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5 Making Music Tips; System 7 (Steve Hillage)

Reported by JontySkrufff on May 31, 2011

With a vast cast of A list DJs supporting new single "PositiveNoise (including Ivan Smagghe- ‘A Monster’, Seth Troxler ‘totally next level’ and Radio Slave ‘Full support and chart to follow 10/10!") System 7 look assured of enjoying one of THE tracks for the (Northern hemisphere) summer 2011. 

Though remixer Carl Craig’s efforts are attracting the greatest plaudits, System 7’s mixes are equally popular, which is fitting given mainman Steve Hillage’s pedigree as one of electronic music’s key pioneers.

Making a name for himself initially as a virtuoso guitar player in the early 70s, Steve enjoyed various stints with the likes of psychedelic rock gurus Gong and Kevin Ayers' band Decadence, in the 80s going on to produce proto synth rock acts including Murray Head and Simple Minds. 

For Simple Minds he produced their tour de force early electronic albums Sons & Fascination and Sister Feelings Call which featured their classic instrumental Themes For Great Cities ( ). The track would later become a defining Balearic anthem championed by the likes of Paul Oakenfold preceding the immediate success he enjoyed with System 7 in 1990.

Soon afterwards, System 7’s Alphawave became one of the first definitive acid/ trance anthems, courtesy of a stunning (137 bpm) remix by then unknown Canadian contender Richie Plastikman Hawtin), launching System 7 into a 20 year still thriving career. Steve chatted to Skrufff this week, to share some of the secrets of his (music making) success. 

Skrufff: I make music because . . .

System 7 (Steve Hillage): “It comes naturally to me, I cannot imagine a situation where I would not be making music, and in some respects it’s a bit of an obsession.”

Skrufff: The best way to overcome a creative block is . . .

System 7 (Steve Hillage): “Go for a nice walk and see what pops into your mind.”

Skrufff: I started taking making music seriously when . . .

System 7 (Steve Hillage): “I got my first guitar at the age of 9 and started buying records.”

Skrufff: The best music making tip I ever heard was . . .

System 7 (Steve Hillage): “ ‘Stay with your thing’ (Jimi Hendrix).”

Skrufff: The secret of writing great music is . . .

System 7 (Steve Hillage): “Finding a great rough idea and then letting it "write itself".” 

System 7’s New video:- 

Album sound samples:- 

Jonty Skrufff: