The only direct link from the '90s ambient house community to its space rocking forebear of the '70s, Steve Hillage played in the prog rock band Gong, released several solo albums during the late '70s and early '80s on Virgin, and later returned to music in the '90s to form System 7, more of a recording collective than an actual band. Hillage was recruited back to the music scene by Dr. Alex Paterson of the Orb, who spun Hillage's Rainbow Dome Musick at London's Heaven one night while Hillage was there himself. The two became friends, and Paterson encouraged him to begin recording ambient house -- with Hillage's guitar explorations just as prominent in the mix as on his solo work. With collaborator Miquette Giraudy (an old friend from his days in Gong), Hillage released the single "Sunburst" in late 1990, and followed with a self-titled album in September 1991, produced with the help of a varied cast of techno heavyweights (including Paterson and Derrick May). Soon after, System 7 was signed to an American contract by Astralwerks, though the existence of a similarly named band caused Hillage to name his outfit 777. The System 7 album was finally given a U.S. release in 1992 as 777.