Mike Atkinson

System 7, Nottingham Rescue Rooms, Friday February 15th

Posted in gigs, Nottingham Post, Rescue Rooms by Mike A on February 15, 2008

As trance/techno audiences go, System 7’s are one of the least typical. For every fresh-faced, lithe-limbed club kid, you could count at least two or three more seasoned souls in their late forties (and all points upwards), doubtless partly drawn by Steve Hillage’s 1970s prog-rock pedigree.

Accompanied by long term partner and fellow Gong survivor Miquette Giraudy on keyboards and associated knob-twiddling, Hillage added that rarest of ingredients to a dance event: live electric guitar. A thousand miles away from the florid, noodly flailings of his prog days, his playing is more ambient and textural these days: another ingredient in the mix, rather than the over-arching dominant sound.

There’s not much to look at during a System 7 gig. Both performers remained fairly static throughout, bearing benign half-smiles of concentration that sometimes lapsed into scrunched-up expressions of outright bliss. The music ranged from the chilled to the pounding, with the accent on the latter, but the rich, intricate over-layering of the melodies prevented the underlying rhythms from ever becoming oppressive.

Selections from the recently released Phoenix album were blended into the mix throughout, with HinotoriSpace Bird and particularly the Gong-sampling Strange Beings galvanising this uniquely diverse crowd.

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