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This weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… System 7 October 17, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

Still talking about prog – sort of – three weeks in. System 7, successor, in a sense, to 1970s progressive band Gong, with both Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy of the latter both members. And perhaps one of the very very few examples of a successful crossover from 70s rock to dance and electronica (I guess one could say that Robert Plants Strange.. wasn’t a bad attempt, albeit one which used slightly dated sounds, and er… that’s about it). In part perhaps that is because Hillage did the sensible thing of bringing his guitar with him and using it as a part, albeit highly modified part, of the overall sound.

So what particular stretch of electronica and dance did they occupy? Ambient dance, needless to say. And cleverly they also linked up with a broad range of other artists in System 7 in order to extend the scope of the music. So one will see the likes of Youth and others appear on board System 7.

The album that I most consistently return to is Power of 7 from 1996, in part because the lead off track, Interstate is a fantastic reworking/homage to Neu’s Hallogalloo (and unsurprisingly credited to both Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother on the album). But that’s only part of it, the other tracks are equally strong. Carl Craig is involved in Civilization, Derrick May appears on Big Sky City and Alex Patterson lends a hand on Davy Jones’ Locker.

To be honest one of my favourite series of tracks they did was that for the Lawnmower Man computer game (which was ported to the Mac around ’97 or so), a sort of soundtrack (based loosely on the gruesome movie of the same name) which for some reason isn’t available on disc or download. There’s just something about the glissando guitarwork set against the throbbing beat which I like. Ah, nostalgia. I’m sure it’ll surface in some form some day soon (actually it has, but one has to go looking and to be honest and maybe I’m showing my age, I like the artist to get money for stuff, even if it’s deleted or out of print…).



Big Sky City (System 7 vs. Derrick May)

Cyberwar trailer feat: Cyberboogie (music by System 7)


1. Starkadder - October 17, 2009

Wasn’t Hillage an influence on Simple Minds’ earliest
-and best-work?


WorldbyStorm - October 17, 2009

That I can believe. I still treasure the first two or three SM albums. Great great stuff.


2. EWI - October 19, 2009

Never heard of them, but they sound like complete Mac-heads (“System 7” was a release of the old Mac OS, and “Power” was the name of the CPU powering Macs for fifteen years…)


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