The movie stands up even more in print. It reads like a fiction film, including great dialogue like these scenes early on:
Gabor (aka Robag Wruhme): This one Scott this is Russian Water, this is not really water, this is Russian Water, its Vodka. Amy (off camera): Oh really? Gabor: Yeahhh! Amy: Oh you’re serious! Gabor: (laughs) It’s not a joke. Amy: (tastes) Oh my god it is.
Robert Henke (aka Monolake): Welcome to the Synclavier Digital Audio System. I’m so much addicted to these instruments as you could see. If you really want to talk to me you should probably put me out of this room. Philip: Tie your hands behind your back. Robert: And I’m not even stoned!
It is, for lack of a better word, “surreal” to see the film on paper, like it is a script. As the film makes its way to actual film reviewers (and not music fans), they seem to agree.
Antagony & Ecstasy: “”not just a probing music documentary but a magnificently touching personal diary.”
VenusZine: “artfully constructed and skillfully shot”
NBC New York blog also recently spoke with Co-Producer David Day. Read that interview here.
The latest Speaking in Code podcast has been released via the email list and the Facebook page, but here it is on squar3.com.
Douglas Greed provides us this mix, a warm, sometimes strange DJ mix that combines a whole on of music from Greed, the Freude-Am-Tanzen family and others.
Robag: We have many people, and we are a family. And together we can achieve something special.
Greed is the one who walks us through Muna Club and introduces us to FAT. Greed takes us through FAT like Tobias Thomas does earlier.
Douglas: The Muna, it was originally built at the time of the Second World War to build rockets for the Nazis. … So sometimes there are up to 1,500 people at the venue here. You will see later, it’s one of the nicest clubs ever.
Tobias: Kompakt always tries to be honest and serious about the whole idea, the rave idea, the techno idea, the whole ’90s idea of changing the whole system of music.
We have also uploaded Thomas’ full 2 1/2 hour mix from the Speaking In Code after-party on February 14th, 2010, in conjuction with the Together Festival:
Michael Mayer (recently awarded #1 DJ mix of the 00 decade by Resident Advisor) is set to release Immer 3, his third in the “Forever” trilogy. He just played Cambridge, at Make It New, in an event that was a dream come true for some people in the Boston scene.
Amy (off camera): What do you think is different about this record store than other record stores in the world? Michael Mayer: I think its very, very comprehensive regarding minimal techno.
One track on Immer 3 brought the house down at Make It New. Raudive’s “Slave” samples Grace Jones, who recently made quite a stir celebrating her 62nd birthday.
Again I find myself at a loss for what happened in the last few days. The film, years in the making, has started to ship all over the world. For the last 5 years, this blog has kept an account of the genesis, filming and production of a film called Speaking in Code.
That film began shipping from a warehouse in Dallas to each corner of the world. Customers in Norway, Singapore, New Zealand, Austria, Canada, right up the street in Jamaica Plain and nearly everywhere else, were shipped their pre-ordered DVDs today (order today at speakingincode.com). It came with extras like a Wolfgang Voigt interview, Modeselektor live and uncut and a well-written 1000-word essay from Philip Sherburne.
And of course, the process of selling this vision to the world has only just begun. Soon, the movie will have the ability to sell in stores. In a few weeks (perhaps months), the DVD will be available on Amazon.com and soon thereafter on iTunes. The idea of taking three years out of our lives to follow certain folks, and tell their stories, is finally coming to fruition. Perhaps in the future a larger company could produce a director’s cut, with way more extra footage, way more interviews and even more added packaging.
Critically, the movie has been very well received, and we’ll continue to share those perspectives with you. The non-traditional format of the film has left some perplexed, though and while the movie very much speaks for itself, there are a few critiques that we’d like to address here.
1. “Why didn’t you include my favorite artist in the movie?
This is probably the most common critique of Speaking in Code. It goes without saying that if we made a movie about everyone’s favorite artist, we would have made a movie that lasts seven days and would have cost 12 mortgages. =)
There’s is also the complaint that the artists featured are not current to the electronic scene, a critique which is laughable at best. If we set out to make a three-year travelogue about some artists who are “cool” now, it would have had to begin before many had even started to make music. Even then, the artists we followed were described as “bleeding-edge” by Pitchfork Media, perhaps the benchmark of music criticism today. So one man’s old hat is another’s new headgear.
When it comes right down to it, the characters in Speaking in Code were simply the ones who made themselves immediately available to us, and were were most willing to let us bother them for a few years. They also opened up to the camera right away and were interesting to watch. It is a movie first, a documentary about cool music second.
2. “There is no point to this movie.”
It strikes me that the people who usually say this about the film are typically the exact people we could have made the movie about. We made Speaking in Code so that the casual viewer, someone who knows next to nothing about electronic music, would understand that there are people behind the computers. We also wanted people who love this music to have a film they could identify with–and from the feedback we’ve received, many techno lovers are drawn to Speaking in Code because they relate to the character’s passion and dedication.
There is no doubt our six stories make a movie about dedication. And that’s the simple point of the film. For some people who have already dedicated themselves to a life of electronic music and who are living the lifestyle, it’s like: “Yeah, so what.” Perhaps it is because this story, really, is, in some ways, about them. Consider SiC, then, a movie not just for those deep inside the scene. It a window into a world, not a mirror.
And the point of the film is to watch these people transform over the years with regard to their life within electronic music. There are also moments which make people laugh out loud and other times we have seen audiences tear up and even cry.
3. “This movie is not about the genre I like.”
I have hated electronic music I don’t like with such vehement passion it would shock you. It took me a few years outside the critical echo chamber to understand that this sort of mentality is, for lack of a better word, unhealthy. It’s much more productive to promote and support the music you like than spend time knocking down the music you don’t. I suppose it’s a product of getting older, in the end.
But again, it’s why the film needed to be made. There is such a passion for electronic music that it drives people to purposeful distinctions–my genre is good, your genre is bad, this artist is old, this one is new–when in fact, people outside of the scene could not only make any discernible distinction one way or the other, they could actually not care any less. Speaking in Code is designed, regardless of distinction, to show why they should care.
When rave music and electronic music was at its height, huge events would be held with all genres (sometimes literally) under one big tent. I’m not proposing we hold hands in unity, but understand that to someone who doesn’t understand electronic music, the difference between drum and bass, say, and trance simply doesn’t exist.
Speaking in Code gets into the creation, promotion, documentation and performance of this music without regard to what is cool and in a verite execution that took years of filming, dedication and personal sacrifice. It dives in head first, as opposed to glancing over the surface. It’s personal perspective is a result of that dedication and execution, and one we are immensely happy with.
And this week, it began to go everywhere the world. Thank you.
We’ve been able to commission another podcast, Speaking in Code Podcast 02, in celebration of the film. Already spread through the email list and Web 2.0 methods, here it is in traditional blog/web 1.0 format:
In case you hadn’t heard, the Wighnomy Brothers officially “broke up” (which makes an amazing coda to the film), yet of course they still continue to make music. Robag’s latest effort “Dreiklangkapriolen” contains this amazing track which, as Resident Advisor points out “it sounds like little else.”
The latest offering from Voigt is a resurrection of the legendary Profan label. A fringe record that marries the primitive rhythms and designs of simple techno to the composition of classical music. The strings come and go like a ghost. “Abweichung (n): aberrance, wandering from the correct path, going astray, deviation from what is normal.” A personal, 10-minute interview with the Kompakt head is featured on the DVD.
First off, click for the snazzy new website of Speaking in Code. Thanks to Nick Hubben (who designed this blog 5 or so years ago) for the great new look. Other big stuff continues to happen on the DVD front. Steve Mizek turned in a sparkling review of the film over at well-established electronic music website Little White Earbuds. He says Speaking in Code “successfully personalizes the realities of music obsession, from packed stadium triumphs to tribulations that require self-sacrifice in pursuit of satisfaction.” For his full review, click here. We’ve also recently updated Speaking in Code at Wikipedia.
In addition to extra content you can find at LWE and at Beatportal, we were also able to share one extra with Pitchfork Media and their Pitchfork.tv website. This is one of the extras which appears in the DVD, along with extended interviews, an essay and live footage of Modeslektor at Sonar:
Most newsworthy, though, is after getting a substandard protoype from a manufacture (who was randomly referred to us), we have decided to move the shipping date of the DVD back to March 29th and use a new company who will provide a much more satisfactory product.
Duplium, a Canadian company with locations in Canada and the US, will be servicing the Speaking in Code DVD to the world, now, but they need 10 business days to get our orders out to you. So despite having a release date of March 12, 2010, we will not begin shipping until the week of March 29, 2010.
When the quality of end product (flimsy plastic, cheap paper) was substandard, we felt like we had to make a change. When the DVD shows up at your door, we want it to be the best product possible. Our former distributor also had little experience with international shipping, and nearly half of the pre-orders so far are for Europe (and beyond Europe!). We of course want to be sure you get your DVD safe and sound.
So watch for a shipping email confirmation during the last week of March. You will still get your DVD when everyone else does, so you won’t be missing out. Thanks to all who have ordered Speaking in Code ordered so far. You can still pre-order the DVD at the website. If you have any questions, please drop us a line as always: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, the readers of the squar3.com blog may have missed the inaugural Speaking in Code podcast(!), from our long-time collaboratorBaltimoroder. It includes some music from the film, some music we remember hearing while making the film and other music from the artists who appear in the movie. The mix was so good, in fact, that our friends at Pitchfork Media put it in their Forkcast section. They called it a “pretty amazing mix.”
Obviously, it is with great pride that we report to the world that the Speaking in Code DVD is officially available for pre-order at the official website: speakingincode.com. For those of you that have been following this saga for nearly 5 years, this is welcome news indeed!
We have finalized the list of appropriate DVD extras and they are as follows:
Each specifically selected extra is not only related to the film itself, but they are also quite hilarious and interesting. We have other extras that will be populating the web in the weeks ahead. Watch for them!
If you have seen the film, the extras are worth the price and you know what all was gone through to make the film in the first place! The more pre-orders we can manage, the more DVDs we can make. Your pre-order means a lot.
If you have yet to see the film, well, I can’t offer you a guarantee, but here’s what other people have said: “The personal edge really makes it stand out as something different,” (press kit) “I was very impressed with the unexpected layers,” “Brave rather than exploitative,” “Had an amazing look,” “I loved it, truly!” “Electronic Music’s Most Important Documentary?” (beatportal.com)
There is no end to the news in Boston, either. Not only is Basstown chugging along (Facebook site) but these last few months Boston stepped up and hosted it’s first electronic music festival, called, Together.
As the Creative Director I worked ceaselessly alongside Managing Director Mike McKay (who literally worked without sleep for days) to make it happen. Coordinating a music festival is a LOT of work. Fortunately, we had a huge team of supporters that saw it through.
It got press coverage in both the Sunday Boston Globe and Sunday Boston Herald (combined circulation over 600,000) prior to launch and some nice coverage from the biggest daily newpaper: Boston Metro on Thursday and a sweet wrap-up on the following Tuesday. There was even a letter from the Mayor of Boston himself.
I cannot write enough about the experience and what it meant to me. To say it was a dream come true is an understatement.
There was tons of music that got me through what amounted to the hardest I’ve worked in my life.
One was this track by Reagenz called, appropriately enough, “Keep Building”:
Kompakt still holds considerable sway in these parts, and their Pop Ambient 2010 was always a soothing relief from all the pounding music of the day. Especially the mammoth closing track from Brock Van Wey:
And the Together Steering Committee, especially Alexander Maniatis of Dopamine Records, coordinated the Together 2010 sampler of regional producers, a stand out being, once again, Christopher Wade of Providence, RI crew Lovelife:
Been a while. Thank you for your patience. We’re happy to say it will pay off (and the Facebook page and Twitter account has been very active), but at the same time independent film production isn’t what it used to be.
As you undoubtedly know, Speaking In Code, the techno movie that is not about techno, continues its pursuit. The confluence of industries and economic crises has produced an absolute flood of film producers, and vice-versa. There is no end to the amount of documentaries and a very particular limit to those who can release them in the traditional way.
It’s been seen with most of the different docs produced in 2009. From Anvil to For The Love of Movies and beyond, many producers have to resort to self-release to hope their film gets seen. Like many systems in this economic transformation, the rules are changing, and quite rapidly. While we develop this system of self-release, you, our fine fans, are kept waiting.
The good news is that the feature film is still stellar. We will be releasing a DVD in the coming months, but not before treating you to some of the extras and outtakes of the film. With every outtake we release, another option to pre-order the DVD will also be unveiled.
Or so we hope. This is a new world of movie production–a world without standard distribution, where everyone can share their slice of reality, where everyone’s story is their own. It seems quite scary, but it’s also one that is imminent. Thank you for your patience.
Been a while, but the forward movement of electronic music and the dance scene had propelled itself to new heights. Most crucially is the propagation of bandwidth. No longer is the size of a file so difficult. In fact, streaming has become the norm. And, for beat-lovers and dance heads around the world, the thought of an endless “radio” tuned to great music is quite perfect.
So here are five recent streams from SoundCloud, an excellent idea for streaming that has very much taken hold.
There was quite a lot of talk about “horror disco” this year, and with good reason. The darkness of our economic times combined with the history of dance music equals this. To wit, Gatekeeper is the featured act atThunderdome’s first-ever New Year’s Eve party.
Despite the times, circumstance and independence, there is a DVD coming soon of the film. Stay tuned at the Facebook address or Twitter (@sicfilm) for the latest info.