FM Hi LOW
FM Hi Low is a unique mash-up of roots and electronic music that bridges the gap between the backwoods and the dance floor. It was founded in 2006 on the voice and multi-instrumental talents of musician Fraser MacDougall. Raised and currently residing in the multi-cultural landscape that is Montreal, MacDougall is a jazz-schooled, folk troubadour with a love for 90′s hip hop, vintage dub-reggae, dance floor pop and the electronic sound manipulations of modern dub-step and electronica. With a multitude of influences present in his songs, the genre bending style of FM HI Low can simply be described as movement music. Embracing the pop melody as a form of mass communication and bumping dance beats as a tool for positive change. Behind MacDougall’s catchy hooks lay lyrics that have a deep consciousness for the earth and generosity for the human spirit. His songs cary messages that are attuned to the protection and conservation of Canadian waterways, the slow food movement, human rights, and an overall joi de vivre.
Since its inception FM HI LOW has placed a strong focus on live performances and as a result has steadily been building a grass roots fan base all over North America. After the 2009 independent release of FM HI Low’s first album “Up On the Hillside” MacDougall assembled a cast of rotating characters to help him bring his multi-layered studio compositions to life. The stage band solidified into a four piece consisting of drummer Evan the Pirate, bassist Erik Schramek, and DJ Who, with MacDougall singing lead, playing guitar, keyboards and percussion. In 2010 this format toured from coast to coast Canada from Charlottetown, P.E.I to Haida Gwaii, BC (Queen Charlotte Islands), playing hundreds of shows from outdoor festivals to club dates, while travelling over 25, 000km in MacDougall’s 1977 Triple E, R.V. Delivering highly energetic performances that climaxed with thunderous drum jams, and closed with a cappella beatbox raps, a dynamic set that often received comparisons to the likes of the Beastie Boys. Since its inception FM HI Low has shared the stage with such diverse artists as: Shad, Mishka, Kinnie Star, The Wassibi Collective, Kreesha Turner, Apostle of Hustle, Chris Velan, the Wooden Sky, Aaron Nazrul & the Boom Booms, Grand Theft Bus, and many more. It is FM HI Low’s ability to win over any audience that has lead to much of its success thus far. With just an acoustic guitar and his unique voice MacDougall won the Odwalla performance contest at Coachella Festival 2010 in California, USA, which led to multiple feature performances at the Bonnaroo Festival 2010 In Tennessee, USA.
Dates at Canadian maritimes music festivals: Evolve (voted by CBC as Canada’s #1 Music Festival) and Feels Good Folly Fest have already been confirmed for July 2011 for which an east coast tour will ensue.
Now back in Montreal for the Winter of 2011 MacDougall is busy recording a new album with the help and dub-wise of producer Borza Ghomeshi (Afrodizz, Ramasutra, Lauryn Hill), bassist/composer Vander ( Les Colocs, Bass ma Boom), and the sequencing of DJ Henward. As a result the new album will lean more towards a slick production style, featuring heavy synth bass and processed drum sounds, while still maintaining that trademark FM HI Low organic feel established on “Up on the Hillside”. Singles from the upcoming album will be released on Itunes and new tracks will stream from www.fmhilow.com until a physical album release in June, 2011.
Most recently MacDougall has embraced the new computer software/hardware technologies utilized by some his electronic musical mentors like Flying Lotus, Rusko, Eskmo, and Shad, for his live performances. With what is sounds like at the focus of these live sets, MacDougall will trigger and manipulate his new and classic studio recordings while singing, playing guitar, keyboards, synth bass and dancing his ass off. Interacting with his audience in a way that can only be decried as The NEXT LEVEL. A duo sound system style set with Vander that highlights the more DUB and REGGAE aspects of FM HI Low is also in rotation around Quebec. The full four piece band is geared up and available under the FM HI Low moniker as well but MacDougall is reserving it for occasions of mass festivity, and larger venues.