Music Documentaries

Starting today we will regularly be taking a look at some of the interesting music documentaries being made out there at the moment. Some have been out for some time, while others are still in the making or haven’t  found an outlet yet. If possible we will provide links to the movies and if not we’ll keep you posted as to when and where to find them.

“Looking 4 Galt”

“Lookin 4 Galt” was released late last year and claims to be “hip hop’s first road movie”. Two French guys who call themselves GasFace are on a mission to locate Galt MacDermot, the Canadian musician who is most famous for composing the music for the musical “Hair”. He has had a very prolific career, however, dabbling in everything from jazz and funk to classical music and film scores. He is also an extremely media shy individual who lives a very private life somewhere in New York City and Gasface are determined to find him.

A lot of MacDermot’s work has been sampled by hip hop producers on records by everyone from Busta Rhymes to Run DMC. Some of the producers who have sampled him appear in the movie providing insight on his work and explaining their own attraction to it. These include Prince Paul, Buckwild and Mr Walt among many others. The movie is also narrated by El Da Sensei from the Artifacts. You should check this documentary out if you’re interested in gaining some insight on an artist who has contributed a lot to hip hop’s sound over the years.

“Unstoppable”

“Unstoppable” is an Italian produced documentary which offers a unique look at the early days of the London hip hop scene (1979-88). It was put together by the author Guiseppe Pipitone and filmmaker Lidia Ravviso who are both connected to the Italian hip hop scene. It promises an interesting look at a scene which remains quite underexposed.

While the growth of contemporary British movements like punk, reggae and Rock Against Racism have all been well documented, the birth and development of the British hip hop scene is often overlooked.  That’s a shame because British rap influenced many later developments at home and abroad and it opened a lot of doors for black acts in the British music industry.

“Unstoppable” aims to do something about this widespread amnesia. The movie consists of four sections which each take an independent look at a specific issue regarding the early British hip hop movement. As far as I can tell it hasn’t been screened anywhere yet. I´m not even sure it’s finished. But check out the trailer and follow what’s happening on this facebook page.

“All Ears”

The past decade has seen a lot of hip hop-influenced, experimental music coming out of Los Angeles. The music is mostly instrumental and a lot of it influenced by J.Dilla and Madlib, but besides that a lot of the artists differ wildly in terms of style and aestethics.

In what looks like a fascinating documentary, filmmaker Gus Sutherland explores this very fertile LA Beats-scene, attempting to document it’s history and interviewing some of its key practitioners. Among those who appear in the movie are Ras G, Dam Funk, DJ House Shoes, Kutmah and more. The trailer for the movie was screened at this years SXSW. We’re still waiting for an official release date, but you can keep yourself informed on this facebook page.

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