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.


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