Black Noise - (1977)
Mixing cold, mechanical instrumentation with the sizzle of keyboards, FM played an irregular style of progressive music that sounded isolated and pleasantly hollow. Even the warmth of Cameron Hawkins voice can't take away the harshness in the sound, which is why this album portrays mood so effectively. "Phasors on Stun" sounds like it's sung from the blackness of space, with piercing laser blasts shooting through the body of the song. "Hours" is a stellar array of synth, drums, and "effects" that musically casts an image of time travel, while "Slaughter in Robot Village" uses glockenspiel, electric violins, and mandolin to illustrate a battle between gigantic metal beasts. Nash the Slash uses his voice and his violins to conjure up a science fiction motif that is convincing through all eight songs. FM's music relies on loose structure and small surges of numerous instruments to create a large sound. Black Noise is a prime example of how well instruments can be used to convey, shape and utilize imagery.