With the recent release of Modeselektor’s excellent documentary, We Are Modeselektor, we thought we’d round-up some of the best electronic documentaries that we’ve come across over the years, from Soulwax’s ‘Part of The Weekend Never Dies‘ to Justice’s grammy-winning Roman Garvas directed documentary ‘Across The Universe‘, they’re all well worth searching out. Thankfully quite a bit of this content is floating around the internet via services like Picture Box Films which is a popular online film streaming service.
1. Justice: Across The Universe
Chronicling Justice’s 2008 tour of North America, Justice’s ‘Across The Universe‘ was made alongside the duos first live album and was directed by Romain Gavras, with help from the band and So Me. The documentary features live footage of the duos performances across North America. But bulk of the documentary is actually compilation of extraordinary events that happen to the duo during the road-trip across America, There’s everything from the entire tour bus getting arrested in a cafe on gun charges to Xavier seemingly bottling a fan backstage. It’s meant to you give you a raw behind-the-scene look at duos tour, who at the time were one of the biggest French act to break the US since a couple of robots. And despite suggestions that some, or all, of the incidents were staged, it’s definitely worth a watch.
2. Pump Up The Volume
If you’re looking for a definitive documentary on the formation of house music, then 2001’s ‘Pump Up The Volume’ is a must. The film looks at the history of house music, from the early roots in underground disco in New York in the 80’s, to the growth in the dance music in the late 90’s, ‘Pump Up The Volume‘ tries to makes sense of it all by speaking to legends ranging from Frankie Knuckles to Jesse Saunders, check it out below.
3: The Chemical Brothers: Don’t Think
For 20 years the Chemical Brother have been wowing crowds across the world with the world-famous live show, and last year the duo released their first live CD/DVD which was directed by Adam Smith, one one of the show’s visual creators.
The setting for the live show is an impressive one: Fuji Rock Festival in Japan. The live CD/DVD was recorded whilst they performed in front of 50,000 screaming fans as director Adam Smith captures the fans reaction to what they are seeing and hearing via 21 well-placed cameras. You’re not going to see backstage shenanigans a la Justice, or the never-ending touring schedule of Soulwax’s ‘Part of the Weekend Never Dies’. That in all honesty would detract from their performance as ‘Don’t Think’ is a purer piece of art – with their performance taking centre stage.
4: We Are Modeselektor
In 72 minutes, film makers Romi Agel and Holger Wick create a portrait of German electronic duo Modeselektor, but ‘We Are Modeselektor‘ is much more than just a biography but a film about Germany after the fall of the Berlin wall. The search for the origins of Modeselektor leads you into the depths of two kids, Sebastian Szary and Gernot Bronsert, born and raised in East Germany, whose creativity, enthusiasm and idea of a collective brought them from the Berlin suburbs to the city itself and then onto the stages of the world.
The documentary offers a rich variety of archive material, extensive behind the scenes tour footage and travels to important places both past and present to the duo. As a result there are very private insights into Sebastian Szary and Gernot Bronsert’s life as subversive artists who are – despite their broad success – authentic and who over the years stayed true to where they came from.
5. Part Of The Weekend Never Dies
‘Part of The Weekend Never Dies‘ is the infamous documentary about Belgian electro band, Soulwax. Directed by Saam Farahmand during a string of international dates it captures all the excitement, chaos and humour of the band’s world tour. The resulting documentary is a snapshot of life on the road with one of the most important live electronic act around, as well as footage from their show the documentary features interviews and features from their friends including, James Murphy & Nancy Whang (LCD Soundsystem), Erol Alkan, Tiga, Justice, Busy P, So-Me, Peaches, Klaxons and many more.