time and on his own two thirds of the time". His replacement was the equally multi-instrumentally skilled Ben Mink from folk outfit Stringband. However there was no easing in process for the newest FM'er, with 'Direct To Disc' taking its name from the recording process used to keep it for posterity, whereby a needle cuts a groove into a flat piece of lacquer as the music was performed; hence making for a one take, one off band recording. Almost through its very nature, the music presented here (curtailed to two fifteen minute tracks due to the limitations of the original recording medium – and therefore making this re-release available at "budget" price), is far less song based, also being purely instrumental. The results are impressive, if far less structured than the debut. However, with each band member given the opportunity to stretch out on their respective instruments, of these two reissues, available in Europe for the first time, 'Direct To Disc' is by far the most experimental. That said to hear FM in their purist form, it really should be 'Black Noise' that you experience first, the clash of early Rush, Saga, Jean Michel Jarre and many less mainstream influences still being a joy to behold to this very day.

Steven Reid

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


Member Login


<<  June 2020  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
  1  2  3  4  5  6  7
  8  91011121314

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 1 month, 2 weeks ago
  • Rocktopia Te : @kbm1983: Currently, all orders have to be be processed manually. This could take a few hours. Sorry for the delay, you shoulkd have received a mail containing download instructions by now. @ all: Pls. do not worry in case you see a PayPal transaction error message. Your order was received, pls. do not order the magazine twice. Many thanks for your understanding!
  • kbm1983 : Hi, I bought #91 earlier today but its still not in my downloads. Can you check it out please. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @ Man Shaped Wolf: You should have received a mail containing download instructions yesterday. Sorry for the delay!
  • Man Shaped W : Hey, same as defron but for 91 :) excited to read our review
  • Berny : @Defron: Can you pls. check your mail? Many thanks, B. :)
  • Defron : Hi guys. Bought #90 couples of hours ago but still not in my downloads . Can you check pls regards Ro
  • Berny : @SoCal Rocker: Welcome back! There are 50 free issues of Fireworks Magazine for you (and of course all other Rocktopians) to download. Check out the news on the frontpage. Stay happy, safe & healthy. Best wishes to California!
  • SoCal Rocker : Hello from Burbank CA, I had to change my name and PW. How's anyone doing?
  • Rocktopia Te : @davidputnam: Could you please check your email? Many thanks & best regards, RT
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90 and received paypal receipt, but cant find in downloads. Please advise.
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90, but cant find in Downloads. i have the paypal receipt.
  • Berny : @rarock: Glad we were able to sort this out. Thanks for your purchase!
  • rarock : Hi there. I have similar problem with Issue 90, payed by Paypal, but doesnt show in Orders or in Downloads. Thanks for help
  • KI2000 : Thanks Fireworks Magazine and Rocktopia!
  • Hysteria : WOW! Thanks to the Fireworks Team for this AMAZING offer. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!! \m/ \m/
  • Rocktopia Te : Check out the Fireworks Magazine Corona quarantine give - away!
  • Johns Band : Royal Hunt new concept album in the works to be released in 2020.
  • Berny : @WardyS1: I will contact you by e - mail.
  • WardyS1 : Hi. Also purchased 90 couple days back but not in my orders have receipt. Cannot find an email to contact instead link sorry
  • Rocktopia Te : @tomandpam: Hope this is now sorted and you were able to download the magazine
  • tomandpam : I ordered a download of #90 and it's not in my orders and I have the PayPal receipt. Can you help with this? Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Apologies for my late reply. Could you please contact me directly at «email» ? Many thanks in advance!
  • zom414 : Trying to change my password but the security question won't accept my answer, can you help?
  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us


This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site