An electronica outfit led by guitarist Steve Hillage and synth player Miquette Giraudy, working mostly in downtempo and ambient genres. Hillage's career precedes the advent of electronic music, and originally he became well known in a completely different context, as a guitarist for the early-1970s progressive rock group Gong. During this period, Giraudy was working as an actress (under the name "Monique Giraudy") and film editor in France, prior to turning to music. (Among her credits was a role in the French film La Vallee (Obscured by Clouds), which featured a soundtrack by Pink Floyd.) After Gong broke up, Hillage went solo, releasing several albums through the rest of the decade and putting together various bands to perform live with. It was during this period that he met Giraudy, and they began both a professional and romantic relationship which continues to this day.

After 1979, Hillage turned to producing and serving as a studio guitarist for other bands, while Giraudy left the music industry for a time. Hillage produced albums for a number of synth pop bands through the decade of the '80s, but as the decade went on, he found him becoming more interested in the nascent dance music scene in London. In 1989, he happened to walk into the "chill out" room at the Land of Oz club, and heard his own Rainbow Dome Musick album being mixed by the DJ. That DJ was Alex Paterson, and Hillage, who had been contemplating a new musical direction, had an epiphany. He formed System 7 with Giraudy, emerging from her self-imposed exile, and Paterson assisted them with their first single, "Sunburst". They released their first, eponymous album (which had to be released under the name "777" in the USA because of a name conflict with another band) in 1991. As of 2017, they have released 15 albums of original material, plus three under the name Mirror System. One notable event was the release of two albums in 1993 both titled Point 3. One of the two was subtitled the "Fire Album" and was mixed in a house style with dominant beats; the other, titled the "Water Album", featured most of the same tracks but mixed in more of an ambient style.

System 7, like Underworld, is noted for the fact that their live performances consist of a combination of live instruments played by Hillage and Giraudy, and DJ'ed backing tracks. Hillage is often found playing electric guitar or a guitar synthesizer, and many of his and Giurady's live parts are improvised on stage.