HIGH TECH SOUL is the first documentary to tackle the deep roots of techno music alongside the cultural history of Detroit, its birthplace. From the race riots of 1967 to the underground ...
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HIGH TECH SOUL is the first documentary to tackle the deep roots of techno music alongside the cultural history of Detroit, its birthplace. From the race riots of 1967 to the underground party scene of the late 1980s, Detroit's economic downturn didn't stop the invention of a new kind of music that brought international attention to its producers and their hometown. Featuring in-depth interviews with many of the world's best exponents of the artform, High Tech Soul focuses on the creators of the genre -- Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson -- and looks at the relationships and personal struggles behind the music. Artists like Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills, Carl Craig, Eddie Fowlkes and a host of others explain why techno, with its abrasive tones and resonating basslines, could not have come from anywhere but Detroit.Written by
It was great that somebody did this. For those who are very close to that scene and those times, it is probably interesting. But it focuses too much on the personalities that initiated techno. They're heroes, but no more so than the many people who've carried it much farther, or the fans with the open-mindedness and vision to bring it so far.
There's very little exhibition of the art, very little about the music. (One scene that shows us some gear, and a few shots of turntablism.) Which means that this movie is not for the uninitiated ... and that's disappointing. The movie many times seems to wonder why the music hasn't been more accepted, gone more mainstream.
But what this movie shows the casual viewer - I'm not sure it was intended - is that there's a lot *not* to like about the original scene... or about Detroit. (What's with the college prof rhapsodizing about an empty city?) My respect for what happened there (but not the music) went *down* after seeing the movie. All the more reason it's too bad it didn't focus on the music and the fans more. Because without them, all you got is prima donnas cruisin for props.
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