Monday, November 29, 2010

Lost In Space (Reel To Reel Obscurities) - (2001)

In the Seventies/Eighties, Nash the Slash played with Cameron Hawkins and Martin Deller in a band called "FM". This 78 minute CD features a selection of reel-to-reel obscurities: lost tapes and unreleased gems by this trio, who specialized in a fusion brand of progrock. This collection begins with an extended version of Black Noise that possesses a savage passage of multi-layered violins amid the profusion of keyboards and analog apparatus and the searing mandolin solos. Vocals are supplied by both Nash and Hawkins. Phasers on Stun displays a more delicate sensibility with fluid mandolin cascading through a nest of nimble fingered keyboards that grows into an incredible wall of sound. Glockenspiel enhances One O'clock Tomorrow, another soft (almost elfin) piece. Mandolin enters to attribute a distinct Canterbury sound to the music. Vocals thread their way between the instrumental passages, with a growling bass undercurrent. The Who's classic Baba O'Riley has long been a fiery mainstay in Nash's solo live concerts; here you hear its original, sparser inception with FM. Sans percussion, this version features livelier keyboard tracks than the familiar loop that allows most listener's to instantly recognize the song. The next four tracks are from the mid-Eighties demos from FM's reformation in preparation for their Contest album. They are stripped-down takes, displaying the melodies in simpler performances. Friends and Neighbors shows its techno-pop roots, while the band's cover version of the Animal's It's My Life is decidedly darker than expected. Finishing up the CD is a stunning live version (from 1977) of King Crimson's Starless that demonstrates just as much power as the original. Nash's mandolin achieves unbelievably ecstatic heights duplicating Fripp's masterful guitar peaks. The collection also includes five hidden bonus tracks.

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