85 hours of beautiful footage, from Robotspeak in San Francisco halfway around the world to The Kassablanca Club in Jena Germany is slowly being logged and notated, watched carefully by our director and a few volunteers when they have the time.
Speaking in Code, sQuare’s work-in-progress documentary about the people who drive the new electronic sound is starting to become too big for our small team to work through. Plus we will be filming through the end of the summer, with tentative plans to visit the M3 Summit in Miami, a second, more experienced, visit to The MUTEK festival, a full schedule in New York City and certainly a stay at the Sonar electronic music summit in Barcelona — plus wherever else the developing story may take us.
What is developing is a remarkable story of how the scene operates outside of the mainstream — building an alternative distribution network, lifestyle and ethic to maintain its trust — while preserving the quality of the new sound such characters have pioneered.
It’s a universal tale with universal appeal: artists doing their thing in the sanctity of friends, followers and fans.
The interest the movie has already generated, and the webhits, downloads and emails of support and offers of assistance are greatly appreciated.
Here’s a few of the artists and personalities we have already committed to tape:
Akufen • Deadbeat • Isolée • James Holden • Justus Khöncke • Michael Mayer • Reinhard Voigt • Richie Hawtin • Robag Wruhme • Roberto Mendoza • Superpitcher • The MFA • The Original Hampster • Wolfgang Voigt • Luomo • Wighnomy Brothers • Deadbeat • Monolake • Modeselektor • Sascha Funke • Mathias Kaden • Mike Uzzi…
Nick Sylvester, Village Voice/Pitchfork Media • Alain Mongeau, MUTEK • Jimmy Johnson, Forced Exposure • Alan Stewart, Robot Speak • Tomas Palermo, XLR8R • Tobias Thomas, Spex • Scott Plagenhoef, Pitchfork Media • Dubplates and Mastering • Freude-am-Tanzen • Poller Wisen • Kompakt • BPitch Control • Unlockedgroove • Mutek • Hardwax • F-A-T Plastics
Now, more about the music.
Sascha Funke is one of the characters which crossover the various potential narratives within our film. First off, he has recorded for both Kompakt and BPitch Control (where we interviewed him in Berlin). Second, his music is a favorite in the DJ set of one of our Boston friends, Mike Uzzi. Third, the remix is courtesy of Lawrence, who, with his involvement in Dial Records, wears his left-leaning politics on his sleeve.
But most importantly, the song is emblematic of one of the differences the music and music-makers we are filming transcend the stereotypes of dance music.
When most people think house or techno (or raving for that matter), an image comes to mind of an exhuberant, overly-happy music where the “vibe” and the “groove” is constantly upbeat, lifting you to a kind of wonderland where bad thoughts cannot enter.
This struck me a few weeks back when I went to check out a legendary Boston club to watch the scene. What I saw was a world that exists in a vacuum, everyone dancing, vibing-out, getting wild but not touching, etc. I thought what would happen if I DJed there and this song came to mind — a song such a scene would recoil at. I would hear boos, and I imagine I would ultimately be asked to leave.
Sascha’s sound is imbued with a kind of melancholy and minor-key that you simply don’t hear in mainstream house or dance music in general, and it’s exactly one reason why this music is finding success outside the club with rockers, radio geeks and record heads around the world.
Can people actually get down to this kind of real-life lyricism?
Oh yes, and we have it on tape.
I can’t get up…
If you won’t get down