Top 10 EDM MOVIES YOU MUST WATCH
The selection of dance music related films is relatively small and some are better than others. Certain films are documentaries and others are narrative-based, but all include a wide selection of EDM soundtracks and some cameos from famous producers. Let’s start with number 10…
10. ROLLING (2007)
Seven individuals from all walks of life cross paths at an underground LA rave. Rolling was advertised at Ultra Music Festival in 2008 and went to DVD the year after. It has the feel of a documentary due to camera techniques and focuses on the ecstasy culture of the, then underground, rave scene. The soundtrack is provided by LA-based DJ Simply Jeff and captures the mood of the film, whether mellow or intense (for the most part intense).
9. A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT RAVE (2002)
This film is an adaptation of…you guessed it, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream. I actually first came across this randomly one night on the Sundance Channel and was immediately surprised at seeing such a unique, niche culture used for a Shakespeare adaptation. It actually does a decent job of following along with the story, the rave takes place in a forest and of course deals with the themes of love (induced by “love potion” in the play as well as in the film) and the loss of time (due to partying in a forest all night). Featured on the soundtrack are Ferry Corsten, Tommie Sunshine, and Dave Audé.
8. LIMELIGHT (2011)
Limelight is documentary is about “the rise and fall of New York’s greatest nightclub empire.” Focusing on the owner of Limelight, Peter Gatien, this film depicts the nightclub life in the 80’s, just as dance music was becoming an economical force. Moby makes a cameo, along with footage from the club featuring Hip-Hop icons Jay-Z and 50 Cent.
7. PARTY MONSTER (2003)
This one is also based around the New York club scene in the late 80’s through early 90’s, but focuses on a different crowd. This film is all about the emergence of the club kids in the nightlife scene, especially one promoter Michael Alig (Macaulay Culkin) and his partner James St. James (Seth Green). Alig became notorious for his drug-use and lavish lifestyle, eventually owning his own record label and hosting one of the biggest club nights in the 90’s, but eventually comes spiraling downwards. Featured on the soundtrack is Felix Da Housecat.
6. MOOG (2004)
This “compelling documentary portrait of a provocative, thoughtful and deeply sympathetic figure,” (New York Times) Bob Moog, provides look into how he shaped musical culture with the invention of some of the most infamous electronic instruments. It focuses on the synthesizers of Moog and on the concept of electronic music in general.
5. TAKE ONE: A DOCUMENTARY FILM ABOUT SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA (2010)
Get up close and personal with Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Axwell with Christina Larson’s documentary on the superstar trio. The 45-minute doc takes you through their studio collaborations, adventures abroad, and coverage of some of the biggest shows in the world. Find out how the super-group formed and how they rose to the top of the charts across the world.
4. ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL EXPERIENCE (2011)
Shown in theaters for one night only, this film was pulled from most cities’ box-office venues due to negative remarks about the EDM culture and a quasi-riot that broke out in LA after Kaskade tweeted he would perform in the street. The live-music documentary showcases one of the largest festivals in America with appearances by Swedish House Mafia, Will.I.Am, Travis Barker, and Steve Aoki. On display is EDC as it was in the Coliseum before moving to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
3. PUMP UP THE VOLUME – THE HISTORY OF HOUSE MUSIC (2001)
This is a TV series about the story of the people who made house, from the underground movement to packing the dance clubs on a nightly basis. This is a bit dated and only brings us up to about the mid-1990’s but futures legends like Frankie Knuckles, Marshal Jefferson, Jesse Saunders and more. Take the journey from Chicago to London in this consummate history of house music.
2. HIGH TECH SOUL: THE CREATION OF TECHNO MUSIC (2006)
Explore the deep roots of techno music and its inception in Detroit’s underground music scene. This documentary gets an inside look at the gritty birth of the techno sound, from the race riots of 1967 and the hidden party scene of the late 1980’s. Why did this sound come from Detroit? What makes it so important to the history of EDM? Richie Hawtin, Juan Atkins, Carl Craig, Kevin Saunderson, and others provide in depth interviews to explain why techno is the signature sound of Detroit City.
1. IT’S ALL GONE PETE TONG (2004)
This is a comedy/drama that follows fictitious Frankie Wilde from being the premiere Ibiza club scene DJ to his mysterious disappearance. Due the excess of loud music in his life (and even more excessive lifestyle) Frankie Wilde is rapidly going deaf and marks the beginning of his descent. With the new Ibiza season approaching, Frankie must cope without sound (seems familiar) in order to regain the opulent life he is accustomed to living.