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):
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.