From Grace Jones to Benga, and Midland to Moodymann.
10 Dance Music Documentaries To Check Out In Lockdown
Benga – Journey Of An Afro Warrior
This two part conversation between dubstep superstar Benga and his brother is an eye-opening and emotional look into themes of mental health and addiction on tour. It’s also a fascinating, street-level account of the early dubstep community.
It’s no secret that we, at GALA, are huge fans of the music, culture and stories to come out of the original, New York house music scene. Josell Ramos’ 2003 documentary Maestro tells the tale as well as any documentary out there.
Grace Jones on the Wogan show
In March 1990, the one and only Grace Jones was interviewed by David Frost on the Wogan show. In this short clip, you get a feel for everything there is to love about Grace. Stylish, effortlessly cool, provocative, uniquely talented… she has it all.
Moodymann RBMA lecture
Benji B interviewing Moodymann has to be Red Bull Music Academy’s finest moment. Whilst having his hair combed, Moodymann talks Detroit, roller-skating, J Dilla and all manner of other fun. Plenty of Moodymann classics to hear inside too.
‘Fantastic Man’ – A Film About William Onyeabor
This 30 minute film stands out as something special, even on this list of top quality documentaries. Rather than just reflecting on something influential, ‘Fantastic Man’ the film was itself influential. It helped introduce the incredible, afro-psychedelic jams of the late William Onyeabor to a global audience. His tracks ‘Atomic Bomb’, ‘Body & Soul’ and, of course, ‘Fantastic Man’ are now bonafide classics.
Everybody in the Place
The storied, UK rave scene is the stuff of legend: Shoom, Castlemorton, Danny Rampling, Paul Oakenfold or the M25. Turner Prize winning, conceptual artist Jeremy Deller focuses on Acid House for Everybody in The Place, from 1984-1992. For anyone too young to have experienced this special time, Deller’s documentary is a good substitute.
Mr Pikes: The Story Behind The Ibiza Legend
“This is my hotel in Ibiza, Pikes Hotel. I would say this hotel became the centre for hedonism.” Listening to the late Tony Pikes talk about the golden era of his storied hotel is quite something. Freddie Mercury, Grace Jones, George Michael, Kylie Minogue are amongst the stars to pass through.
Midland – Between The Beats
Resident Advisor’s Between The Beats series follows high-profile DJs on tour and hears of the highs and lows that come with it. Midland wrote himself into GALA history with two incredible sets inside the Pleasure Dome in both 2018 & 2019. We love hearing more from the man himself about life on the road and his identity in general.
Paris Is Burning
The iconic ballroom and vogue watch, full of amazing scenes, outfits and dance moves from a different time. It wasn’t all glitz and glamour though, this era of dance music also suffered from extreme marginalisation and discrimation. Paris Is Burning tells the story brilliantly.
Don’t Forget To Go Home
Forget Paul Kalbrenner’s Berlin Calling, this is the Berlin nightlife documentary, with cameos from many underground heroes and now-headline acts. It gives a rare glimpse into the mysterious, dark magic of Berlin clubbing. Warning! It’s hard to watch without wanting to go and party all night!