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High Tech Soul: The Creation of Techno Music

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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(Sep 19, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Product Description

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.

With classic anthems such as Rhythim Is Rhythim s Strings of Life and Inner City s Good Life, High Tech Soul celebrates the pioneers, the promoters and the city that spawned a global phenomenon.

The film features: Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Eddie (Flashin) Fowlkes, Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills, John Acquaviva, Carl Cox, Carl Craig, Blake Baxter, Stacey Pullen, Thomas Barnett, Matthew Dear, Anthony Shake Shakir, Keith Tucker, Delano Smith, Mike Archer, Derrick Thompson, Mike Clark, Alan Oldham, Laura Gavoor, Himawari, Scan 7, Kenny Larkin, Stacey Hotwax Hale, Claus Bachor, Electrifying Mojo, Niko Marks, Barbara Deyo, Dan Sordyl, Sam Valenti, Ron Murphy, George Baker, and Kwame Kilpatrick.

The film s soundtrack includes: Aux 88, Cybotron, Inner City, Juan Atkins, Mayday, Model 500, Plastikman, Rhythim Is Rhythim, and more.

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Bonus Interviews
  • Full Color Booklet


Bredow's cast of alumni -- the holy trinity of Atkins, May & Saunderson at the front -- fill out this tale with passion, pride and, oddly for music of the future, nostalgia too. --Dazed and Confused

An enjoyable education into the music, the city and the main players past, present and future. --DJ Magazine

Defines the myths and the magic of Detroit techno from its beginnings right up to how it has evolved to become High Tech Soul. --Derrick May

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Bonus interviews

Product Details

  • Actors: Juan Atkins
  • Directors: Gary Bredow
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, German
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Plexifilm
  • DVD Release Date: September 19, 2006
  • Run Time: 64 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,582 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Don't get me wrong. This documentary interviews whites and blacks. The black musical pioneers thank and credit white musicians like Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode. The work implies that techno is especially big in Berlin. (In fact, this DVD offer German subtitles, but no Spanish or French ones.) So it is multi-culti.
However, I think people interested in African-American cultural production will enjoy this. Soul music isn't usually guitar-heavy, yet Prince and Jimi Hendrix have scores of fans across races and are considered some of the world's greatest guitarists. I'm a Black person and I would think many of my peeps would dismiss techno as "too hard" and "not soulful." Therefore, it may surprise many that the genre's founders are Black. Many people praise rap because it originated from disenfranchised Blacks in the New York burroughs. Well, techno comes from Detroiters with the same sociological obstacles. One founder was wearing a T-shirt with a Benin mask and the Jamaican-inspired red, gold, and green colors.
In short, if whole multi-disc documentaries can be made about jazz and its African-American roots, then I think folk will appreciate learning how techno comes from a new generation of Black folk, often under the same conditions. Still, it's post-modern, in that it speaks of how music circulates so quickly. It concludes with the pioneers saying, "I never knew that music I made for Detroiters would influence younger musicians in Germany and Tokyo." Also, as a Chicagoan, I am pleased that these musicans credit Chicago and its house music.
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Format: DVD
I think High Tech Soul would be a great film for those who were a part of the nascent House/Techno scene in Detroit. There are lengthy interviews with all of the key players that give great background on their relationships with eachother and how money and fame complicated things. The city of Detroit plays a large role here as well which should inspire a bit of pride and nostalgia for those who lived there at the time.

It was hard for me to appreciate much of the film because I had little prior knowledge of who these DJ's were and the music. I was expecting to learn a great deal more about how the music was actually made. There were some allusions to how the process of creating beats early one was complex and time consuming, but we never got to see it getting done. Frankly, for a film about a music genre, there was a lot more talking than music. But, like I said, if I was more familiar with House and Techno coming in to the film I would've better appreciated the talky parts.

If they reissue this, they should really think about including some reading material with the DVD to help provide some context for those who don't know much about the subject.
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Format: DVD
WOWOWOWOW! This movie shocked the heck outta' me. I expected a lame-attempt for filmmaking, and instead, was astounded--at just how good--it actually was. I really enjoyed it and hope to see another one from this rookie filmmaker. Did this come out to the theater? Wished it would have.....think it would have been awesome to see on the big screen, as well. Man, what an incredible film. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Definitely, not a resell. Even if you don't like techno music, you will still-love this film. Not only is it a documentary of Techno music; but it's also, a very tasteful documentary of Detroit and its' heritage. Great film!!
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Format: DVD
Well, first of all, this is a techno documentary...and that's why I give 3 stars. Everyone interviewed gives a passionate personal opinion, and many times, interesting facts about the birth of DETROIT TECHNO music.
Now, as for the movie itself, there are many aspects I dislike. First, this is just about Detroit, and DETROIT TECHNO. They mention Kraftwerk, New Order, Depeche Mode....but that's just one mention. No detailed info on the Berlin-Detroit alliance, nothing about MadChester...all in all, not really much info outside of the Detroit, except when it comes to explain how Detroit Techno was hitting Europe.
Another thing that bothers me is that Derrick May bashes Paul Oakenfold...and that's ok, because the man is just giving his opinion. However, no one asked him about his work with Steve Hillage, or Gerald Simpson. And there's a chapter about UR...but how come no one interviewed Rob Hood or Mike Banks. And not a single word on Drexciya, the Burden Brothers, Submerge and other projects that Carl Craig and Derrick helped such as Bandulu.
Another can a documentary on Detroit not include an interview with Claude Young, Rob Hood, Rolando, Patrice Scott...?
Too incomplete for the beginners...
However, its a fine piece to satisfy the curiosity of those who know, but like to know more, or just listen to these brilliant minds speak.
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