Movie Music

Re:Generation: New Film Makes Airtight Case That DJs Are Musicians

Directed by Amir Bar Lev and produced in association with the Grammys, Re:Generation is a documentary that explores the process behind making music as a DJ and producer through an experiment that sends five DJs on a quest to work in a specific genre outside their normal output.

It sounds like something that Donald Trump would make a set of C-list celebrities do on The Apprentice, but the result is a fascinating glimpse into the intricacies underlying a DJ's art, and how impressive they can be when working from scratch.

To what lengths DJs should be considered composers is a constant debate, and the reactions of the traditional musicians to these sample-based artistes during Re:Generation tells as much about the state of the genre in the music industry as it does about the individuals chronicled. Formerly we were firmly in the category that working a turntable and cutting-and-pasting random samples was not nearly as legitimate an art form as, say, playing the guitar, but the documentary has converted us, and we can now say that a good DJ is every bit the maestro any other musician is.

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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner