In our last episode of “watching things on the Internet instead of doing real work,” we were enjoying a full-length 90s electronic music documentary and a bunch of music videos.

Well, here we are at yet another weekend. And hopefully we can give you some video watching pleasure yet again, in those moments when you aren’t, well, hopefully, making music.

Leading the pack is a 1986 story from Chicago TV news back when house music was in its early days, as spotted by Dancing Astronauts. And it’s an astounding document, featuring Danny “Sweet-D” Wilson, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, Steve “Silk” Hurley, and Keith Nunnally. Two big takeaways. One, it’s interesting to note that London was already catching onto house even when these artists were relatively obscure in sweet home Chicago. Europe and the UK, always ahead of American audiences when it comes to American music – note the British announced proudly wearing an enormous American flag shirt.

Two, it’s fantastic to see this stuff being made live. Why that shouldn’t be more commonplace in 2015, I have no idea. Steve Hurly and Jackmaster Funk constructing a track is inspiring and fresh nearly two decades later.

But there’s more, of course. With no particular theme, here’s a bunch of documentary stuff to queue up.

If you’d rather go to pioneering electronic composition in place of 80s dance music, here are two documentaries on the incomparable Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, via OpenCulture (which just happened to pop into my inbox today):


The Delian Mode (Kara Blake, 2009) von anaimiaktion

And the classic:

Better Living Through Circuitry is a 1999 documentary, available for full-length viewing (and spotted in comments).

Generation of Sound also covers the 90s dance scene:

And it seems every genre has its own YouTube documentary:

As does Berlin club Tresor:

And Richie Hawtin:

Returning to pioneering electronic music, it’s fascinating to get the 1983 perspective on electronic process (and perhaps it’s a sign of the maturity of the field now that a lot of this is today readily accessible):

And this seminal UK electronic doc:

And here’s a playlist with some of those, plus many more.

Tell your friends and family I’m really sorry.

  • Chris R Gibson

    Thank you for the great post/comp!

    Mostly, CDM is my ‘one-stop’ place for inspiration ‘into the future’…but in this case the nostalgia (‘nostalgia’ the word originally referring to a type of ‘pain’?) is welcome and fun 😉

    I have some of these in their original release formats, but it’s great to view them again without the major archaeological effort it would require to see my own copies haha 🙂

  • Chris R Gibson

    Thank you for the great post/comp!

    Mostly, CDM is my ‘one-stop’ place for inspiration ‘into the future’…but in this case the nostalgia (‘nostalgia’ the word originally referring to a type of ‘pain’?) is welcome and fun 😉

    I have some of these in their original release formats, but it’s great to view them again without the major archaeological effort it would require to see my own copies haha 🙂

  • Chris R Gibson

    Thank you for the great post/comp!

    Mostly, CDM is my ‘one-stop’ place for inspiration ‘into the future’…but in this case the nostalgia (‘nostalgia’ the word originally referring to a type of ‘pain’?) is welcome and fun 😉

    I have some of these in their original release formats, but it’s great to view them again without the major archaeological effort it would require to see my own copies haha 🙂

  • Michael L

    I am so pleased with the changes you have made in CDM, like this post that contributes intelligent information with personality, not mindless product teasers.

  • Michael L

    I am so pleased with the changes you have made in CDM, like this post that contributes intelligent information with personality, not mindless product teasers.

  • Michael L

    I am so pleased with the changes you have made in CDM, like this post that contributes intelligent information with personality, not mindless product teasers.

  • stoersignal
  • stoersignal
  • stoersignal
  • jeff

    This one for the cyber punks
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zcq-KHzHkY

  • jeff

    This one for the cyber punks
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zcq-KHzHkY

  • jeff

    This one for the cyber punks
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zcq-KHzHkY

  • Random Chance

    It’s kind of funny to compare the people in different scenes at different times as presented in these documentaries. If on the one hand, the people in the Tresor documentary are for the most part very articulate and soft-spoken, the people in the Gabber or DnB documentaries on the other hand, make quite a different impression. I am not saying that you can generalize from these narrow sample of persons but it’s funny to see that there’s a marked difference between the presentation of the different scenes. Makes me wonder if there are any good sources that investigate the sociological aspects of the different electronic music scenes of, say, the 90s and early 2000s.

  • Random Chance

    It’s kind of funny to compare the people in different scenes at different times as presented in these documentaries. If on the one hand, the people in the Tresor documentary are for the most part very articulate and soft-spoken, the people in the Gabber or DnB documentaries on the other hand, make quite a different impression. I am not saying that you can generalize from these narrow sample of persons but it’s funny to see that there’s a marked difference between the presentation of the different scenes. Makes me wonder if there are any good sources that investigate the sociological aspects of the different electronic music scenes of, say, the 90s and early 2000s.

  • Random Chance

    It’s kind of funny to compare the people in different scenes at different times as presented in these documentaries. If on the one hand, the people in the Tresor documentary are for the most part very articulate and soft-spoken, the people in the Gabber or DnB documentaries on the other hand, make quite a different impression. I am not saying that you can generalize from these narrow sample of persons but it’s funny to see that there’s a marked difference between the presentation of the different scenes. Makes me wonder if there are any good sources that investigate the sociological aspects of the different electronic music scenes of, say, the 90s and early 2000s.

  • christian matts

    Related doc about history of chicago house music (not sure we’re to find the orig since I saw it on chicago public access)
    Playlist looks to have some other great feature length docs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw-tRL9PUNg&list=RDrw-tRL9PUNg

  • christian matts

    Related doc about history of chicago house music (not sure we’re to find the orig since I saw it on chicago public access)
    Playlist looks to have some other great feature length docs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw-tRL9PUNg&list=RDrw-tRL9PUNg

  • christian matts

    Related doc about history of chicago house music (not sure we’re to find the orig since I saw it on chicago public access)
    Playlist looks to have some other great feature length docs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw-tRL9PUNg&list=RDrw-tRL9PUNg