I thought it might be of interest to System 56 fans to connect to some of the other people whose work has either inspired and / or influenced our music, or in some way, continues to interest me personally. Here's a few links to get started with - I'll continue to add updates as time permits.
ENOWEB The Un-Official Brian Eno Home Page. The Godfather of postmodern pop-music culture. From his early work as synthesist and agent provocateur with Roxy Music, then as producer and collaborator with Bowie, Ultravox, Devo, Talking Heads, Robert Fripp, Harold Budd, and U2, Eno has had an immeasurable influence on both the sound and expression of modern rock music from the 70s to the present day. His solo work notwithstanding, even if he never played a lick in his life, this would still be true. As a cultural theorist, he is the Marshall McLuhan of contemporary music, as his ideas and innovations continue to resonate in the psyche of everyone who's come in contact with him or his work. Artist, musician, producer, collaborator, theorist - take your pick - all apply in equal measure.
METAMATIC The Official John Foxx Website. The Great One. Founder and leader of Ultravox, they nearly single-handedly defined the synth-rock landscape with their seminal third album, Systems of Romance in 1978. It might be the best album ever made - in my humble opinion. The futuristically austere, Metamatic LP (released in 1980) continues to cast its spell over a new generation of electro-ambient groups. Followed by several more well-received solo albums, Foxx dropped out of sight for nearly a decade, then resurfaced in 1995, with side-kick Louis Gordon, as band mate and collaborator. Now reinventing his approach, with elements of British psychedelia, 70's -era Krautrock, and minimal electronica, he continues to evolve and surprise 25 years later.
DREAMSVILLE The Official UK Bill Nelson Website. Another one of the greats. I could just say great guitarist, but that would be short-changing him. Bill Nelson did for the guitar, what John Foxx did for the synthesizer - he redefined the sound and language of his instrument to complement his songwriting, and like Foxx, charted a huge chunk of the territory, as well. Founder and leader of the 70's progressive-glam-rockers - BeBop Deluxe - Nelson went from guitar hero to master stylist as seamlessly as changing his shoes. His prolific output of original material is staggering by any standard. This is one of the most intriguing sites on the web, and will take you hours to digest - so have at it !
PHILIP K. DICK No discussion of the modern world, with all of its charms, chaos and charlatans, would be complete without the inclusion of this hugely influential sci-fi author. Paranoid visionary - iconoclastic gadfly - master storyteller. Yes - yes - and, yes. Dick didn't just write about the future, he convinced you that it had already happened, and he was just a simple reporter, giving you the latest scoop. It's impossible to listen to Numan's Replicas or I, Assassin - without bumping into Philip Dick a couple dozen times. Of course, there's much more to Dick's writing than replicants, cyborgs and electric sheep. Enter at your own risk.
BALLARDIAN A kind of post-modern O. Henry, reading Ballard is like inadvertently stepping into a Dali painting, except by the time you realize it, you can't remember where the exit door is. His is an unexpected world of encoded landscapes, dislocated memories, impossible rooms, and accidents as art form. My personal preference is for his SF short stories - Now Wakes the Sea, Terminal Beach, Manhole 69, The Last World of Mr. Goddard - where the commonplace is subtly transformed into the surreal and unimaginable. This link should provide a good starting point for the uninitiated, and there are further links to this amazing author's work at the end, for those who wish to explore further.
SYD MEAD Today’s movie fans may best remember Syd Mead from his stellar set designs for modern sci-fi films, like Blade Runner, Aliens, and Tron. All great work, but go back a couple more decades, and you’ll find that he has been sowing the zeitgeist with a much wider variety of fututistic visions – primarily in advanced automotive designs and hi-concept architectural vistas. So, whatever happened to Syd Mead's cars of the future? Good question. Truly a man ahead of his time, Syd once said it best: "I've called science fiction 'reality ahead of schedule.'" Meanwhile, your car is waiting ….
NEW WAVE OUTPOST Some of the folks from this site have made contact with System 56, so I thought I'd return the favor to them. An active clearinghouse for die-hard fans and collectors in search of obscure 80's new wave releases, from a wide variety of genres. They know a memorable musical era when they hear one, and bring a lot of enthusiasm and inside info to their exchanges. Like most sites of this nature, you can read the posts without becoming a member, but if you want to post a comment yourself, or respond to a post, you'll have to sign up and provide a password. No big deal. A great way to make contact with other like-minded listeners, especially if you're trying to track down some long out-of-print vinyl.
Every once in while, some unexpected artifact will suddenly re-contextualize out of the decaying echoes of the past, and manifest in a new form. This long lost System 56 video of Through Other Eyes, was produced by John Collins @ Happy Medium Productions. Originally, it started out as a film school project that John was working on, back in 1983. Twenty seven years later, he revisited the original footage, added some digital enhancements, and presented it to the band via YouTube. Thanks John !
Watch Here: http://www.youtube.com/embed/v_n_JI-0zj8