FM-BX Society Tape 001 LP
The first and only vinyl edition of the FM-BX Society Tape 001. Originally released in 1981 only on cassette, with a limited run of 200, FM-BX 001 was the first in a series of compilation tapes released by the staff of a radio station in Brussels, Belgium. Needless to say, not many tapes made it around, and very few survive today. I'd say that is a shame but with this vinyl release, the word will get out about the bands on this tape, albeit a few decades after its initial release!
FM-BX 001 features three bands, two from Belgium, one from Scotland. The Belgium bands are Isolation Ward and Unit 4. Isolation Ward are known in underground synth collector circles, as they had a bit of a run after their debut on this release. Bleak and futuristic, Isolation Ward fuse post punk with early 80s synth sounds and a DIY approach.
The big surprise of FM-BX are the all-woman foursome Unit 4. Little is known about the band or their current whereabouts. No problem because their music is all you need to tell you that they had something special going. By their sound, the influences are obvious: Kleenex, Delta 5, and the Raincoats all reverberate here though less "slick" than any of those bands. Unit 4's aesthetics are more akin to the Petticoats and, at times, the Shaggs. Fans of current day lady singers Titmachine and the Dead Clodettes will dig. This is truly wonderful punk rock.
From Scotland comes the Topplers. If the name sounds familiar, it is doubtful that it is because of the band. One of the Topplers is a guy named Allan Henry, who runs the excellent DIY label Topplers Records. In fact, it is Allan who turned me on to FM-BX to begin with. His band The Topplers? Great stuff. Teens with an ear towards the TV Personalities, The Times, and Subway Sect. They only existed for a couple years but wound up on this tape and, as a result, with an opening slot for Golden Earing! These are the only recordings that exist. Had they come out at the time on a 7"s, I have no doubt DIY collectors would be fighting over copies.
500 pressed on vinyl. Brief liner notes by The Topplers' Allan Henry. (SS056)