The only reason we know anything about the Mayan, Egyptians and so there old cultures because they recorded in stone or build massive stone structures to detest decay. In all our advancement, most of our culture will have decayed in less than 1000 year. Some are so busy digging up the past, but what is man doing for the future. We are the archeology dig of the future.
This documentary puts your life, efforts and belongings in perspective as a reality check. Everything around you is probably gone in less than 250 years.. A great documentary to watch.
There’s no city in the history of dance music that’s been mythologized quite like Detroit. And, if today’s offering is any indication, there’s no city in dance music history that’s been as documented as Detroit as well. But hey, that’s all good by us. With new compilations like the one jointly curated by Jimmy Edgar and Derrick May called We Love Detroit about to be released, and Richie Hawtin’s new educational tour, CNTRL: Beyond EDM, afoot, we figured the time was nigh to ply you with some of the D’s greatest hits: the 10—count ’em, 10!—best documentaries about Detroit techno ever—and they’re all available to watch right here for free.
10. Detroit Techno & The Electronic Music Festival
Over the last 12 years, Detroit’s electronic music fest (sometimes called DEMF, now officially Movement) has undergone countless organizers, production companies, major sponsors, and official names. This three-part documentary looks back at the festival from its shaky beginnings to its more solid foundation a decade later.
9. Techno City
The rather unknown Techno City was produced in 2001, and new-school legends like Carl Craig, Stacey Pullen, and Kenny Larkin lead a good portion of this tour, which culminates in the second Detroit Electronic Music Festival.
8. High Tech Soul
This one mixes the musical with the social, looking at the history of Detroit as a breeding ground for underground music, and featuring all sorts of lesser-known but equally important names in the scene, like classic club The Music Institute’s promoter, George Baker.
7. Current TV’s Underground Resistance episode
“I’m nothing in comparison to the music.” That’s “Mad Mike” Banks’ take on Underground Resistance, the label and collective he founded in the early ’90s to subvert the dominant major-label record industry and spread the gospel of real underground Detroit techno. This documentary made by Current TV examines the UR story from front to back.
Modulations extends far beyond the scope of Detroit, but while it traces dance music’s broader roots, it’s still got awesome footage from Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Eddie Fowlkes, and tons more.
5. Universal Techno
The French-produced 1996 doc Universal Techno is an awesome hour-long piece which really takes its time with all of techno’s main players. Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Jeff Mills, UR, and all the main players are well represented, but this film goes a step further, talking with folks like Autechre about how Detroit’s impact has spread overseas and throughout the world.
4. Belle Isle Tech
The super-lo-fi Belle Isle Tech, made by skate photographer extraordinaire Ari Marcopoulos, is a real slice-of-life kind of flick, which follows ghetto-tech kings DJ Assault and Mr. De’ around Detroit for a few days—from their very humble-seeming home studio to a nighttime party cruise on the city’s infamous Belle Isle.
3. Slices—Pioneers of Electronic Music: Richie Hawtin
While he spent most of his techno-formative years across the river in Windsor, Ontario, it’s impossible to talk about Detroit techno’s legacy without mentioning Richie Hawtin. Hawtin’s impact on the scene is long established, and he’s often credited with spreading techno throughout Canada and the midwest with his infamous parties. This documentary was made after he made the jump to Berlin, and it’s a thorough look back at his time in Detroit and how he transitioned to Europe in the 2000s.
2. Detroit: Blueprint for Techno
Speaking of Canada, they do a helluva job crafting this documentary, Detroit: Blueprint for Techno, which was produced by cable channel MuchMusic a number of years back. For only 25 minutes in length, it goes super-in-depth, with footage from all the usual suspects plus Rolando, Terrence Parker, and more.
1. Real Scenes: Detroit
One of the slickest-looking docs on Detroit techno, Real Scenes: Detroit, produced by Resident Advisor and Bench, takes the long view on the topic, but manages to hew more to the current side of Detroit’s regeneration and growth rather than its bygone history and post-industrial decay. A winner, any way you look at it.
House music has a legacy unlike any other genre of dance music. Born in Chicago in the ’80s, the style grew outward to Detroit, New York, the UK, Paris, South Africa, and all points in between, and, some 30 years later, it’s touched just about every aspect of popular music as we know it.
As part of our Legends of Electronic Music series, today we take a look at some must-see documentaries that track house music’s growth and popularity—from Chi-Town to Johannesburg. And while we couldn’t quite include Lil Louis’ The House that Chicago Built since it’s still in production, here are our 10 favorites up to now.
10. The Chemical Generation
Boy George leads us through the story of how acid house, raves, and drug use are all came together during the late ’80s and ’90s in the UK. At one point, Boy George asks author Irvine Welsh (who wrote Trainspotting), “Do you think acid house could have been as popular as it was without ecstasy?”
9. Inside House
This low-budget documentary consists of interview after interview with DJs like Kerri Chandler, DJ Gregory, and Jay-Jay in a bar setting. The early debate over the introduction of MP3s becoming widely available to DJs is a heavy point of discussion.
8. Slices: Theo Parrish
The only documentary in our list that features only one DJ, Theo Parrish—but it’s still a notable one, with the master of Detroit house digging for vinyl and talking in depth about the medium and how music technology sometimes translates to “convenience replacing artistry.”
7. This Ain’t Chicago: UK House According to the Artists That Lived It
The name says it all. This documentary puts the focus on how house music took hold in the UK in the late ’80s and early ’90s, according to Richard Sen and guests. Sen compiled a collection of tracks for Strut Records called This Ain’t Chicago, and this short documentary allows him to put those songs into context.
6. Paris Is Burning
Before Madonna wrote “Vogue” and popularized the dance trend, young, black, gay men in Harlem had been competing in ballroom dance contests for at least eight years—and they were as fierce as any breaking competition. The foundation of the ballroom movement was, naturally, house music.
5. From Jack to Juke: 25 Years of Ghetto House
Chicago was the birthplace of house music as we know it. But Chicago house also gave birth to juke. Today, the influence of Chicago juke on everything from B-more to trap to Mad Decent’s discography is all too evident. This great documentary explains the history of “jack,” “juke,” “booty,” and “ghetto” with DJ Gant-Man, DJ Superman, DJ V-Dub, and plenty of others.
4. Real Scenes: Johannesburg
The most contemporary documentary of all the choices, this Resident Advisor-produced film is a great synopsis of the hold that house music has on South Africa right now. It showcases everyone from the scene’s elder statesmen to its young producers who have nothing more than a tin shed and an old copy of Fruity Loops.
3. Maestro: The History of House Music & NYC Club Culture
Maestro focuses on New York City club culture and how The Continental Baths, The Paradise Garage, and The Loft helped give rise to the global DJ phenomenon, spanning from the disco heyday of the 1970s to the height of garage and house music in the late ’80s. Featured are some classic interviews with Little Louie Vega, Frankie Knuckles, and Tom Moulton, with, of course, a nice tribute to early house don Larry Levan.
2. Back in the House
Another documentary focusing on the NYC scene, however, this one picks up where Maestro leaves off and takes us into the 1990s when Masters at Work were producing hit after hit and Francois K’s Body & Soul parties were the center of underground house. Junior Vasquez, Danny Tenaglia, David Morales, Roger Sanchez led the charge ushering in the “new” production talents of Mousse T, Armand Van Helden, and Daft Punk.
1. Pump Up the Volume
Pump Up the Volume is the consummate history of house music up until the mid-1990s. The series features legends like Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson, Pete Tong, Jesse Saunders, Happy Mondays, and more, taking us from Chicago to London and beyond.