Ten Questions With Terry Gotham: AC Johner, Director Of Electronic Awakening

I was given the privilege of speaking to the director of Electronic Awakening AC Johner. This groundbreaking film discusses the beginning of the rave & dance music culture.  Moving through Moon Tribe, Burning Man, psy-trance parties & other foundations of the scene, the music is stupendous, as is the commentary.1. Was this project your baby, or did someone approach you to direct? Electronic Awakening is my baby. I directed and produced the film under my production company Federation of Earth. I began the film in 2006 when I set out to explore the culture under a grant from my university. After my initial fieldwork, I invested to expand the project into a feature film. After 4 years, interviewing and filming, I built a rough cut of the film strong enough to attract finishing funds from a successful Kickstarter Campaign, as well as a production partnership with Keyframe-Entertainment.  Last but certainly not least, Philip Wood and Satsi Jaquith of Ammo played a huge role in getting the ball rolling on production.

My conception of the project began during my undergrad thesis in anthropology when I began researching electronic music culture. Having never been to any events, I was inspired to read that the parties had encouraged so many participants to engage in more conscious lifestyle to the point that some had established a spiritual kinship with the music.

Coming in as an outsider, my perception of EDM was little more than a stigmatized imagery of teenagers with glow-sticks dressed up in fury costumes celebrating a drug-high to obscure music. My perspective broadened after discovering the research of anthropologist Graham St John, Scott Hutson, and religious studies scholar Robin Sylvan, whom all had contributed a wealth of scholarship towards the spirituality underlying the culture.

While the media had reported little on this side of the culture, I set out to explore it first-hand. I sought out events such as Burning Man, Moontribe, Shambhala, outdoor psytrance festivals, and other events now heralded as transformational festivals. When I arrived on site and witnessed the alters, ceremonies, and wealth of participants professing the dance floor in a sacred context, I knew that this religiosity reported by the aforementioned scholars was all very real, real to the point I had questioned if this were some new form of religion rising up through the dance music underground. Continue reading

Playlist Of The Weekend: Best Music 2k14 Q1 by Jaya Prime

I’ve been listening to Jaya Prime for years, and if you don’t believe me, go listen to his Dreamstep mix. He’s thrown together an hour of tracks you won’t find anywhere else, and after listening to it, you’ll be mad about that. Inventive, cutting-edge production from Dirtwire, Nick Leon, FUME, Phutureprimitive, JacM, Bluereso, K.Sabroso & more. Seriously. This list isn’t for you weekend warriors, but if you want to hear where some of the sounds you’re hearing at clubs or festivals are going, check this out. And give Jaya Prime all the love, as this guy eats big room for breakfast.

EP of the Week: Phutureprimitive “Searching for Beauty in the Darkest Places Pt. 1”

http://phutureprimitive.bandcamp.com/album/searching-for-beauty-in-the-darkest-places-pt-1

It is really hard to get away with essentially all of what Phutureprimitive does. Both psy & dubstep are things that can be done from well to vomit-inducing poorly. Released literally today, this first of a 2-part release that will eventually be a full CD is an exceptional example of how to do an array of things right. Not only is the psy-step fantastic, but the glitch and general bassy feel is accentuated by some fantastic vocals by Jillian Ann, Rain & Lila Rose. This specific choice of talent ensures that no facet of the 5-track salvo of awesome disappoints.

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