I stumbled upon Modulations, a documentary on “the evolution of electronic music and its many genres. How the wide range of styles and scenes formed through experimentations on sound formation.” This short film (75 minutes) is packed with guest stars of all calibers1, some of them genuinely pivotal to the evolution of electronic music. Indeed, the uninitiated mind gets to know a lot of details and amenities on the first decade or so of electronic music.
Perhaps it attempts to fit too much information into a tight timeline: many guests, genres, places. There’s a lot to unpack, and, inevitably, a lot is left out. A series (like the excellent Hip-Hop Evolution recently aired on Netflix) could better cover all the material. Unfortunately, Modulations was released in 1998, when such an option wasn’t even in the books. And this takes us to my second qualm with this production: it of course doesn’t cover the recent years, let’s say from early 2000s up to today. A second part would be grand.
- A partial list I digged out includes the likes of John Cage, Afrika Bambaataa, Juan Atkins, Bundy Brown, DJ Spooky, Future Sound of London, Fumiya Tanaka, Hardfloor, Kodwo Eshun, Teo Macero, Christian Marclay, Giorgio Moroder, Robert Moog, Mixmaster Morris, Orbital, Prodigy, Simon Reynolds, Ed Rush, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Tetsu Inoue and Westbam. [return]