Units – Digital Stimulation

Duel male/female vocal and synth attack backed by some angular drumwork with the seed of Kraftwerk sewn so deep that it barely even manifests itself. Released in San Francisco circa 1980, this album is a much rawer and down to earth precursor to often painfully overproduced and empty genre of “synth-rock” that would dominate in the decade to come. This shit is real; songs about buying burritos and weed in the Mission District, a little Gamelan-informed vibe work, etc. Two follow up albums were recorded (one for a major label) and neither were released. CHECK IT.

Listen: “High Pressure Days”, “Tight Fit”


  • units rule, nice write up btw!
    fav has to be ‘high presssure days’ which i still play out and get asked by people what it is.

  • Supercool!
    Digital Stimulation has a sort of Devo sound to it, probably because of dude’s voice, which I totally love. The other song is something else entirely – sort of synth-prog-jazz! The drumming is nuts and makes me think of Bozzio.
    Wow! Thanks.

  • the track labeled as “digital stimulation” should actually be “high pressure days”…my bad

  • These guys also had some nice 45s. My favorite comes in a really nice hand stamped sleeve. And I could be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure this is the band that made Jandek change his name from Units. The first Jandek LP on Corwood was released as The Units originally.

  • yes, scott ryser from units was the one who forced jandek to change his name (in the form of a cease and desist letter, if i remember correctly). i intended to include that in the review but forgot to.

  • The first Units 7″ with the outstanding “Cannibals” is the true treasure, and once you hear it, surely you’ll think this LP’s nearly worthless and actually rather nearly as overproduced as that later “synth-rock.” The band formed in the town of Redding, CA, at the extreme northern end of the Sacramento Valley. The town is not known for much except extreme hot temperatures, chronic boredom, isolation, and being the butt of many jokes. Surely the Units count as Redding’s greatest musical export.

  • Excellent!

  • lots of sites talk about this, but i cannot find out where i can get a copy from?

    any ideas?

  • We are the ones, the ones who got the bodies.

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