Some of the best musical minds of yesterday and today team up in a new documentary.The Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley once insisted that music “vibrates in the memory.” In the upcoming documentary Re:Generation, produced by Hyundai in association with the Grammys, past good vibrations are time-warped into the present as five of the world’s leading DJs — including the Crystal Method, Skrillex and Mark Ronson — team with musical maestros of yesteryear (like Motown legend Martha Reeves and the surviving members of the Doors) to create new sounds from old ones.
“It took until hip-hop DJs arrived in the late ’70s for music to take up the position visual artists have held for years: Innovation doesn’t have to mean creating something new,” says director Amir Bar-Lev, who also helmed the critically adored docs The Tillman Story and My Kid Could Paint That.
Re:Generation’s resulting tunes are a witch’s brew of style, feel and imagination. Structured like a piece of music itself, the film masterfully captures the creative process that occurs when generations and genre collide — collaborations often tentative and tense but ultimately exhilarating.
“There are music lovers who are strict traditionalists, and those who take an ‘anything goes’ approach,” Bar-Lev says. “Either way, the result is great new music.”
“Teach me to unworry
I will teach you to unhide
In the city where
they don’t need X-rays
To see each others’ insides”
Ani DiFranco, “Unworry”
Which Side Are You On?
(Righteous Babe Records, $16)