Overful Noise Cascade

ONC Cover by Jen Zatoth

Those of you who have followed Systems Theory over the years have probably got used to the fact that things in our world tend to happen verrrry slowly. It took us an age to get round to issuing our first album and the follow-up - although intended as a swift release - never happened for an age after that.

And so it happened that we were working on our third album, Overful Noise Cascade (named after a Google Translation of a Dutch review of our first album, the words amusing us no end). It was months in the planning and years in the execution and deep down we all knew that, with Greg's health deteriorating fast, it was going to be down to Steven and I to run the album as far as we could and then perhaps see what Greg could do with what we had to offer.

We had about eleven (or so) tracks lined up for the album and had most of them mapped out to the extent that we knew where they were headed. Those eleven tracks were - to varying degrees - worked on enough to be able to say that they had structure of their own; they were no sketches, but fully realised works in their own right.

Of the tracks we recorded, only three remain, all of which are found on Orbis. In the Platinum Room and Lost Nation Dreamtime were put together by Steven and had numerous additions by myself, both to the extent that they were able to be listened to as complete pieces, without either of them being 'completed' in any meaningful sense. What is presented on that album is one interpretation of the direction in which they were headed, as opposed to anything we may have finished. The only truly complete track was the hidden track we had planned for the end of the album, which we simply named Greg, a farewell to our friend, colleague and collaborator. All appear on Orbis, the other eight tracks being suspended forever. In that sense, this is our SMiLE.

We may release the rest of the music we recorded, we may not. As I say elsewhere, things moved very slowly and my interests moved on to other things. What we did for ONC seemed good at the time, but of it all only the three tracks I referred to seem now to me to be good enough to bear scrutiny. The rest is in the box and may never come out.

Sorry. That's just the way it is.