Quaint little report from 1988 on the ‘new’ art of sampling featuring familiar faces like Coldcut, Ice T and a pre-Fresh Prince Will Smith. Interesting counter views from the artists affected too – Tom Petty, Steve Stevens and err…The Turtles (me neither.) Petty’s comments about artists stealing work sound pretty hollow now sampling is so ubiquitous. And he’d obviously completely changed his tune by the time Pimp C lifted whole chunks of Petty’s ‘Free Fallin’ for ‘I’m Free.’ Them royalties cheques make good reading. Some quality 80s garms in there too fashion fans.
RA: REAL SCENES – DETROIT & BRISTOL
The first two parts of Resident Advisor’s ‘Real Scenes’ series which started a couple of years back. Detroit’s musical lineage is well documented but this is a fresh look at something other than just techno with soulful house and hip-hop getting an equal billing as influential genres. And I love Bristol so there’s that.
PUMP UP THE VOLUME
This is a stunningly comprehensive history of house music, A few years old now so the inclusion of ATB as the intro music might seem a little jarring but the stories and footage from the early days of Warehouse and the Music Box is unrivalled. Superb.
Thorough doc from Brazilian film maker Bruno Natal, originally released on Soul Jazz records in 2009. Featuring interviews from the early explorers into this new, bass-heavy sound such as Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, U-Roy and Mad Professor through to more contemporary artists like Kode 9 and Roots Manuva this is a pretty exhaustive exploration of the influence of sound system culture. If you like bass, this is a must.
BBC – KRAUTROCK: THE REBIRTH OF GERMANY
Fascinating and comprehensive look at the post war radicalisation of Germany which found its expression, in some way at least, through music. The seeds of Krautrock (or ‘Kosmische Musik’ as it was known in its native land) were planted with a new post-war generation of artists looking to find their own voice on the world stage, leaving behind the horrific memories of war and looking towards the future. Incorporating early experimental groups like Amon Duul through to the now legendary Neu!, Can and Kraftwerk, this movement was just as radical as rock and roll in the 50s but with a whole weight of philosophy behind it. Worth a watch for Iggy Pop’s story about asparagus shopping with Florian Schneider alone.
Dutch hip hop documentary from 1986 shot on the fly over the course of 8 days in New York. Grandmaster Flash ‘getting busy’ on the turntables, RUN DMC rocking rhymes in the street and LL Cool J at his grandma’s house – this is an intimate look at the early days of the art form which almost seems quaint now but reveals the first few seeds of the ubiquity and grandiosity of the hip hop industry today.
This awesome documentary traces the musical career of, predominantly, George Clinton, possibly the funkiest motherfucker who ever lived. A man with more funk in a fingernail than a thousand Justin Timberlakes, From barbershop to Parliament, Funkadelic to his solo work, George was a visionary and a unique artist the likes of which you just don’t see today.