The units originated in
its member's desire "to have a synthesizer band that rocked out, that
would change the notion of synthesizer bands as tortured intellectuals."
Thus the titles of their two albums, Digital Stimulation, a 415 label
release that combined Third World rhythms with classically pure electronics,
and New Way To Move, which contained two dance chart hits, "The Right
Man" and "A Girl Like You." Prior to their second album, the group moved
from 415 to Epic and also changed personnel, with leaders Scott Ryser
and Rachel Webber adding twin brothers David and Jabari Allen in place
of percussionist Brad Saunders to produce a four-synthesizer group.
Like Romeo Void and a number of other San Francisco punk/new-wave bands, Units comes from an art school background. Webber had earned a degree in video art from the San Francisco Art Institute, and films done by Ryser had been screened at Intersection. Thus the group has a fondness for integrating film and video into its performances in an attempt to create "visual songs."