Category Archives: Steve Hillage

Guitar Legend Steve Hillage To Release 22-Disc Career Spanning Box Set “Searching For The Spark” – October 21, 2016

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For Immediate Release

Guitar Legend Steve Hillage To Release 22-Disc Career Spanning Box Set “Searching For The Spark” – October 21, 2016

London, UK – “Searching For The Spark” is a 22-disc box set celebrating the work of award-winning guitarist, Steve Hillage.

Since he began playing guitar in the early 1960s, through his time with Gong and beyond as a solo artist and one half of System 7, Steve Hillage has embodied what it means to be a truly progressive musician.

One of the most respected and beloved players arising from the Canterbury Scene, “Searching For The Spark” shines a spotlight on his solo work, chronicling his very first recording in 1969 through to 1991’s self-titled debut with System 7.

In addition to gathering his eight solo albums, “Searching For The Spark” also houses seven albums of live material and no less than four discs of demos and archive recordings, many previously unreleased, direct from Steve’s own personal collection.

Brimming with rare photos, press clippings, reviews and commentary from Hillage himself, the box set includes a lavish, hardback 188 page book documenting Steve’s life and times written, with Steve’s full co-operation, by acknowledged Gong expert, Jonny Greene.

Musical Highlights from “Searching For The Spark” include:

* Over 40 minutes of previously unavailable material from 1972’s Khan mkII line-up.

* Numerous rarities from Hillage’s archive of demo recordings ranging from pre-“Fish Rising” through to post- “For To Next”.

* Unfinished tracks from the ’80s and numerous demos leading up to System 7 also shed new light on Hillage’s pioneering work as a composer and ambient musician.

“Searching For The Spark” is an ambitious, immensely detailed retrospective.

For existing fans, it offers unprecedented access to the guitarist’s archives. For the new generations coming to Hillage through his ongoing work with System 7, it provides everything needed to explore Steve’s unique musical universe. For old and new admirers alike, everything from his formative years to his mature work as an unflinchingly forward-looking musician is gathered together in one truly encyclopaedic collection.

“Searching For The Spark” is nothing less than the definitive statement upon an impressively rich and diverse career.

The set includes:

• Arzachel.

• Khan’s Space Shanty, 1972.

• All eight of Hillage’s classic Virgin Records solo albums – Fish Rising, L, Motivation Radio, Green, Open (and Studio Herald), Rainbow Dome Music, Open, For To Next (and its companion And Not Or) – plus bonus tracks.

• System 7 (first album).

• Live in Deeply Vale, 1978.

• Two BBC performances from The Paris Theatre recorded in December 1976 and November 1979.

• Eight CDs featuring recordings taken from Steve’s personal archive, including four superb concert performances (Brighton Dome November 1977, Munich April 1979, Hammersmith Odeon November 1979, The Steve Hillage Band Live At The Gong Family Unconvention 2006) and four discs (Sparks Volumes 1-4) packed with previously unheard and unreleased tracks, demos and alternate takes.

Accompanying the recordings is a magnificent 188 page 32,000 word coffee table book. Written and assembled by Steve Hillage and Gong family expert Jonny Greene, the book contains hundreds of rare and previously unseen photographs and cuttings.

In addition there are three reproduction promo posters, two lyric booklets, a high quality enamel badge, a 60 page scrap book containing more photographs and cuttings, and a certificate of authenticity signed by Steve Hillage and his creative partner Miquette Giraudy.

Please note that this superb Steve Hillage package is strictly limited to 2500 copies globally!

Watch the promotional video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_v8-bXwxsMI

To pre-order “Searching For The Spark”: http://www.madfishmusic.com/artists/steve-hillage

Steve Hillage media source page: http://www.madfishmusic.com/media/steve-hillage

Steve Hillage official website: http://www.stevehillage.com

For more information: http://www.madfishmusic.com

Press inquiries (North America): Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

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Keyboard Legend Rick Wakeman To Release “Starship Trooper” Compilation Feat. Steve Hillage, Nik Turner, Steve Howe, William Shatner and Others!

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For Immediate Release

Keyboard Legend Rick Wakeman To Release “Starship Trooper” Compilation Feat. Steve Hillage, Nik Turner, Steve Howe, William Shatner and Others!

Los Angeles – On April 15th Purple Pyramid records will be releasing an out of this world collection of extraordinary performances by legendary YES keyboardist Rick Wakeman! For more than four decades Rick Wakeman has established himself as a visionary showman without peer, the creator of some of the most extravagant performances, breathtaking soloing and imaginative passages ever preserved on record, or executed on stage.

Aptly titled “Starship Trooper”, this amazing collection contains 2 previously unreleased tracks including a powerful rendition of Tool’s “Sober” plus several more brilliant cover songs of The Who, Pink Floyd, and The Doors including 5 never before heard versions! The compilation also includes performances by Gong’s Steve Hillage, Yes’s Billy Sherwood, Steve Howe and Tony Kaye, William Shatner, Colin Moulding, Jerry Goodman, Nik Turner, Carmine Appice and more!

“Over the last few years I have performed on many tracks as a ‘guest’ but never before has anybody put some of the best of those I played on into a compilation. It’s always challenging to be involved in tracks of other people’s music and other people’s arrangements as it often makes you think and play differently and certainly on many of these tracks I play in quite an unexpected way, but there again, much of my life has been pretty unexpected anyway!” – Rick Wakeman

The liner notes were written by modern rock scholar Dave Thompson, who says of Rick Wakeman, “This most personable of superstars has made inroads into the worlds of journalism, broadcasting and acting – professions which his eye for spectacle, story telling and stylishness might well have made inevitable all along. But he also happens to be among the most gifted, visionary and brilliant performers his chosen instruments have seen.”

Track List:
1. Sober
2. Are We To Believe
3. Random Acts (Revisited)
4. Dynamics Of Delirium
5. Love Reign O’er Me
6. Crime Of The Century
7. The Great Gig In The Sky
8. I’m Not in Love
9. Starship Trooper
10. Check Point Karma
11. Change
12. Nobody Home
13. Light My Fire

Rick Wakeman’s official website: http://www.rwcc.com/

Buy the CD: http://flyt.it/RickWakemanCD
Download the digital version: http://flyt.it/RickWakemanDig

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com

CLEOPATRA RECORDS, Inc.
11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025
http://www.CleopatraRecords.com


Guitar Legend Steve Hillage To Issue Unreleased Concert Recording “Live In Madison Square Garden 1977”

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For Immediate Release

Guitar Legend Steve Hillage To Issue Unreleased Concert Recording “Live In Madison Square Garden 1977”

London, UK – Steve Hillage is one of the most idiosyncratic and instantly recognisable guitarists in the world. Associated with the Canterbury scene, he has worked in experimental domains since the late 1960s. Besides his critically acclaimed solo recordings, along with prog legends Gong, Steve has been a member of the ensembles Khan and System 7. And now, much to the excitement of Steve Hillage fans worldwide, Cleopatra Records will be releasing a vintage concert recording from 1977 of his band in concert at Madison Square Garden in NYC!

Says Steve, “This was a great performance from another fine period of my band in the late ’70s. This was my first tour of the US – Gong never played there while I was in the band in the seventies. It wasn’t my first visit to the US though – my first visit was in 1976 when I went to record ‘L’ at Todd Rundgren’s studio, near Woodstock, New York. Madison Square Garden in New York is an iconic major venue, so it was a fantastic honor to play there! We were playing to audiences who mostly didn’t know our music too well, so we just let rip and went for it. The band was really firing!!!”

“Live In Madison Square Garden 1977” is culled from a crystal clear soundboard recording that captures Hillage at the height of his powers with performances from his second solo album “L”, including a psychedelic cover of Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man” plus the epic length “Hurdy Gurdy Glissando,” “Lunar Musick Suite” and more! Also included are superb bonus studio tracks that feature exclusive versions of Hillage’s recent recording collaborations with keyboard legend Rick Wakeman and world renowned actor William Shatner!

“Todd Rundgren came to the Madison Square Garden show,” Hillage remembers, “and I’m pretty sure he joined our sound engineer at the mixing desk and added some extra Harmonizer drum effects to ‘It’s All Too Much’. It certainly sounds like that on the recording! I was waiting for a good moment to release this US gig recording in the US on an American label. Cleopatra, with whom I’ve had a long relationship, asked me if I had any good available archive material and it immediately struck me that this moment had arrived!”

Steve Hillage first came to prominence as a member of the multi-national rock band Gong. Steve appeared on successful albums such as ‘Angels Egg’, ‘You’ and his final album with the band ‘Shamal’. Steve recorded his first solo album in 1975 entitled ‘Fish Rising’. This album was recorded whilst still a member of Gong. Shortly after however, Steve and his partner Miquette Giraudy left Gong embarking on a career that continues to this day under the name System 7.

In 1976 Steve recorded the album ‘L’, which was produced by Todd Rundgren. The album was a huge success and Steve subsequently formed the first Steve Hillage Band, which included former Jethro Tull drummer Clive Bunker and future Camel bassist Colin Bass. The band made its live debut at the Hyde Park concert staged by Queen in September 1976. From 1976 to 1979, Steve Hillage released several critically acclaimed albums and toured the world.

Steve Hillage’s “Live In Madison Square Garden 1977” is available on CD in a mini-LP sleeve and a special limited edition opaque orange vinyl pressing with full color insert and sleeve!

System 7 website: http://www.a-wave.com/system7/

To purchase Steve Hillage’s “Live In Madison Square Garden 1977”:
CD: http://flyt.it/SteveHillageCD
Vinyl: http://flyt.it/SteveHillageLP

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com

CLEOPATRA RECORDS, Inc.
11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025
http://www.CleopatraRecords.com


Guitar Legend Steve Hillage Releases ‘Live At The Rainbow 1977’ CD

Steve Hillage Live At The Rainbow 1977

For Immediate Release

Guitar Legend Steve Hillage Releases ‘Live At The Rainbow 1977’ CD

London, UK – Steve Hillage is one of the most idiosyncratic and instantly recognizable guitarists in the world. Associated with the Canterbury scene, he has worked in experimental domains since the late 1960s. Besides his critically acclaimed solo recordings, along with prog legends Gong, Steve has been a member of the ensembles Khan and System 7. And now, much to the excitement of Steve Hillage fans worldwide, Gonzo MultiMedia UK has released ‘Steve Hillage – Live At The Rainbow 1977’ CD on June 23, 2014!

Says Steve, “I’m really happy to finally release this full live recording – it’s amazing how sharp and fresh it still sounds today!”

Steve Hillage first came to prominence as a member of the multi-national rock band Gong. Steve appeared on successful albums such as ‘Angels Egg’, ‘You’ and his final album with the band ‘Shamal’. Steve recorded his first solo album in 1975 entitled ‘Fish Rising’. This album was recorded whilst still a member of Gong. Shortly after however, Steve and his partner Miquette Giraudy left Gong embarking on a career that continues to this day under the name System 7.

In 1976 Steve recorded the album ‘L’, which was produced by Todd Rundgren. The album was a huge success and Steve subsequently formed the first Steve Hillage Band, which included former Jethro Tull drummer Clive Bunker and future Camel bassist Colin Bass. The band made its live debut at the Hyde Park concert staged by Queen in September 1976.

From 1976 to 1979, Steve Hillage released several critically acclaimed albums and toured the world. This album shows the guitar icon at the top of his game, playing a classic show at the Rainbow Theatre in London in 1977 featuring songs from the album ‘Motivation Radio’, which was the follow up to ‘L’, and an amazing American rhythm section. It contains glorious, life affirming music, which is as spiritual and uplifting now as it was when recorded nearly 40 years ago.

Tracks:
Octave Doctors
It’s All Too Much
Light In The Sky
Radio
Electrick Gypsies
The Salmon Song
Solar Musick Suite (Part 2)
Motivation
Saucer Surfing
Searching For The Spark
Hurdy Gurdy Man

Steve currently sees his System 7, Mirror System, and Steve Hillage Band entities as operating in parallel and has been writing some new rock-based material for a possible Steve Hillage Band album for release in 2014/15. System 7 and Japanese psychedelic progressive jam-band ROVO released a new CD in September 2013. To hear samples of the new album: http://rovoandsystem7.bandcamp.com/

To purchase Steve Hillage ‘Live At The Rainbow 1977’ CD: http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15686/Steve_Hillage-Live_at_the_Rainbow_1977.html

For more information: http://www.a-wave.com/system7/

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

Steve Hillage is available for interviews – please contact Glass Onyon PR.


Progressive Rock Central Interview with Steve Hillage

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Interview with Visionary Guitarist Steve Hillage
BY ANGEL ROMERO – NOVEMBER 3, 2013
POSTED IN: INTERVIEWS

British guitarist and electronic music trailblazer Steve Hillage has been at the forefront of various music trends in the past decades. He was one of the pioneers of psychedelic progressive rock and later became involved in various forms of cutting edge electronic music.
Currently, Steve Hillage continues to surprise with his new projects. The most recent is a collaboration with Japanese band Rovo. Hillage’s System 7 and Rovo have released the superbPhoenix Rising (G-Wave Records, 2013). For those interested in taking at Steve Hillage’s earlier material, Gonzo Multimedia recently released two live albums: Live at the Gong Family Unconvention 2006 at the Melkweg Amsterdam, and Steve Hillage Live In England 1979.

Steve Hillage discusses the Rovo collaboration and his other projects with Progressive Rock Central’s Angel Romero.

How did you connect with Japanese band Rovo?

We first saw Rovo at a Japanese festival in 2002 and subsequently became friends with them, partly through one of the team that do our System 7 animation videos who was also working with Rovo as a VJ. Yuji Katsui, the Rovo main man, who plays electric violin has guested on some our records in including Gong’s 2032album and our System 7 album Up. Back in 2010 we were discussing with Rovo what we could do in exchange for Yuji’s recording work, thinking they would like a remix from us or something like that. But they said “let’s do a collaborative tour together – that can be the exchange”. And we said “OK”. The eventual tour in Japan in 2011 went really well, and we found the way we managed to shift between dance rhythms and completely live stuff to be really innovative. So after the tour we decided to make an album together.

For the full interview, please visit the Progressive Rock Central website!


Guitar Legend Steve Hillage to Release New ROVO and System 7 Rock-orientated Album ‘Phoenix Rising’

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For Immediate Release

Guitar Legend Steve Hillage to Release New ROVO and System 7 Rock-orientated Album ‘Phoenix Rising’

London, UK – Much to the excitement of music fans worldwide, guitar legend Steve Hillage is releasing a new album in the US with Japanese progressive rock/jam band ROVO on October 8, 2013 on Cleopatra Records. Steve Hillage is widely considered a guitar innovator, and is associated with the Canterbury scene, working in experimental domains since the late 1960s. Besides his critically acclaimed solo recordings, Steve has been a member of the ensembles Khan and System 7. But, he first came to prominence as a member of the multi-national rock band Gong, and appearing on successful albums such as ‘Angels Egg’, ‘You’ and his final album with the band ‘Shamal’. Steve recorded his first solo album in 1975 entitled ‘Fish Rising’. This album was recorded whilst still a member of Gong. Shortly after however, Steve and his partner Miquette Giraudy left Gong embarking on a career that continues to this day under the name System 7.

SYSTEM 7 is the music project of Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy, presenting a unique combination of tech-house beats and live musicianship, who have had a strong influence on the development of psychedelic ambient and electronica. ROVO are a popular Japanese progressive rock/jam band. They feature two drummers, funky bass and innovative keyboards and are fronted by guitarist Seiichi Yamamoto (formerly with The Boredoms) and masterful electric violinist Yuji Katsui.

Says Steve, “Working with the brilliant rock/jam band ROVO has given me a fantastic opportunity to combine my work as a producer with my lead guitar playing – I haven’t played so many long solos on a record for decades!”

THE ALBUM

After a groundbreaking tour of Japan in 2011 and a successful Tokyo show at O-East, System 7 and ROVO decided to take the project further by recording a Phoenix Rising studio album. The album was recorded in Tokyo in September 2012, and was completed in January and February 2013 with overdubs in Steve Hillage’s London studio, and final mixing in Tokyo. The album will be released on October 8, 2013 in the USA. The first single, “Hinotori”, was released in June 2013 as a digital download (on iTunes etc), a Ltd Edition CD/EP, and now with a brilliant live/animation video on YouTube: http://youtu.be/2R5F3OZO-Z0

Phoenix Rising features original collaborations from System 7 and ROVO. It also includes a new arrangement of “Meeting of the Spirits” by the Mahavishnu Orchestra – a perfect showcase for the album’s astonishing blend of guitar and electric violin.

ALBUM TRACK-BY-TRACK

  1. Hinotori (Album Version) – a reworking of the brilliant ROVO live rock adaptation of System 7’s “Hinotori”, fully based on the live band with soaring guitar and violin solos.
  2. Love for the Phoenix – A techno tour de force loosely based on the classic System 7 track “Habibi” from the first System 7 album (1991) but made with a completely new beat and overlayed with live playing and violin. A powerful emotion is employed that evokes the suffering and spirit of rebirth in Japan’s recent national tragedy, and the heart-based symbolism of the Phoenix.
  3. Meeting of the Spirits – a simplified cover version of the iconic Mahavishnu Orchestra track, showcasing the fantastic blend of lead guitar and electric violin, and also displaying the extraordinary beats of the two ROVO drummers.
  4. Cisco (Phoenix Rising) – an epic live ROVO track in the “Krautrock” spirit of Can and Neu, with one of the trippiest tempo changes of all time, and featuring an intricate middle section composed by Steve Hillage.
  5. Unbroken – an electro/breakbeat track composed by System 7 that starts completely programmed and switches to completely live playing around the same theme, with another Mahavishnu-style guitar and electric violin melody
  6. Sino Dub (Phoenix Rising) – another live ROVO track combined for Phoenix Rising with a techno trance programmed beat in typical System 7 style.
  7. Unseen Onsen – A floating ambient track with lush live playing, composed by Miquette Giraudy in the Mirror System style.

Steve Hillage was recently awarded the “Visionary” Award at the Progressive Music Awards 2013 at Kew Gardens, West London, on September 3rd. The award was presented to Steve by author/actor/comedian Bill Oddie. Read more about the event at PROG magazine’s website: http://www.progrockmag.com/news/prog-awards-2013-the-winners/

LONDON, MANCHESTER AND AMSTERDAM 2014 CONCERTS

System 7 and ROVO are pleased to announce two 2014 UK concerts when they will perform works from their new album Phoenix Rising. The dates include Manchester Ritz on Friday 7th March and London o2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Saturday 8th March 2014. Tickets can be ordered Wednesday May 29th from http://www.musicglue.com/rovoandsystem7. Every ticket purchase will include a free 5-track mp3 download of the “Hinotori EP” featuring individual and collaborative tracks from both System 7 and ROVO. A third ROVO and System 7 Phoenix Rising concert is announced for the iconic Melkweg venue in Amsterdam on Thursday March 13th 2014. Info and tickets here: http://bit.ly/1djg8mL

PHOENIX RISING live is a combined show of System 7 and ROVO playing together, sometimes using the techno beats as the rhythmic basic and sometimes using the live drums, seamlessly morphing from one to the other. The concert will showcase some of the most sophisticated blends of electronic beats and live playing ever produced, made possible by the skilled musicianship of eight players. Fans of System 7’s Steve Hillage can be assured that in the format of Phoenix Rising his masterful electric guitar style is fully unleashed, with extensive soloing and duets with the electric violin of ROVO’s Yuji Katsui.

PHOENIX RISING – MUSICIANS

Steve Hillage [Guitar – Programming]
Miquette Giraudy [Synthesiser]
Yuji Katsui [Electric Violin]
Seiichi Yamamoto [Guitar]
Yasuhiro Yoshigaki [Drums]
Yoichi Okabe [Drums – Percussion]
Jin Harada [Bass Guitar]
Masuko Tatsuki [Keyboards]

For more information: http://g-wave.co.uk,
http://www.a-wave.com/system7/

To purchase ROVO and System 7 – Phoenix Rising’ CD:
http://georiot.co/3gaP
iTunes: http://georiot.co/2FII

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com
Steve Hillage interview requests please contact Billy James /Glass Onyon PR

CLEOPATRA RECORDS, Inc.
11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025
http://www.CleopatraRecords.com


Guitar Legend Steve Hillage Releases Rare ‘Live In England 1979’ CD/DVD Set!

steve hillage live in england 1979

For Immediate Release

Guitar Legend Steve Hillage Releases Rare ‘Live In England 1979’ CD/DVD Set!

London, UK – Steve Hillage is widely considered a guitar innovator, and is associated with the Canterbury scene, working in experimental domains since the late 1960s. Besides his critically acclaimed solo recordings, along with Gong, Steve has been a member of the ensembles Khan and System 7. Much to the excitement of his fans worldwide, Gonzo MultiMedia UK has released ‘Steve Hillage – Live In England 1979’ on a CD/DVD set!

Says Steve, “This was a great performance from another fine period of my band in the late ’70s with John McKenzie on bass and Andy Anderson on drums.”

Steve Hillage first came to prominence as a member of the multi-national rock band Gong. Steve appeared on successful albums such as ‘Angels Egg’, ‘You’ and his final album with the band ‘Shamal’. Steve recorded his first solo album in 1975 entitled ‘Fish Rising’. This album was recorded whilst still a member of Gong. Shortly after however, Steve and his partner Miquette Giraudy left Gong embarking on a career that continues to this day under the name System 7.

In 1976 Steve recorded the album ‘L’, which was produced by Todd Rundgren. The album was a huge success and Steve subsequently formed the first Steve Hillage Band, which included former Jethro Tull drummer Clive Bunker and future Camel bassist Colin Bass. The band made its live debut at the Hyde Park concert staged by Queen in September 1976.

From 1976 to 1979, Steve Hillage released several critically acclaimed albums and toured the world. Following the live debut of a new line-up, the Steve Hillage Band toured extensively throughout 1979. This CD/DVD set captures a stunning performance by this great line-up of the band! Playing with Steve are the ever-present Miquette Giraudy (synthesiser, vocals), John McKenzie (Bass, Vocals), Andy Anderson (Drums) and Dave Stewart (2nd Guitar). This is the line-up that recorded some of the live tracks and the studio side of Steve’s 1979 release Live Herald. The studio tracks from ‘Live Herald’ eventually came out on CD as part of the album ‘Open’.

The track listing to this historic 1979 performance from the Steve Hillage Band includes: “Salmon Song”, “Unzipping the Zype”, “Hurdy Gurdy Man”, “1988 Aktivator”, “Unidentified Flying Being”, and “It`s All Too Much”.

Bonus tracks on the CD include “Hurdy Gurdy Glissando” (live 1977) and “Electrick Gypsies” (live 1977), recorded with the ‘L’ tour line-up.

Bonus material on the DVD includes two short promo videos for “Radio” and “Light in the Sky” (from the album ‘Motivation Radio’) and a more recent in-depth interview with Steve and Miquette.

Steve currently sees his System 7, Mirror System, and Steve Hillage Band entities as operating in parallel and has been writing some new rock-based material for a possible Steve Hillage Band album for release in 2014/15. System 7 and Japanese psychedelic progressive jam-band ROVO will be releasing a new CD in September 2013. To hear samples of the new album: http://rovoandsystem7.bandcamp.com/

To purchase Steve Hillage ‘Live In England 1979’ CD/DVD set: http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15541/Steve_Hillage-Live_in_England_1979.html

For more information: http://www.a-wave.com/system7/

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

Steve Hillage is available for interviews – please contact Glass Onyon PR.


Something Else! Review – Steve Hillage Band – Live at Gong Family Unconvention, Amsterdam

by Nick DeRiso

Even as Steve Hillage paid tribute to the psychedelic rock band Gong in 2006 at the Melkweg in Amsterdam, he also took a lengthy look back at his own underrated solo work from the 1970s.

Live at Gong Family Unconvention, Amsterdam, due in both CD and DVD formats on September 10, 2012, from Gonzo MultiMedia, focuses on the latter — as the Steve Hillage Band, which hadn’t appeared on together in some 25 years, performed tracks from 1975′s Fish Rising, 1976′s L, 1977′s Motivation Radio, and 1983′s For To Next.

What those solo albums did, this live set makes clear, is point the way for Hillage’s transition from volcanically inventive guitar player to a quirk-filled innovator behind the boards. Before he would go on to work as a producer (Simple Minds, the Charlatans, Murray Head and Robyn Hitchcock) and then architect of ambient techno (System 7), Hillage would issue a series of recordings that focused more on imaginative band interplay and textured arrangements.

The guitar work is often a long time coming, though when it finally arrives, there are these pupil-dilating outbursts of kaleidoscopic sounds — each of them their own undeniably persuasive argument for a long-awaited return to Hillage band projects.

Hillage, a member of Gong from 1973-75 before going solo, is joined here by longtime writing partner, keyboard player and vocalist Miquette Giraudy; former Gong sideman Mike Howlett (also bassist on Fish Rising); and Chris Taylor, who began playing drums with Gong in the 1990s.

Their set begins, as it perhaps must, with trippy dash through Motivation Radio’s “Hello Dawn” — with its signature bliss-rock line “Goodbye to old! Hello to the new … dimension!,” and a concluding guitar solo that sounds like re-entering too steeply from deep space — before Hillage and Co. catch a muscular power-pop groove on George Harrison’s “All Too Much,” originally covered on the Todd Rundgren-produced L.

Next, comes a trio of tracks from Fish Rising, perhaps Hillage’s deepest journey into cosmic trancery — beginning with “Aftaglid,” then “Solar Musick Suite,” a title that screams 1970s prog-rock, if ever there was one; and finally “The Salmon Song.” The main set concludes with For to Next’s “These Uncharted Lands,” which before this 2006 show had never been played live.

The expanded audio CD also includes four bonus tracks, three of which come from a 1979 show also featuring Giraudy: “Palm Trees,” “Unzipping the Zype,” and “Healing Feeling.” The final track is a separate take on “Solar Musick Suite,” this time from 1974, and also featuring Howlett on bass. The DVD has an interesting interview with Hillage and Giraudy, as well.

Source


Skylight Interview with Steve Hillage

STEVE HILLAGE – The psychedelic pioneer

Written by Administrator
Tuesday, 04 September 2012 20:52

1. By being a part of that movement, what do you remember from the famous Canterbury music scene?

It was an exciting and very creative time. We had the shared feeling of being part of a special and original English musical movement that also expressed our sense of humour and eccentricities.

2. Did you finish your studies at the University of Kent in Canterbury?

No I just did part 1 of my course. I left after 15 months.

3. In early 1971 you formed Khan. What were reasons that the band did not last so long?

I was young and under a lot of pressure – and I felt I needed to play with other people before continuing as a solo artist. So I put Khan on hold while working on a second album and started playing with Kevin Ayers. My solo album Fish Rising that came out in 1975 was partly based around material I was developing for the second Khan album.

4. How did you join Gong?

My first contact with Gong was when Pip Pyle, who was initially playing drums with Khan, was invited to join them after doing some drum recording on Daevid Allen’s sola album Banana Moon. I became increasingly fascinated with the band and had a very nice meeting with Daevid in October 1972 in London. In December 1972 while doing a tour of France with Kevin I hooked up with Gong and we had a great jam session, so essentially I moved over from Kevin’s band to Gong by a magical osmosis.

5. What do you remember from your collaboration with them?

The 70s was a wild and intense roller coaster ride for me, from Khan, Kevin Ayers, to Gong and finally the Steve Hillage Band. I wrote and recorded many albums and played hundreds of live shows. I have many great memories, but a lot of it is a bit of a blur. Gong was a wonderful formative experience. It was a community of strong creative people and as such was quite combustible and unstable. But a lot of fun nonetheless.

6. Why you are not collaborating with Daevid Allen at the moment?

The creative cycle for Gong that started with the Uncon events in 2004-6 has now run its course. Daevid is a restless soul and he now wishes to pursue a creative route that I cannot follow. I wish him well, but I will not be playing with Gong in 2012.

7. How was your collaboration with Mike Oldfield for the Tubular Bells?

I effectively replaced Mike Oldfield in Kevin Ayers’ band, as he had left to make his solo album that became Tubular Bells. When we were making the Flying Teapot album with Gong we were sharing Virgin’s Manor Studios with him and so got to meet him. Later on in 1973 he invited me to play in the Tubular Bells live promotion, which was a lot of fun. No-one really expected Tubular Bells to be such a success – it just kinda snowballed after the first shows. Mike was quite shy about doing live shows at that time, and I replaced him for some orchestral Tubular Bells concerts in 1974.

8. Your solo career features an extensive use of keyboards. Was it a challenge for a rock guitarist back in the 70s?

I grew up as a musician at school with the keyboard player Dave Stewart (Egg, Hatfield and the North, National Health). We were in the same class and we made our first band together. So right from the beginning I was working with the combination of electric guitar and keyboards. As the 70s progressed and particular in Gong I got more and more involved in making my guitar work with synthesizers. This has become my speciality, and another factor that has led me to electronic dance music.

9. Your album Green in 1978 was produced by Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason. How easy or hard was to work with Nick Mason?

My first working with Nick was on the Gong album Shamal which he produced in 1975. This was at the time Miquette and I were leaving Gong but we still featured on a few tracks. We found him very relaxed and easy to work with, and of course full of knowledge of production techniques of the Pink Floyd. When a few years later I heard he was interested in working with me on one of my solo albums I leapt at the opportunity. I think Green came out very well.

10. During the 80s you worked as a producer for artists such as Charlatans, Simple Minds, Real Life and many more. How do you compare your work between playing as a musician and being a producer?

It’s a different kind of activity – and one I was always interested to do since the start of my career. Having been an artist myself and having been produced by some illustrious producers (who were also great teachers of record producing) it gives me a somewhat special perspective and empathy with the artist I am producing. Another advantage is that because I have made and continue to make lots of music myself I have my own creative outlet so I have no psychological need to impose my personal sound on the artist – it leaves me more free to focus on developing their own true musical personality – I want to bring out their sound, not mine…

11. What were your main duties as a producer?

As a record producer my main aim is to assist and guide the artist to make the best possible record for his career at the time, and also to provide a creative link between the artist’s aspirations and those of the record company. I’m quite hands-on in my approach and do a lot of the programming and quite a lot of the mixing myself, as well as supervising the sessions and generally managing the project. One of my producer heroes is George Martin of Beatles fame.

12. What do you remember from your collaboration with Simple Minds?

I remember quite a lot actually, in particular because I recently got back together with Jim and Charlie and did a couple of new tracks with them. In their current 5×5 tour format they are playing quite a few of the tracks I made with them in 1981.

13. Your album Rainbow Dome Musick has been a trademark for the later explosion of the electronic music scene. How did you react when realized that your music was playing in ambient / chill out rooms?

The original “Rainbow Dome” for which the music was designed was in fact a chillout room at a large exhibition in London in 1979. One of the first ever chillout rooms actually. The Rainbow Dome Musick was played on a continual loop on a surround sound system. When it started to be played at the dance event chillout rooms later in the 80s it felt like a completely natural progression. This was one of the factors that led to us working with The Orb.

14. How did you decide to form System 7?

Our interest in electronic/dance music began in the 70s. We followed the development of Kraftwerk from their beginnings as an acoustic band through to being totally electronic. I have a strong memory of being in a disco club in 1978 when the DJ started playing Kraftwerk and all the people were dancing – I had a massive “I have seen the future” moment. Also in the 70s we developed a strong love for funk, and were big fans of Tonto’s Expanding Headband, which led to our working with Malcolm Cecil on the Motivation Radio album. I often think of “Ether Ships” on the Green album as the first System 7 track. We followed the whole development of the UK dance scene in the 80s and found our new musical home. Meeting Alex Paterson (The Orb) and hearing him DJing with Rainbow Dome Music was the final catalyst.

15. Do you think that the psychedelic techno of System 7 continues the tradition of the psychedelic rock that you used to play as a solo artist?

It’s important to understand that in the 1980s in the UK the psychedelic rock scene was pretty moribund, and a number of people who were involved in wider psychedelic culture gravitated towards the developing electronic dance music scene. We were part of this. This same thing occurred in the psychedelic community in Goa, eventually evolving to the style of dance music we call psy-trance. We in System 7 however, having evolved through the UK “rave” scene have a wider definition of psychedelic dance music. We are not a typical psy-trance band, although we often play at psy-trance festivals.

16. What is your involvement with mind and alpha waves music? I know that you have researched this scientific area of mind waves.

Miquette and I did an advanced bio-feedback course in 1976, which gave us quite a bit of knowledge about the various brain rhythm frequency bands and their associated activity. Of course as musicians we were interested in how these rhythm bands related to musical rhythms. The alpha rhythm band is between 7 and 12 cycled persecond. Alpha rhythms are associated with creative imagination and the dream state. 7-12hz corresponds to the 16 note hi-hat or sequencer pattern prevalent in most dance music. We think this is factor as to why the quite agreesive sounds of some dance music induce a trance-like state in the dancers.

17. Please let us know about your upcoming DVD release Live in Amsterdam 2006.

When we decided to make the Gong Family Unconvention event in Amsterdam we wanted this to be a major event encapsulating the history of Gong and the various solo projects of the principal Gong members. So I though it was good that I made a Steve Hillage Band set of material from my 70s solo albums. This was beautifully filmed and recorded and we are releasing this on our label on DVD and on CD. The CD has some special bonus tracks from the 70s and the DVD has extra interview and rehearsal footage.

18. What is your future plan regarding System 7 and Steve Hillage band?

We spend the last few months of 2012 in Asia and we are taking musical instruments for writing. We hope to write 3 new albums – System 7 – Mirror System (our chillout project) and a rock orientated album for the Steve Hillage Band. I already have a couple of new Steve Hillage Band song ideas that are good! Before we go we are releasing a System 7 EP called Passion and playing a special show in London on Oct 4th. We are also doing an interesting hybrid rock/electronic album with Japanese band Rovo called Phoenix Rising, recording that in Japan in September.

Information: http://www.a-wave.com/system7/

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Examiner.com Interview with Steve Hillage

Steve Hillage interview and review

British prog-rock guitarist and songwriter Steve Hillage has been perpetually exploring, inventing, and recording intricate musical composition since the late 60s. Hillage navigated his ingenuity across a spectrum of musical genres including blues, rock, prog-rock, psychedelic-rock, space-rock, ambient, electronica and techno.
View slideshow: Steve Hillage interview: The intergalactic musical evolution of a guitar rocketeer

Steve Hillage joined his first band called Uriel in 1968; he left the group shortly afterwards to attend University of Kent in Canterbury. Meanwhile, the band renamed themselves Egg after signing with Decca Records. The following year, Hillage reunited with his bandmates under assumed names to record their lone album entitled, Arzachel. The recording featured a seventeen minute psychedelic jam session called, “Metempsychosis.”
British guitarist Steve Hillage has been perpetually exploring intricate musical composition
British guitarist Steve Hillage has been perpetually exploring intricate musical composition
Photo credit:
http://www.facebook.com/stevehillageband
Steve Hillage Band – Aftaglid Live in Amsterdam 2006
Video: Steve Hillage Band – Aftaglid Live in Amsterdam 2006

In 1971, Hillage formed the progressive/space rock groupKhan, which was part of the Canterbury scene. Khan released their only album Space Shanty in’72. The group also toured around the UK supporting their label partnerCaravan. A second album was planned but the band split-up. Material for the planned second album was used on Hillage’s first solo-effort called Fish Rising.

In 1973, Steve Hillage joined prog-rock pioneer Kevin Ayers new band Decadence. He played on the bands fourth studio album Bananamour (recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London) and toured throughout Europe for several months. Hillage become a fan of the experimental rock group Gong and eventually joined them in France to participate on their album Flying Teapot (The first installment of The ‘Radio Gnome Invisible’ Trilogy).

Steve Hillage became a full-time member of Gong and the classic line-up evolved into … Daevid Allen –guitarist/vocals, Steve Hillage- guitars, Gilli Smyth -vocals, Didier Malherbe -saxophonist/flautist, Tim Blake –keyboards/synthesizers, Mike Howlett -bass guitar and Pierre Moerlen -drums and percussions.

Hillage became notably influential during the most successful period in the bands history. The recordings of The ‘Radio Gnome Invisible’ Trilogy” featured Gong’s best known works,Flying Teapot, Angel’s Egg and You.

Steve Hillage, who became the undisputed leader of Gong, left the group in 1975. While still in the band, Hillage launched his critically-acclaimed debut album, Fish Rising. The recording would prove to be pivotal in establishing a successful and long-standing solo career for the progressive rock trailblazer.

Next, Steve Hillage would record a string of musically profound albums. The first entitled simply, L(1976) produced by the genius of Todd Rundgren. The recording also featured many members from Rundgren’s progressive rock group Utopia. The album spotlighted several cover tunes … “Hurdy Gurdy Man” by Donovan and, “It’s All Too Much” penned by George Harrison from The Beatles, Yellow Submarine album of 1969.

Motivation Radio (1977) was Hillage’s third solo release followed by Green (1978) co-produced and engineered by Pink Floyd’s acclaimed drummer Nick Mason.

Subsequent releases by Steve Hillage were Live Herald, Rainbow Dome Musick, For To Next,and For To Next/And Not Or.

Throughout the 80s, Steve Hillage worked as a record producer with such artist as Robyn Hitchcock, Simple Minds, It Bites and Murray Head. Hillage also produced the Up To Our Hipsalbum by British alternative rock band The Charlatans in 1994.

In 1991, former Gong members Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy formed the ambient-techno dance band System 7. The band became part of an underground dance movement around London. They released the self-titled, System 7 album followed with their second release,777 in 1993 which reached the UK Top 40 album charts.

System 7 also launched spin-off projects called Mirror System and Groovy Intent. System 7 released (10) studio albums, and Mirror System released (2) studio albums. Steve Hillage became an ambient-techno cult hero.

Hillage and Giraudy performed at the ‘Gong Family Unconvention 2006’ at the Melkweg in Amsterdam. The three day event featured the original members of Gong and a setlist consisting of material from The ‘Radio Gnome Invisible’ Trilogy. The duo also performed music by The Steve Hillage Band and System 7.

In 2008, the successful ‘Gong Family Unconvention’ was resurrected in London for several shows. The line-up also included original members Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, and Mike Howlett.

In 2009, Gong released 2032, billed as a further installment to the Gong mythology (the central part being The ‘Radio Gnome Invisible’ Trilogy). The album was produced and mixed by Steve Hillage.

Steve Hillage will be re-releasing, The Steve Hillage Band Live -The 2006 concert at the ‘Gong Family Unconvention’ in Amsterdam and will be available on DVD and CD on September 12th.It’s the first live performance by The Steve Hillage Band in 25 years!

Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy will be releasing a brand new System 7 EP very soon, and watch out for a new collaboration with Japan’s Rovo.

I had the rare and pleasant opportunity to chat with Steve Hillage by Skype from his home in England. Here’s my interview with guitar virtuoso, songwriter, singer, techno and progressive cult hero, and experimental music trailblazer, STEVE HILLAGE.

Ray Shasho: Steve, how are you?

Steve Hillage: “Pretty good, not amazing, I’ve had problems with my mobile phone company and have been on the phone a lot to change my tariff and it’s been really-really boring, but apart from that everything is fine. The weather is getting better here.”

Ray Shasho: I’ve always appreciated progressive rock music and grew up mesmerized by bands like … Camel, Triumvirat, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Mahavishnu Orchestra, the rock orchestra Synergy, and of course Gong. What artists inspired you into creating your own style of music?

Steve Hillage: “I’ve always said that my number one inspiration has got to be Jimi Hendrix …absolutely by a long way. I was in school in the 60s, so I liked … The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Cream, and all that sort of stuff. When I started to get involved with more complex music, it was what we started doing in school. I roomed with a very interesting keyboard player named Dave Stewart who later had a group called ‘Egg’ and later ‘Hatfield and the North.’ We started working on music at school and getting into things with odd time signatures and things like that, and then we discovered other people were doing it. This was before the term “progressive rock” actually arose. But we discovered that there was sort of a hotbed of musicians doing it in Canterbury. By kind of a coincidence, I went to University in Canterbury and became friendly with bands like Caravan and Soft Machine.”

“I didn’t stay that long at University actually because I felt that music was a far more exciting thing to do, and that’s what ultimately led me into joining Gong, because Daevid Allen was Soft Machine’s original lead guitarist. He had already left before I met the guys, but he was still involved behind the scenes and I got involved in that scene. I introduced Daevid to the people in Canterbury, that’s how he ended up in ‘Hatfield and the North’, and …voila, the rest his history!”

Ray Shasho: Gong has had incredible longevity and developed a cult following, is that because they’re a band of virtuoso musicians?

Steve Hillage: “There have been a lot of different styles in Gong. In its classic period, you had a really amazing collection of strong individuals who had their own style and managed to come up with something that was both musically sophisticated and extremely psychedelic. There haven’t been many psychedelic projects that have had that level of musical technique, so it was pretty special in that respect. So in various later splitting up versions of Gong … you’ve had some aspects that have gone more for the musical techniques like Pierre Moerlen’s Gong, and others … obviously Daevid has stayed more with his own mythology, sort of quirkiness, and his humor. I went more into widescreen, psychedelic, guitar-based stuff. But they’ve all got elements of Gong in them. There are certainly elements of Gong in our dance music project System 7, and there a lot of people in the dance music scene that use to be Gong fans. It’s all one big family in a way … so we call it the “Gong Family.”

Ray Shasho: Wasn’t Bill Bruford in the band for awhile too?

Steve Hillage: “He didn’t last very long. We had a problem about a border crossing between Germany and France where are drummer had something in his pocket that he shouldn’t have. Customs banned him … which was bad for him but even worse for us because we had some gigs and didn’t have a drummer. We were on Virgin Records at the time and Richard Branson said, “I’ve got a great idea, I met Bill Bruford the other day and he’s looking for something to do …he’d love to do it.”

“So he was on the next plane over. It was amazing working with him, but I think we were a little bit too wacky for his tastes on a personal level. He found us all a bit hard to handle. We did some really good recordings at some of the Buford gigs, around bootlegs, and pretty amazing stuff.”

Ray Shasho: Gong has certainly had an influence on electronica/dance music.

Steve Hillage: “We’ve certainly had an influence on things, but other bands in that era have also had an influence, particularly German groups like ‘Can’ and ‘Kraftwerk’ have had a big influence on modern electronic music as well. When we first heard Kraftwerk, it was still before they got involved with synths (synthesizers & keyboards) so they were still an acoustic band with flute. They developed into using synths after a few years but were originally a live band in the early 70s.”

Ray Shasho: Gong back in its heyday must have been amazing?

Steve Hillage: “It was exhilarating … a bit of a rollercoaster ride and chaotic. It was quite a combustible relationship of strong-minded people. So it kind of fell apart after a few years during the so-called classic line-up … in 1975 actually. There has been all kinds of offshoots and continuation Gongs and different types of Gongs since the classic line-up split up in ’75.”

Ray Shasho: Gong has reformed several times over the past several years as well … how did that come about?

Steve Hillage: “What happened was a group of fans started an annual event called an “Unconvention” and gradually various original Gong members got sucked into this. In 2005, we came along and we did a System 7 set … Daevid wasn’t there but Miquette, Didier Malherbe, Mike Howlett, Gilli Smyth and Tim Blake were there, so we said, let’s have a jam. We hadn’t played together in thirty years or more and it was really fantastic.”

“Then somebody came up with an idea for doing a really big “Unconvention” in Amsterdam at the Melkweg, so we all went and did our individual sets, then did our Gong set at the end. That’s where I decided to do a short Steve Hillage Band set, which is the recording that we’re releasing on DVD and CD. It’s already been out for a couple of years on a short scale, but we’re doing it on a bigger scale now on our own label. And it was that event in Amsterdam in November of 2006 that was very important for us, it was massive and fantastic, because after that we decided to make another Gong album, 2032, and we did a large tour in 2009 spilling over into 2010.”

“Which brings us into present day, right now Daevid is experimenting with a new style of Gong and I’m no longer involved … but I wish him well. There is going to be a tour this autumn. I’m not sure if they’re coming to America … primarily Europe and the UK.”

Ray Shasho: Steve, I watched The Steve Hillage Band live DVD from the ‘Unconvention’ in Amsterdam, and it was an incredible compilation of music played to its perfection, I gave it 5 stars.

Steve Hillage: “Fantastic, thank you very much. We also did some sets like that on the Gong tour. Mike Howlett played on that and was also on Fish Rising and was Gong’s bassist, we also had Chris Taylor who was the drummer of Gong. So we were playing like a live Gong support act, which was like half of the band and then we’d do the main set when the rest of Gong would appear.”

“If we do it again … which we might consider in the next year or two, it would be a standalone Steve Hillage Band, and I think if we did that, we’d need to do some new material as well. I wouldn’t want to do a tour just of the old material. I’m not really one of those artists who does sort of a legacy tour and play a whole hour of one album or something.”

Ray Shasho: I’m going to mention a few albums that you recorded in the past as The Steve Hillage Band and you can jump in with any comments if you see fit. First of all …Fish Rising was one of your best albums; it sort of had a ‘Mahavishnu Orchestra’ /Birds of Fire feel to it.

Steve Hillage: “Fish Rising was a very special album, quite a lot of material was written before I joined Gong … from the aborted second album with my band ‘Khan.’ I’ve kept that material while I was in Gong and it had very unique material, but it’s got a very strong Gong influence. It was all my original material with Canterbury influence in there as well. Yea, it was a very special album for sure. The majority of the set we did in Amsterdam at the Melkweg was material from Fish Rising.”

Another inspiring recording was your 1978 album, Green when you worked with Pink Floyd’s legendary drummer Nick Mason.

Steve Hillage: “We met Nick Mason during the last Gong album that I was involved with calledShamal … in the 70s after Daevid left. It was when I was in the process of leaving Gong so I didn’t have a huge involvement in that, but Nick Mason was the co-producer of that album and I got to know him then. He was just fantastic to work with.”

Ray Shasho: Todd Rundgren produced your second studio album called, L.

Steve Hillage: “It was quite interesting because I had really gotten into his material starting withSomething/Anything and I followed his developments with Utopia and A Wizard, a True Star. When he came out with that record “Initiation,” I thought wow … he’s really like vanilla soul. I left Gong and we didn’t know how we were going to proceed, then one of the guy’s with Virgin Records said, “Hey, we’ve been talking with Todd Rundgren and he’s heard of you and into working with you.” I said let’s do that one with Todd! It all came together really rapidly actually and another exhilarating rollercoaster ride.”

Ray Shasho: Steve, was there an album you were ‘especially’ proud of?

Steve Hillage: “To tell you the truth, one of the ones I’m most proud of is one that didn’t appeal so much in America called, Motivation Radio. I thought it was very original and laid the basis for our development into electronics and dance music. There was a track on the Green album called; “Ether Ships” and I sometimes say … that was the first System 7 track.”

Ray Shasho: Talk about how System 7 came into its fruition.

Steve Hillage: “Basically at the end of the 70s, we stopped The Steve Hillage Band; I got into a lot of record producing work, and we just found ourselves sucked into the whole development of electronic dance music in the 80s, and also through my connection with Simple Minds, who were sort of an underground club band. When the big acid house moment came in ’87, ’88, we felt …wow … this is it, we found our new musical home. So the idea was to make a dance music based project but still using some of the sounds of the guitar and synth that we’d feature on Gong and Steve Hillage Band records, and that’s basically what we’re still doing. We’ve been doing that for almost 23 years now. We do a lot of shows and travel around the world, but we’re not exclusively into doing that, we like to do all kinds of other things as well.”

“I like a lot of “world music” as well. I’ve got a lot of experience working with Arab artists, in France in particular, I love it. My specific interest in Arab music started with Miquette, my partner, who I met in 1972, and she played me Umm Kulthum. I started meeting up with French Algerian musicians and that’s how I got involved in producing Arab music. I produced a lot of records for Arab singers … Rachid Taha, Khaled, a Tunisian Egyptian singer Latifa, and another French Algerian singer called Faudel. My biggest Arab music project is called, 1, 2, 3, Soleils. It was a live concert with an orchestra in1998 featuring Rachid Taha, Khaled and Faudel. It was the biggest selling Rai (genre) record of all time.”

Ray Shasho: Steve, what are your very latest projects?

“We’ve got a new System 7 EP coming out, and of course we’re re-releasing, The Steve Hillage Band live from Amsterdam DVD and CD in September. Another project that I’d also like to mention and is really interesting is called, ‘Phoenix Rising.’ It’s collaboration between System 7 and a Japanese psychedelic progressive jam band called Rovo. We work a lot in Japan and are quite successful out there. We’ve been friendly with Rovo for about a decade, and we ended up doing this live tour where we ended up with more of Rovo doing live versions of System 7 tracks, and System 7 doing techno versions of Rovo tracks. So we decided to do an album together. So right now … I’m writing material along with the guys in Japan who are also writing material, and we’re going out to Japan for the whole month of September to make the album. We hope to have the album ready for release next year and ready for promotion in March. Then we want to do a ‘Phoenix Rising’ tour in Europe, and we’d love to be able to get it over to America. I don’t think there’s ever been a more integrated project between techno music and live rock.”

Ray Shasho: Steve, thank you so much for being on the Skype call today, and also for all the incredible music that you’ve given to us over the years. I hope to see you either with The Steve Hillage Band or System 7 one day soon here in Florida.

Steve Hillage: “It’s been nice talking with you and I’m so glad our Skype transmission worked out (all laughing). Jolly good … Take care Ray!”

Steve Hillage will be re-releasing The Steve Hillage Band Live -The 2006 concert at the ‘Gong Family Unconvention’ in Amsterdam available on DVD and CD -September 12th. It’s the first live performance by The Steve Hillage Band in 25 years! -Preorder now at amazon.com.

Steve Hillage Band ‘Gong Family Unconvention’ DVD excerpts atwww.stevehillageuncondvd.com

Steve Hillage Band on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/stevehillageband

Steve Hillage on Myspace http://www.myspace.com/stevehillage

System 7 official website http://www.a-wave.com/system7/

Planet Gong http://www.planetgong.co.uk

Special thanks to ‘the great Billy James’ of Glass Onyon PR

Official website https://glassonyonpublicity.wordpress.com/

Contact classic rock music reporter Ray Shasho at rockraymond.shasho@gmail.com

Purchase Ray’s very special memoir called ‘Check the Gs’ -The True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business … You’ll LIVE IT! Also available for download on NOOK or KINDLE edition for JUST .99 CENTS at amazon.com orbarnesandnoble.com -Support Ray so he can continue to bring you quality classic rock music reporting.

~~Pacific Book Review says Ray Shasho is a product of the second half of the 20th century, made in the USA from parts around the world, and within him is every trend in music, television, politics and culture contributing to his philosophical and comically analytical reflections collected in his fine book of memories. I found Check the Gs to be pure entertainment, fantastic fun and a catalyst to igniting so many memories of my own life, as I too am within a few years of Ray. So to all, I say if you have a bit of grey hair (or no hair), buy this book! It’s a great gift for your “over-the-hill” friends, or for their kids, if they are the history buffs of younger generations trying to figure out why we are the way we are.

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