JFF PFM and SiC
Funny how things work. This Thursday, we have a special guest at the club night we co-host, called Make It New (a name inspired by Ezra Pound, fwiw) and he was reviewed in hipsterati music site Pitchfork Media just this morning.
James is an industry friend (meaning we met him at conventions and so forth) who's turned into a better friend, and, more importantly, a nationally-known DJ. And I'm going to try to open for him. Here we go.
We'll use the opportunity to promote the film a little bit (naturally) and keep the interest up in electronic music in general. It may not be an entire coincidence that PFM and sQuare linked up, being that I used to write for them early on (visit some pretty awful early reviews here) and our co-producer writes for them. More likely, though, is that PFM is just a stand-up organization.
They are fast becoming the first stop for industry cats and music heads worldwide, and have done a brilliant job maintaining independence and thier enthusiasm for electronic music. That they have Dominik Eulberg and Koln's own Ada playing their music festival is awesome enough, but they also give careful consideration to a lot of the music that's in our film. Long live Pitchfork.
We have plenty of screen shots of our investor DVD forthcoming, as it turns out. Director Grill has set up an edit suite in the dining room and the more footage we log and splice together (over 120 hours at this point) the more it's clear the film is about people and a desire to see things change through independent means.
James is independent, so is Mutek, Bunker, Forced Exposure and the others who have made it to the edit screen. They're all so well-intentioned and unique it makes for good footage, and apparently our initial investors agree.
As we prepare for the rest of the shoots this year, songs jump out as relevant, true and nourishing. One such track comes from a recent compilation of the Hacienda club, perhaps the greatest club of all time. The inclusionary, deliberate sound and look of the night still remains a standard for every dance party that's thrown. The final track on the 3CD set (it's a brilliant set, btw) is Candi Staton's gospel-tinged, deep electrohouse anthem "You Got the Love".
There's no denying that the dedication some people have to dance music borders on the religious, and the song sums up the pinpoint strife of maintaining in a world where you think nothing you do matters.
The Source - "You Got the Love (with Candi Staton)"
The new electronic underground is soulful, determined and full of enthusiasm -- especially when enthusiasm might be all you got.
In the Good Life
Our ambient night happens again tomorrow, sort of snuck up on us, but it's pretty clever. We get a lamp, some lovely projections (last time it was all moon landings and ocean life) and play some of the finest ambient music we have. It's hosted by myself and Billy Kiely (aka UFO) one of the gentlemen of Boston. He's also the head of sales over at my day job.
It's a relaxing good time.
As for the film we're making (Speaking in Code), we're considering changing the subtitle from "Stories from the New Electronic Underground" to "Adventures in the New Electronic Underground" to give it an added jolt. It really is a series of adventures.
Also, as I write, our director/producer is in the other room cutting together a series of "magic moments" to provide our potential/current investors. These moments represent best the characters and segments of this new worldwide scene. A scene which includes tiny labels like Unlockedgroove and brilliant cottage empires like Kompakt as well as parties like the M3 Summit, and so forth. We'll post them as they go through the process.
In Boston, we're also curating Free the DJ on Wednesdays and have Make It New this Thursday with Kiely and Pearson on the decks, and next Thursday, special guest DJ James Friedman. A lot of which we are promoting via My Space, a site which has taken on a kind of undeniable, if apocalypic, momentum.
Which isn't to say we're losing site of the music. Today I heard a 3CD set from the Hacienda, a famous Manchester club, and was reminded of "Good Life" from Inner City -- a duo founded by Kevin Saunderson, one of the legends we mentioned in the previous post. "Good Life" is what we might call an ATC or, All Time Classic.
Our DJ at ZuZu this Wednesday has a residency at the Good Life club in Boston. It ties together, then, with our ambient night. Here's a fab acoustic mix, from one of those ubiquitous Ibiza chill-out comps. This mix is quite pleasant, though, and the genius of Paris Grey's vocal maintains. Inner City is a group whose status endures as the techno community ages.
Inner City - "Good Life (Acoustic Mix)"
And now I think -- we get some sleep.
Detroit Don Juan
There is the kind of electronic music that cashes in pretty quickly, and the kind that endures for decades. We know about the scene that is cashing in (Paul Oakenfold played Boston tonight, fwiw) and the Detroit originators have legendary screen time, but where is this new indie scene?
One of the biggest stories of the year has been the handing of the old-school DEMF festival over to the new crop of minimal funkeers known as Paxahau.
The festival, usually sponsored by Ford, will take on a new perspective under these guys, focused more outside of the US than inside. How many internationalists can fit into Detroit? Can the city re-define its sound again? Detroit has long been home to some of the best music in America (Motown, Madonna, Iggy Pop, MC5, Techno, etc., etc.) and it will host quite the group of new indie techno elite.
Of course, we think this is pretty astounding (and may even have to take our cameras there). Plus they are featuring a documentary (and we love documentaries).
High Tech Soul is the latest film to try and capture the essence of Detroit Techno and, from what we can tell, does it pretty damn well. It's strong music from a strong town, a town where they give tours of ruins.
This year in Detroit, elements from our film in progress will meet this old school aesthetic and, with paxahau organizing, this could be the most combustible US music festival in decades.
It's perfectly reasonable, then that we are one of the hosts of Juan MacLean this Thursday at the Middlesex Lounge. After all, dude gets his first name from Juan Atkins, one of the heralded Detroit legends.
Juan is taking a little break from his tour schedule to play our night here and we think its fab. It's free this Thursday. Oh, and next week he's playing Fabric in London. So, you know, he for really real. And he is part of that new indie scene, with a record deal on NYC indie DFA Records and growing up as a punk rock kid.
Juan Atkins is a brilliant mind, and had a bit of a pop group in the 80s with Cybotron. Recently, a track of theirs was sampled by Missy Elliott (always the pro sample-selektor) for her runaway club smash "Outta Control" a song we blogged about quite some time ago.
If you don't have it yet, well...
Cybotron - "Clear"
Now you do... and find a way to get to Detroit (and, you know, Middlesex).
In terms of Stories from the New Electronic Underground, Miami is hardly home to much. This being the subtitle of our movie, I think it's likely people will ask "why Miami?"
The Winter Music Conference is the premier event for the ghettoized dance culture. That is, the big beat Ultra Music Festival is there, along with events that actually give AWARDS to people like Paul Van Dyk, Sasha and Digweed and Crystal Method.
Our film, Speaking in Code, has nothing to do with these dudes. It's about the characters dispersed throughout the independent dance scene and how they interact. And despite rumors to the contrary, there were many indie events in Miami, and we tried to film as many as we could. At places like the district to see Matthew Dear and Juan MacLean. Or onto B.E.D. to catch Marc Houle and Richie Hawtin.
There were professional reasons to go, as well. (Needed to meet up with cats like Marcus and Carsten. Needed to write a column about this show and deliver some papers. Needed to get to places where I was going to dance, and I didn't bring my camera. And needed to enjoy some patented Miami service.)
The movie's going swell, we have a few investors now and some considerable interest, so that's good. Over 110 hours of stories, characters and brilliant shots of this new scene. Out 2007. New trailer to come (swear to god, people).
And, wow, a month where we don't have to go anywhere or do anything! Except host DJ Juan MacLean at Middlesex April 6, and James F!@#$%^ Friedman April 20. (Both nights are free)
Sleeparchive is playing live in Boston this Friday (RSVP to zzz [at] zer0gsounds.com or rsvp [at] robotlovesongs.com before 12:00 noon on Thursday), The Orb is here this Wednesday and all is right with the world.
Sleep not on sleeparchive. Dude takes it back old school (he's also Skanfrom!), knows what a blip can do and rocked Avalon last weekend. He's playing a private party, so you have to RSVP and it's only $10. I know the space and it's super cool.
The music will be too. Not only do you have DJ Heemin Yang, but Function is coming up from NYC. The bill is super tight.
And the music? Well:
Sleeparchive - "Bleep 4"
Returned from a whirlwind NYC weekend where we visited Bunker for the indominable Sleeparchive, absolutely essential record store Other Music, Avalon NYC where we saw Feadz (with Uffie!), the Robots crew and much much more.
Probably the most enjoyable event was Leftovers at Love, where our friend DJ Spinoza, Derek Plaslaiko (above by Will Calcutt) and the Wolf and Lamb crew threw down on what Theo Parrish himself called the best sound system in the world.
And it is. The Wolf and Lamb duo have free music available at their website and, even more impressively, the Ableton Live files that make up the track available as well. This way, you can download the code and remix it yourself. I don't think anyone else has ever done this. And as they mentioned to us, they want their netlabel to be all dancefloor music, not digital detritus. Judging by the way the crowd moved, I'd say they succeeded.
Now with its first investor, a new Boston-based editor, a growing industry buzz and a schedule booked to the hilt, Speaking in Code takes off for Miami in a few days. We're tired but looking forward to the challenge.
In addition to filming and speaking at conferences (and buying lots of records from Chris and our friends at Other Music) I wrote two pieces for the Phoenix while we were in NYC. One on the Orb, who play live in Boston Monday 27 March and Hot Chip. The other piece is my weekly Circuits column on Boston superstar DJ Alan Manzi and Reggaeton DJ Hectik. Pick it up if you're in the area. Or, just click above, they're already on-line.
Speaking of Hot Chip (see below) it was a blast to DJ at their show. They spoke with me for the Phoenix article afterwards and asked a number of questions about what was spun before they came on, specifically about Booka Shade, the live electronic duo we plan to catch plenty of in Miami and remarked specifically about this track:
It's from the Kitsune X CD/2LP compilation which never ever leaves my record bag. Kitsune is one of the finer labels on earth. A boutique label from chic Paris. Two other people asked about it as well. So...
The Mogs - "Kelly Blame (Vocal Mix)"
And we're out.
See you in Miami.
Hot Chip, Juan and You
On the news front, David Day DJs tonight for super-cool UK disco-rock combo Hot Chip at Great Scott in Allston. Only $8.00 gets you to see the five-keyboard maschine alongside the Blanks and rad ravespoilation duo Big Digits. Gonna be a lot of fun.
Also happy to say we have confirmed the second guest ever at Make It New, the night we share the decks with the Forced Exposure Sound System (Billy Kiely, Mike Uzzi and Erik Pearson).
Very proud to have New England's own worldwide superstar Juan Maclean put in a guest DJ gig April 6th at our night in Central Square. It will remain free to the public, but you might want to get there early. Juan goes on at about Midnight or so to spin his favorite tracks that he's collected as one of the premiere live elctronic acts in the US. MacLean records for the venerable DFA label out of NYC. His album Less Than Human continues to sell, and his singles, like "Give Me Every Little Thing" and "You Can't Have It Both Ways" are stone-cold classics. Flyer coming soon.
As for the movie, we've just returned from a dinner meeting with Jason Redmond who gave us more valuable advice and pointers as we begin to field the interest from potential investors out there in the world. Redmond festival kicks off in Boston April 19-24th and from what he's let us in on, will be bigger and better than ever before.
The movie begins to film in New York City this weekend, starting with ground zero of the neu-electronic underground at THE BUNKER, where promoter and DJ Bryan Kasenic aka DJ Spinoza is a resident. Kasenic is also kicking off a new afternoon techno experience called Leftovers at Love, which, as far as sQuare knows, is the only afternoon/early evening party of its kind. See you there perhaps.
We featured Hot Chip's "Playboy" cut on one of our early sQuare sound compilations. Their "blue-eyed crunk" style has recently landed them on the cover of XLR8R magazine. Their shows, wherein all the members are on keyboards, playing various other instruments and generally creating super-powered party mayhem, are starting to become stories in and of themselves. Turns out we'll see them a few times in Miami, but this venue will be extra special.
It all ties in together, of course. Not only does Hot Chip have a keen ear for future funk styles, it also has excellent taste in its remix pool. Solid Groove, Naum Gabo, Jamie Lidell, Scissor Sisters have all come under their edit block.
The latest to join the fray is Kompakt records own Justus Kohncke, who appears in our documentary. Justus had to cancel his US tour at the last minute (sadly), but still garners quite a following inside America, thanks in part to love from hip record review websites like Pitchfork Media.
Here's the remix. A brilliant rework of Hot Chip's already lovely pop track "Over and Over" (check the video here), which strikes us as an ode to dance music and techno. The lyrics go: "Over and over and over and over / Like a monkey with a miniature cymbal / The joy of repetition really is in you." We would be remiss if we didn't point that Justus, in his definitive cheeky-disco style, samples Laid Back's "White Pony" surely a reference to the opening line:
"Laid back / Laid back / Laid Back / We'll give you laid back"
Hot Chip - "Over and Over (Justus Kohncke Remix)"
Our Director/Producer is in LA for her work, but is keeping her ears open for some contacts with "the biz" and our producer is super busy putting together his film festival.
But we've had great feedback and contacts from some potential new producers and friends. Thanks to everyone who is reaching out.
Back in Boston, we're watching tapes from last weekend. sQuare filmed the Wighnomy Brothers in Montreal then, now putting our film archives over the 100 hour mark. The trip was a success, if for no other reason the drama getting there, wherein your intrepid film crew drove through a Vermont snowstorm (and past about 12 accidents) to get the footage for you.
All their friends were there, including Alain from MUTEK, neu-techno Godfather Akufen and sQuare friend and all-around genius/great guy Deadbeat. All these types and timelines add to the film's narrative. The way in which the Wighnomies are confronting their new success is compelling enough, but add the richness and complexity of the network, the emerging scenes and things start to take on new meaning.
Back in Boston, we're helping with a new concept in nightlife. A night of Ambient visuals and Ambient sounds called FURNITURE MUSIC.
Our partner in the night, Nog a/k/a Billy Kiely a/k/a UFO is the head of sales at my day job, Forced Exposure, a company which I cannot be more proud to say I work for.
Mike Uzzi, one of the Boston crew trying to break techno in what they call "The Hub" is spinning the local House night (BUMP!) in Central Square 26 March alongside charismatic DJ type Alan Manzi. Should be fun.
The column this week is about Jon Schmidt, a local beatmatching master, who's making a fantastic trip to Montreal himself on 10 March to open for Matthew Dear. Jon is a super-slick DJ with some great taste. Gotta go interview him right now, in fact...
What else? Oh yeah, tunes.
Border Community is one of the hottest labels on the planet, and BC chariman/capo/CEO James Holden is the hottest DJ on the planet. His At The Controls 2CD mix set is coming out at the end of the month and it's amazing. The tracklisting is fire.
Their MFA track "The Difference it Makes" is currently the song in the Speaking in Code teaser trailer, their resident music savant, Nathan Fake releases a lovely full-length soon, and their various appearances around Miami at the end of the month are eagerly-anticipated, to say the least.
This is Fairmont, an alias for Canadian Jake Fairley, with "Gazebo" -- a lovely dancable ditty that touches on a sound sQuare would like to hear more of: THE SINE WAVE.
Fairmont - "Gazebo"
Speaking in Cash
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.
So now we're looking for money.
What we need is funding for production and travel for the rest of our journey, money to pay off the credit cards we have taken on to get this far to begin with and a dedicated professional editor who could also give us a new perspective. And of course, much more.
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.
We certainly have time and money left, but without investors the film cannot be as good as it can be. Which is to say... excellent.
Opportunities to invest in Speaking in Code come with benefits, to be sure. Executive Producer, Producer, Associate Producer credits, (Special Thanks and so forth), the excitement of watching the film change and grow, the satisfaction of bringing this sound and story to a much wider audience and all the accolades and opportunities that come with it.
But this isn't a sales pitch. The interest the movie has already generated, and the webhits, downloads and emails of support and offers of assistance are greatly appreciated.
And one way or another, we're making this movie.
But if there is a soul out there in the cyberweb with the means and ability to assist this project reach its full potential, we encourage you to drop us a line. We're not about the hard sell and any and all input is appreciated.
To further interest, 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
Sascha Funke - "Forms and Shapes (Lawrence Remix)"
sQuare at Sundance
sQuare productions' Amy Grill returned from Sundance last week empty-handed... which is a good thing.
Grill, Speaking In Code's Director/Producer, left Boston with 22 CD/DVD promotional packets. At Sundance she met up with Jason and his team.
The DVD, a broader, four-minute version of our teaser trailer, with footage from our first visit to Köln, Montreal and tape from San Francisco. The CD contained the following:
1. Sascha Funke Forms and Shapes (Lawrence Mix)
2. The MFA The Difference It Makes
3. Isolee Enrico
4. Baxendale I Built This City (Michael Mayer Remix)
5. Robag Wruhme Wuzzelbud KK
6. Rex the Dog I Look Into Mid Air
7. Rainbow Bright The Rollah
8. Akufen Deck the House
9. Justus Kohncke 2 After 909
10. Wighnomy Brothers Wombat
11. Nathan Fake The Sky Was Pink (James Holden Remix)
12. Gas (Wolfgang Voigt) Untitled
The idea was to give interested parties an teaser of the film and an intro the kind of music we're referencing in the movie. Clearly, there is a long list of music we would like to include but at this point it is a reasonable sampling. sQuare got familiar with Sundance, how it physically works, and shored up a bunch of great contacts in the process. Some people (Americans aching for a new sound, no doubt) we're quite thrilled with just the CD even.
The packets were dispersed with a quickness.
To be sure this film is less about the kind of music -- the specifics of the sound -- and more about the characters that make it and what happens to them: how they contribute to each other's work and how they get their music, and message, to the masses.
At this exact moment, we are watching the footage from our second visit to Köln. On the screen: artist and editor Tobias Thomas, artist and editor Philip Sherburne, certified legend Wolfgang Voigt and pop star-to-be Superpitcher (who heads to NYC February 9). It all looks great.
I can't wait to see the footage from Jena.
Speaking of Köln, we were fowarded a link to a DVD about the scene coming from the very festival we filmed, c-o pop. It is another survey DVD, (like the monthly Slices DVD, which is a promotional vehicle for T-Mobile) and is a good overview.
Speaking in Code is not an overview. It is, if you will, an underview of how a group of artists, doing something new with music, struggle to get heard by setting up a network outside of the mainstream, without compromising their intergrity. And it's not a DVD. It's a movie.
It all sounds high-falutin, for sure, but there are some genuinely funny moments on film and some genuinely charismatic characters to take you there.
For now, we plan to film the Wighnomy Brothers, from the shire of Jena, as they play North America for the first time. And we've begun preparations to visit the scene as it coalesces each year in Miami around the WMC and the M3 Summit.
The music of Gas, one of Wolfgang's numerous aliases, has come up a number of times in our travels and with good reason. For many of these characters, Gas represents the purest techno ever made: just sound. A few people have said Wolfgang went on hiatus because he couldn't do any better: Gas was his perfect achievement.
Maybe they're right.
Gas, and much of Wolfgang's output, is long out of print, a result of limited pressings or bankrupt record labels. Some of it has been resurrected at Kompakt's MP3 site. Worth seeking out.
As a sample, here's the first track from Königsforst, Voigt's second album as Gas on the now-deceased mille plateaux label. All the songs are untitled, which further ads to its artistry.
Gas - "Untitled"
Turn it up.
PS: For those of you in Boston, we have a new night starting up on Wednesdays called FREE THE DJ, wherein we invite our favorite DJs to spin whatever they want, their influences, their inspirations and their secret hits. It's free at ZuZu in Central Square and starts this Wednesday. They have a phat new soundsystem too.
This week it's DJ RNDM.
Updates here and also here.
Speaking in Code Returns
Director Amy Grill and DP Scott Sans returned from Germany this weekend with a host of brilliant stories and 25 more hours of footage to add to the Speaking in Code archives. More to come at our website.
Co-producer Philip Sherburne, Earplug editor and Pitchfork columnist, also flew in from Barcelona. His post on the trip is here.
Thanks to Monolake, Sascha Funke, Modeselektor and BPitch Control, Dubplates and Mastering and Kompakt Records for letting us back into their world for some follow-up on an extraordinary organization.
Kompakt star Superpitcher returns to NYC at the Canal Room Thursday 9 February. Sleep not. (His mix CD Today was one of the year's finest).
Big shoutout to the Jena-based duo the Wighnomy Brothers (illustration above) and their label family who hosted our camera crew for three days: setting up trips to the mountains, dinners and being about as hospitable as a label could be. Jena is a town of 100,000+ in Southeast Germany where the DJ duo set up their label Freude-am-Tanzen (Joy-In-Dancing). The F-A-T Record Shop (Fat Plastics), the Kassablanca club and the label make up an organization deep inside Germany who are creating a kind of communist/techno utopia.
The label is more than the Wighnomys of course, and has a depth of talent and personality. Artists like Metaboman, Mathias Kaden and Marek Hemmann all make their home at F-A-T.
In even bigger news, The Wighnomy Brothers are coming to North America. Averse to participate in our capitalist system, and uncomfortable with the English language in general (their East German roots show in both their label philosophy and language preference), the Wighnomys are headed to Montreal Saturday 25 February.
Book your hotel rooms now. sQuare is making plans to be there. You should too.
The event is being sponsored, in part, by the Mutek organization. Their mailing list is here.
Monolake (aka Robert Henke) is the brilliant creator of Abelton Live, the music production program that many of these artists use. Henke gave our cameras a decent outline of the program's fascinating facets.
He is also a producer of music and one of the better-known techno acts here in the US, having recently toured on a visit to the Decibel festival out in Seattle.
His music is deeper than most because his knowledge is deeper than all. Monolake's music is from another place beyond pop, beyond disco and some would say beyond techno. From 2005, the deep and seductive "Invisible":
Monolake - "Invisible"
Amy and Producer Jason Redmond head to Sundance 2006 on Thursday to further establish funding and distribution contacts.
The story continues...
Modeselektor goes off
Back to the grind in the New Year. 2006 is shaping up to be something special in the sQuare world.
First off, Speaking in Code is making great progress overseas on our second trip into Germany. Director/Producer Amy Grill is sending limited blackberry texts, but each one tends to make me more jealous than the previous. "It's awesome here" (in reference to our second visit to the great city of Koln) and "Loads of great stuff here" (in reference to Berlin and Monolake) and "Modeselektor freaking rocks"
Modeselektor is a DJ duo on BPitch Control who have recently crossed over into production, floating the brilliant Hello, Mom! in 2005, which was just nominated as album of the year at Qwartz. The pair specialize in a kind of garbage-bag techno that splices elements from Grime, Hip-Hop, Booty Bass, Detroit, Acid and all sorts of other genres until it becomes junkfunk. Their DJ sets are absolutely mad as well. sQuare caught them on the ground in Berlin and visited the BPitch offices alongside co-producer Philip Sherburne.
One of the gems from the new CD is the lead-off track which features the vocal stylings of French Hip-Hop act TTC. We've long held out that French hip-hop is the next to blow and TTC are one of the reasons why. The combination is ruthless:
Modeselektor - "Dancing Box (Feat. TTC)"
It's so ill sQuare soundsystem member Erik Pearson played it during our night at the Enormous Room without skipping a beat. Needless to say Erik was skilled in the mix. So much he had me asking "What is this?" after I had had the CD for about 3 months.
Their new remix 12" out soon features work from the massively buzzing sleeparchive and the superkid from Ghostly records: Dabrye.
We've also been keeping busy with our allies over at the Boston Phoenix who have been really happy with the way Circuits is being read. Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out to let us know what is up around town. Always reciprocated.
Circuits in the Boston Phoenix
And it'll go out to the email list but this Wednesday we're doing a night at ZuZu in Central sQuare with Unlocked Groove's Six Million Dollar Dan. We're also on for Make It New this Thursday at the Middlesex and Pan Am Fridays at Enormous Room.
Circuits update / NYE
Speaking in Code Teaser Remix
The main point to this blog is the movie we are making, called Speaking In Code. In the voice of the Director:
"One thing to know: we plan on to show the influential people in this underground scene as they make it happen. This isn't a film about history - it is about right now - and it isn't a survey of every person who contributed to electronic music's past."
The idea here is this is a living, breathing documentary, designed to bring the viewer into the world of electronic music. Not to teach them about it as much as welcome them in. It's a narrative, it's meta, it's a pleasure to watch.
In our research, we've watched all the electronic music documentaries, and, well, they can be pretty brutal. Tilted camera angles, too-dark shots, too many effects and a kind of hitting-you-over-the-head, you-should-like-this mentality that is off-putting right from the get go. Not the case with SiC. This is new and fresh.
The teaser below, along with cuts in progress was scripted and reworked many times by Director-Producer Amy Grill.
Plus, we now have a trailer editor that is helping us remix our teaser, a fellow named Nate DeYoung out of New York City (currently with Kinetic), who also writes for the fabulous Stylus Magazine.
We also have a Producer -- a real clever guy named Jason Redmond is putting us up on our feet. Jason is the executive director of the Boston Independent Film Festival, the most successful film festival in Boston. He knows what works and has given valuable insight and support so far.
See the video page at squar3.com for more details.
So, Amy Grill, Philip Sherburne, David Day, Nate DeYoung, Jason Redmond and a whole slew of decent kids at Emerson College present the newest SiC teaser for your pleasure.
Watch it a couple of times and watch see how it's cut to the beat, with some keen visual edits and insights thrown in.
Speaking In Code - Teaser Remix (.mov)
Any feedback and questions are fully encouraged to amy [at] squar3 [dot] com.
Those interested in getting involved in SiC can contact jason [at] iffboston [dot] org.
More to follow.