S IS FOR SYSTEM 7 (Pt 2)

The previous System 7 post focused on their very early output, when it was more of a collborative effort, particularly the involvement of Alex Paterson from The Orb in 1991. This post focuses on their slightly later work (1994), when it was much more clearly Steve Hillage’s and Miquette Giraudy’s act.

I remember seeing them play at a small venue in Brixton in the early 90s. I was quite excited because of the first album. But they were a bit noodly. Quite psychadelic though. From a 2008 interview in troubled diva:
What’s the balance between pre-recorded and live?
Well, obviously some stuff is pre-programmed. It has to be, because we’re not people with twenty arms. But I think that System 7 are about as live as it gets with techno music. A lot of what you hear is actually being played by us, with our fingers, on instruments. That’s one of the things that makes our live show quite special. We’ve been working on ways to fit electric guitar with techno music for getting on for twenty years now, and we’ve got pretty good at it.
I would imagine you get a very diverse audience at your gigs: everyone from young clubbers to old proggers. Do they find a common cause?
Yeah, if they like System 7, that’s their common cause! Jolly good, you know?
It seems to me that you’ve always been motivated by a certain strain of idealism, and it sounds like it hasn’t dimmed or altered much over the years. Do you still abide by the same sort of ideals and values that were motivating you thirty years ago?
Pretty much. I mean, I wouldn’t like to think I was fossilised; I like to keep an open mind. But my overall view of the world hasn’t shifted massively. The main thing is that our music has evolved. We don’t sing; we don’t do lyrics any more; we try and put it in the sound, and the music, and the beats. We still seek to elevate people. That’s what I think is one of the main functions of music, and we take that function on whole-heartedly. We enjoy it, and we think that if we’re enjoying it then everybody else will. If we get elevated by it, everyone else will.
Just one final question: like every hack in a hurry, I went to your Wikipedia page. I wasn’t sure whether it was someone on Wikipedia having a laugh, but did you really compose the theme tune to Channel 4’s Friday Night Project?
Channel 4’s Friday Night Project have used a fragment of one of our tracks. They’ve licensed it, and we’ve earned a considerable amount of money. So long may they continue to use it, because they keep paying!

These tracks are more representative of their 1994/95 work, which has a more strongly techno edge:

System 7 – Sirenes 7.1 (Carl Craig Remix)  

System 7 – Interstate (Exploding Plastic Mainline Mix) by David Holmes  

System 7 – Depth Disco (Extended Mix)*  

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* – pedants will tell me that Depth Disco dates from ’91, which it does. But it always sounded out of step then and more in keeping later.

~ by acidted on November 15, 2009.

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