Exposé Online banner

FM — Retroactive: FM Archives Volume 1
(Now See Hear NSHCD1194, 1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-08-01

Retroactive: FM Archives Volume 1 Cover art

This Canadian trio is probably best known for their three late-seventies LPs Black Noise, Headroom and Surveillance (the first of which saw CD reissue a couple years ago), sci-fi powered progressive rock semi-classics that should be of interest to most. Perhaps what made their sound so special was their unique lineup of keyboards/bass, mandolin/violin and drums, the mandolin taking the place of a guitar in the standard rock formation. Later albums increasingly drifted painfully toward a more typical eighties pop sound and away from their progressive roots, until they finally called it a day in the late eighties.

This live album documents their reunion concert in November 1994 (on the occasion of the CD release of Black Noise). The performance here is flawless (unlike bootleg tapes I'd heard of their shows from 78/79, I might add), featuring the original trio (Cameron Hawkins, Martin Deller and Nash the Slash - bandages and all). Two songs from Black Noise, three from Surveillance, and two from City of Fear (the 4th album), plus two previously unreleased tracks that sound close to their early-eighties style, and a cover of "Baba O'Riley" originally by The Who. But that's not the whole story: Track #1 is an impressive interactive CD Rom track that features live concert footage of five (!) of the songs from the audio portion of the disc, solo footage from all three members (including an awesome violin freak-out by Nash), and historical information about the band and each of their albums, making this disc an absolute must have for both the longtime fan and newbie alike.


Filed under: Archives, Issue 10, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): FM

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tomasz Stanko Quartet - Lontano – Piano tinkling in the moonlight of a muted trumpet stutter, Miles Davis' lighter moments. Very easygoing and mellow music, perhaps best served with a fine cognac and some throw pillows in front of a...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues