Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Jack Nitzsche - Here Come the Helicopters (Starman Soundtrack)(1984)

It's been a wild summer, but is time to start wrapping up the semi-daily updates to the #SummerOfFM. There are still many more FM tracks waiting to be added to this list, and I will continue to post them as I find them, but the bulk of the posting, and the nightly research sessions to find the perfect track will have to take a back seat to some other things now as this summer comes to a close.

So what better time to post a fairly ambient cinematic track from 1984 to really showcase some of the grit of the Synclavier brand of FM. It's been a while since I have seen Starman, and I certain don't remember it being this synthy of a score. Checking it out again now makes me infinitely more interested in re-watching the movie. There is something very enticing about this much synth and the fairly drab 80s trucker mountain road setting of the movie.

As for the track itself, you have to love that grimy pulsating FM staccato drone that keeps coming in and out. It's so perfectly Synclavier sounding.

I've got at least one other definitely track I want to share before I let the #SummerOfFM take a vacation. But I gotta say thanks to everyone who's shared in the fun by checking these tracks out over the summer.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Kodomo Band - Heart of Madness (Fist of the North Star Soundtrack) (1986)

This is actually one of the few anime's I saw back in the day. Back when blockbuster would have an entire Anime section of VHS tapes. This was one of my absolutely favourites because of how unbelievably violent and well animated it was. Because it was a condensed version of the first 24 episodes of the TV series "Hokuto No Ken" (which is even more amazing then the movie), the story never really made much sense to me as a kid. But what did make sense was this song.

It plays right during a montage, where the hero, Kenshiro is stoically on his way to fight the main villain, Raoh. It always serves to get me just a little bit hyped up, so I have had it on my pre-tournament sports playlists for a few years now. It never disappoints.

I must admit, I am not 100% sure this is FM bass. If it isn't I am not sure what it actually is. It's not even particularly good FM bass either way. But this track is a gem, and one that is getting shared right now!

You are already FM Bassed! Omae wa mō shindeiru

Amy Grant - Stepping in Your Shoes (1985)


This track has everything you want in a dark horse 80s mega hit. Fantastic lead vocals, killer hooks, synth, and of course some FM BAAAAAAAASS! They seem to be layering the FM Bass with a real bass here, which seems like the take away secret move from the 80s. Where you don't just have the FM Bass or the real bass on their own, but you layer them together by carefully slotting the EQ and then sending them to a dedicated compressor buss. I am only using my ears to determine this, but when you have spent an entire summer analyzing whether a bass is FM or not, you kind of get an ear for it. I hear real bass articulation, but I also hear FM bass style sploinks and that warm metallic flavour (wouldn't be 80s otherwise.)

This is a really understated track, but there is nothing at all stopping it from becoming a regular track in your rotation. Do your self a favour and just hit play! Do it! Do it now!