Wednesday, May 07, 2008


"Independent 1980s synth-pop that layers synthesizers, guitars and textured vocals into tight, driving arrangements."

Synth-pop,New Wave

Vince Scafiti - drums
Chuck Ryder - bass & backing vocals (only on Metr-Metro 7")
Kevin Lytle - synthesizers (only on Metr-Metro 7")
Steve Simenic - guitar & lead vocals
Paul Teagle (ex-Unit 5 member) - keyboard (from 1983)
Tom Lash (from Lucky Pierre,see: - bass (1984)


BEYOND THE PARADE (EP) (1982) and singles
Drums, Loops [Drum] - Vince Scafiti
Guitar, Synthesizer, Bass, Vocals - Steve Simenic
Synthesizers - Kevin Lytle (tracks 07,08)
Synthesizer - Paul Teagle (tracks 09-11)
Bass, Backing Vocals - Tom Lash (tracks 10,11)
Bass, Backing Vocals - Chuck Ryder (tracks 07,08)
Saxophone - Phil Capone (tracks 09,11)


01 Brave New Toys
02 Rhythm Before Reason
03 Through Other Eyes
04 Hands Of A Stranger
05 You're Only Dreaming
06 The Twilight Index

07 Metro-Metro
08 In The Old World

LIFE ON A COOL CURVE (7") (1983):
09 Life On A Cool Curve
10 The Other Side Of Science

10 A Man Needs A Motor
11 Shapes Of Things

13 The Sounding
14 Your Car is Waiting
15 Next to X

Link to download:

"Beyond The Parade EP is an excellent minimal wave from the US midwest, and highly established and sought-after by minimal synth fans the world over. This was definitely System 56's best record with great tracks like "Brave New Toys", "Hands of a Stranger", "You're Only Dreaming", etc. I also dig the cover art quite a bit. Band leader Steve Simenic told me he threw a lot of copies of this record into a dumpster when he moved to the West Coast in 1989, which partly explains it's rarity. Anyway... great record, you need it, enough said. Don't miss!"

"The synth-pop brainchild of Steve Simenic, System 56 released as many records as they played shows--three. Simenic played all the instruments and recorded the band's 45s in his bedroom. After their "Metro Metro" and "Life on a Cool Curve" singles became college radio and WMMS mainstays, the band debuted to a sold-out crowd at the Phantasy Theater in 1984--an unprecedented feat for a local artist. Two live shows and a 45 later, Simenic abruptly broke up the group and quit music in 1985. Bassist Tom Lash (ex-Lucky Pierre) would go on to form Hot Tin Roof in 1990."

"Long ago, and far away, in a decade known as the 80s, there once was a band from Cleveland called System 56. Most people in the northeast Ohio area would remember us from the generous amount of local airplay that we received for songs like "Metro Metro”, “You’re Only Dreaming”, “Life On a Cool Curve” and “A Man Needs a Motor”. In all, we released three singles and a 12” EP, over the course of about three years. Unlike most bands, our reputation was built primarily in the studio, as we only gave five live performances in our entire existence - two shows at the old Bank in Akron in 1982, then one at Cleveland’s Phantasy Theatre, and two at the Phantasy Nightclub in 1984. This led the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Jane Scott to once describe System 56 as the Howard Hughes of local bands, as our profile with radio listeners far surpassed our public exposure as a live act. Despite our reclusive public posture, Cleveland Magazine invited the band to be included in its annual Most Interesting People for 1985 issue. And that was just about where our story ended. Shortly thereafter, for a variety of reasons, the group quietly disbanded, and we all went our separate ways."

From the "Retrospective" CD liner notes:
OK, it goes like this. In the winter of 1981-82, somewhere on the outskirts of Cleveland, four musicians who have just met each other, gather in an attic of an old farmhouse, and form a secret pact to take over the world. Or, well, Cleveland. Armed with a TEAC 3340-S reel-to-reel and a handful of songs, they would gradually emerge as a most unlikely independent music phenomenon - an unseen, covert, underground operation that would slowly take a life of it's own - stealthily claiming their success from a supportive cadre of local radio stations, record stores and fanzine reviews. In the span of the next three years, System 56 would release three singles and a 12" EP, and play a grand total of five live shows in the Cleveland-Akron area. Then, by 1985, the group would inconspicuously disband, ending almost as quietly and inauspiciously as it had begun.
System 56 was never the same band twice in a row, yet was able to maintain the integrity of its unique musical vision, and their singular focus - to produce compelling, original music in a small-scale environment, at a time when "alternative really meant alternative (i.e. 1/4" tape, lots of late nights, and hours of diligent dubs, edits and sub-mixes). In the end, the band's output speaks for itself."


Steve Simenic:
"To the extent that we were finding inspiration in those artists I just mentioned, System 56 made music which occupied the same musical spectrum. It was the rise of the whole 'do it yourself' system. So we set out to blend all those notions into our music and mold them into four minute pop songs. How well we succeeded in that goal could be best be measured by the fact we were the only independent Cleveland-based band that managed to chart three singles on commercial FM radio, in the three years of our existance, without compromising our music objectives."

Kevin Lytle had played in Survivor,Chuck had previously been involved in a two-man electronic/synth-based group called LUXUS.
They played together in SOSUMI from 1983 ( In 1992 Kevin Lytle quit the band to be an oldies DJ at Shorty's in the flats.
I don't have info about Vince Scafiti.

played wit The Waitresses in late ‘79/early ’80 ,and also in Unit 5 ( recently with Trial Of Lucy

Metro-Metro b/w In the Old World (12") (1982)
Beyond the Parade (EP) (1982)
Life On a Cool Curve b/w The Other Side of Science (12") (1983)
A Man Needs a Motor b/w Shapes of Things (12") (1984)
Retrospective: 1982-84 (CD) (2003)


Blogger Mikeyten said...

Thankyou for this been looking for it ,cheers Mikeyten

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone repost this to or somewhere else that's not rapidshare? I'm unable to retrieve the full file from there.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you SOOOOO damn much for this collection! you're the man! keep it up.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...yet I'll try to buy the record. VINYL. This "Retrospective 82-24" thing is one of the worst CD re-releases I've ever witnessed!!! Everything has been mastered to brick wall. Every life has been squeezed out of this great music.

Again: THIS IS NOT VINYL. What you're downloading is a CD re-release with the worst mastering you can imagine.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous hcg said...

A very nice informational blog.Keep on making such important blog post.Your work is really being appreciated by some one.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Ariel Salvador said...

the link is dead, please re-upload

11:07 AM  

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