cinema for the ear

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MODULATIONS: cinema for the ear — directed by iara lee (Cultures of Resistance Films)

We are not entertainers, we are sound scientists – Kraftwerk
Modulations is a feature-length documentary that captures a moment in history where humans and machines are fusing to create today’s most exciting sounds.
It traces the evolution of electronic music as one of the most profound artistic developments of the twentieth century. By cutting back and forth between avant-garde composers, Kraftwerk’s innovative synthesizer drones, Giorgio Moroder’s glacial Euro-disco, Afrika Bambaataa’s electro-funk, and Prodigy’s current worldwide superstarstardom, Modulations celebrates, replicates, and illuminates the nomadic drift of the post-human techno sound.
The film examines the kids who have turned the turntable into a musical instrument, disillusioned disco lovers who created acid house out of primitive synthesizers, Motor City mavericks who saw the drum machine as their escape route out of urban neglect, and a generation of British youth who transformed these blips and bleeps into dance floor anthems of their own alienation.
Modulations provides a sense of history and context in which today’s electronic music can be understood. It entertains the converted and remixes the mindset of electronica’s nay-sayers.
Featuring a stunning collage of interviews, cutting-edge visuals, in-studio footage, and live performances, Modulations moves at a pace that matches the energy and innovation of the music.
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Together with its accompanying soundtrack and book, MODULATIONS completes a larger project chronicling the history and development of electronic music.

The Soundtrack

1. Donna Summer | “I Feel Love”
2. Afrika Mambaattaa | “Planet Rock”
3. Juan Atkins/Model 500 | “No Ufo’s Remix”
4. LFO |”Simon From Sydney
5. Derrick May | “Strings of Life”
6. Jesse Saunders | “Yeah”
7. Aprodite | “Amazon 2 – King of the Beats”
8. Panacea | “Stormbringer”
9. Goldie & Rob Playford | “The Shadow”
10. Ryoji Ikeda | “Luxus 1-3”
11. Coldcut | “Atomic Moog 2000”
12. To Rococo Rot | “Kritische Masse 1”
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The Book

Rather than following an encyclopedia/record guide format that would date the volume immediately, the Modulations book is organized into several large essays written by experienced journalists and musical participants that provide historical and critical surveys of every genre of electronic music, including important labels, sub-genres, interesting stylistic developments, enigmatic personalities, and the most important records from each genre discussed. This approach appeals to both a general audience with little more than a passing familiarity with electronic music looking for a fascinating story to serious music fans looking for a reference book.
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