System 7 - 777

I first had the pleasure of seeing Steve Hillage and his band perform at Leeds Polytechnic, England, when he was signed to Virgin and promoting his Green album back in the early eighties. Back then he was known as the Electric Gypsy and was way ahead of his time. Now, here I am, a million miles away and listening to his latest offering 777 and suddenly I realize the world and Steve Hillage are finally in sync.

The same hypnotic cycles that build up and up until they form unstoppable grooves combined with Miquette Giraudy's trademark synth loops grace this excellent recording, one that should please electronic music lovers of all ages.

But it's not all about VCA's and VCF's. Steve Hillage is after all a master of the long steel string, and as if from out of nowhere, three and a half minutes into the fourth track, his guitar does its thing. Going places where a synth doesn't care to it ties it all together while the barely restrained multifaceted echo follows close behind.

The Orb are credited as co-producers on a track, as is Youth (Killing Joke) on another, but you wouldn't know it. As far as I'm concerned any album without a track shorter than seven minutes and tons of luscious echo says Steve Hillage all over it.

Rating: 912,557 (out of a possible 1,000,000)