Way back in the early 1980s two young guys by the names of 'Paul Barrett' & 'Steve Skipper' formed a Band of their very own... If my memory serves me correctly, Steve came up with the name, a sort of play-on words 'Facial Arts' into 'Fayshalarts'... cool.
We both had a common interest in the electronic music of that time,
influenced by the likes of OMD, Thomas Dolby, Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, Bill Nelson, The Human League and FadGadget to name but a small few,
so the direction that our music was going to take was already set,
we purchased some instruments and started making music.
In the beginning (1983) our setup was extremely basic,
the kit list comprising of just a Casio MT20, Jen SX1000, Siel Mono, Soundmaster SR88 Beat Box, Realistic 6 Channel mixer, sansui D90 Cassette Deck and an Akai 4000DS Reel to Reel.
Learning as we went along, the first few tracks sound quite comical now,
bum notes here and there with Steve's vocals sounding a bit on the rough side. One of the tracks from that era "Man In Grey" was actually played on a local Radio Station (Chiltern Radio) in a slot called "Hear The Music",
not bad for a couple of 16 year old amateurs eh!
Things changed for the better in 1985 with the purchase of a Roland SH-101.
I remember getting my Dad to drive me down to Tottenham Court Road in London to buy this awesome machine.
With the newly aquired SH-101 we were now able to sequence notes using the onboard 100 note sequencer, this in turn was clocked with the SR88 Drum Machine keeping everything in perfect timing. One of my favourite tracks from that time was 'You Must Go', this was also the very first track we used a WEM Copycat tape echo machine to enhance Stephens vocals... they sounded great!
In the January of 1985 we had sent a demo tape off to a music magazine called 'Electronic Soundmaker & Computer Music', they used to run a section within the mag for readers demos, and if you were succsessful you got your music published on their magazine cover cassette, with a track of ours called 'The Clown' we achieved 'Demo of the month' for February 1985, there was a small section written about us to.
July of 1985 we had taken a trip to a local recording studio, 'Thatched Cottage' at Thurleigh Bedfordshire, we had an additional member for that day... a charming young lady by the name of Christine Knight, Christine was to sing on one of the tracks with Stephen, it was a remake of an earlier track we had done called 'Like Loving You', it came out quite well... although we do still prefer the original.
Moving forward to 1987-90 with some new equipment: Roland Juno6, MC202, MXR/TR707/TR808 Drum Machines, a Tascam PortOne and a Vestafire MR10B PortaStudio. At this point in time we were very compitent around the keyboards, sequencers and drum programming techniques, we also had a good ear for sound production, creation and final mixing. With tracks such as 'Nothing Changes' ' Dream Street' and 'Push' all emerging from that era.
Early 1991 we purchased an Amiga 500 computer and discovered the wonderful world of trackers (Pro tracker and Octamed) quickly discovering that making music using a computer was a huge step-up from what we had been used to. We purchased a casio VZ-1 (Early Multi-Timbral Synth), a Midi interface and a sofware package called Music-X, although neither of us ever got on with that software so just ended up using the casio as a Midi controller for the Pro-Tracker 2.0 software.
Moving on three to years to 1994, still using the Amiga and a host of new toys... Akai X7000, Casio CZ101, Casio CZ5000, Boss DR550 Mk2, Juno 106, Tascam 464 and a few FX units. (we'd amassed more equipment than The London Rock Shop !)
We decided towards the end of 1999 to make some serious changes to our set-up, we added the following: Roland JP8000, MC303, MC505, korg N5EX, Tascam 488 MK2 , 2 x Yamaha SU10's plus loads of outboard gear and a new computer (PC).
Current equipment up to 2017: Roland Boutique JP-08, JU-06, JX-03, Korg EMX2, Boutique TB-03, Korg Volca Sample, Roland System-1, Aira TB-3 & TR-8, Novation MiniNova, Arturia Microbrute, Arturia Beatstep Pro, MAM MB-33 Retro, Roland SH01 & The M-Audio Venom synthesizer.