Original Documentaries for Producers and DJs: Round Four

By popular request, we’re back with another article that shares some of the latest, most essential DJ and producer video content from around the web. As in the past, the films featured all focus on various elements of DJ culture, including performances, production interviews, spotlights on rising clubbing scenes, and more. Take the rest of your Friday off to kick back and enjoy the videos inside!

DJ Morse Code Shares His Tone Play Routines (4:11, DJ City)

Tone play, the art of mixing two tracks together by mirroring rhythm and tones, has become incredibly enhanced with controllers. Watch DJ Morse Code show off and narrate some of his cooler tone play routines in this short video from our friends over at DJ City.

Avicii In The Studio: Making of “Dancing In My Head” (1:12:46, Future Music)

Swedish producer Tim Berg has had a massive career recently touring the world as Avicii, but it’s always nice to get to see one of the larger names in the DJ world sit down in the studio and work on a track. As much as I don’t care for “Dancing In My Head”, seeing a professional dance producer show off a significant part of his workflow is a cool. It might feel like a pretty elementary workflow to some, but if you’re looking for advice on producing EDM pop tracks, this is your guy.

The Beat Junkies: For the Record (14:18, LRG) 

Odds are most DJs are familiar with the World Famous Beat Junkies, a classic hip-hop DJ turntablism crew made up of J-Rocc, DJ Babu, D-Styles, DJ Rhettmatic, DJ What?!, Mr. Choc, Icy Ice, Curse, DJ Shortkut, Melo-D, Symphony and DJ Havik. This short documentary profiles the crew, “with contributions from the likes of A Trak, Q Bert and Peanut Butter Wolf – with DJ Jazzy Jeff commenting that ‘there are no DJ’s out today that haven’t been influenced by the Beat Junkies at all.'” If you’ve never really checked out the Beat Junkies before, this is a great introduction.

FaltyDL Chats at a Record Store (4:10, Pitchfork)

Pitchfork seems to consistently get interviews with up-and-coming producers in record shops, so it’s not that surprising to see them put out a video with FattyDL hanging out in TurntableLab in New York City. Watch it to hear him talk about walking that fine line between playing your own tracks and playing someone else’s when trying to rock a room.

Gaslamp Killer: Listen Deep (6:02, noMSG)

Flying Lotus has an incredible collection of artists in his Brainfeeder and Low End Theory crews (see our interview with Tokimonsta, also in the gang), and Gaslamp Killer is one of the central pillars. Hyper-passionate in his craft from production to performance, GLK shares his insights into what’s made him one of the most interesting rising stars in the LA scene.

The Warehouse Project (12:05, Pitchfork)

While many of our readers in England are likely well aware of the Warehouse Project in Manchester, for many of our other readers this documentary will be an awesome introduction to the phenomenon. The project is a yearly  twelve week season of club nights that transform a massive unused space into one of the best club experiences in the UK, bringing artists from around the world to the unique venue. Hear the story of the project, as told by its team and DJs Four Tet, Nicolas Jaar, Skream, Diplo, and more.

DJ Derek (18:14, Grand Finale)


(watch the second part of “DJ Derek”) When many people think of older DJs, they often imagine a more job-oriented mobile DJ than late-night club rocker. But this documentary follows one of the best examples bucking this stereotype, Britian’s DJ Derek, a master of reggae selection. One of the best observations of Derek’s is his realization that he works at familiar hours – “a 9-to-5-er, but nine in the evening to five in the morning” – which resonates true with every night owl DJ.

H?SHTAG$ – Don’t Call It #PostDubstep (11:28, Red Bull Music Channel)

Last second addition: this series by Red Bull is focused around internet-based music genres, and this episode does a good job of trying to shed some light onto the nebulous “bass music” genre that’s cropped up all over in the last two years. The artists and industry heavyweights interviewed in this one are excellent – Mount Kimbie, Bondax, as well as Thristian bPM from Boiler Room and Andrew Ryce of Resident Advisor.

Watch More DJ/Producer Documentaries Now:
Round One | Round Two | Round Three | Round Four | Round Five | Round Six

What DJ, producer, or genre-related films have you seen in the past few months that really impressed you? Let us know in the comments below. 

  • For me it’s a documentary like Maestro that get’s me going. Pretty soon there will be one like it for the West Coast house music scene. Can’t wait. Here’s the link:

    MAESTRO – the history of housemusic & nyc club culture

  • “trying to shed some light onto the nebulous “bass music” genre that’s cropped up all over in the last two years” Cmon guys….. 2 years? Bass music has been around since the late 80s ealy 90s….. its like saying “Disco” is a new genre… check….

  • The majority of this thread are ppl hating on avicii (and for the most asinine reasons) . Even the ones who say they aren’t. Nevermind the fact that everyone here is welcome to post their own documentary. Yet we’re all sitting here picking his apart. It may have not even been his idea. Sum1 could’ve just showed up and said “hey, mind letting me film u 4 an hour.?” I’ll be the 1st to admit I don’t like his music but it doesn’t automatically make his creative process any less “genius” or “intricate” than any other famous DJ/Producer. It’s all subjective. I would have more respect for the person who says, “I don’t agree with any of what he’s doing, but I’m going to try it” The one thing I’ve learned from this thread is just how close-minded most of you are.

    • “I would have more respect for the person who says, “I don’t agree with any of what he’s doing, but I’m going to try it” ”

      That’s an excellent view to have!

    • Dude, you obviously have a bit if a fan-crush on Avicii, which is fine, he has millions of fans. I get that 100%. I don’t include myself in that group but I am aware of his huge fan base.

      I think you are taking people’s comments too personally and as a result, missing the point.

      The point is, for someone so famous and considered by many to be very talented, his methods are very elementary. The result is, people feel let down when this is revealed to them.

      I watched it and it was so disengaging I actually fell asleep in my chair (no joke). I have watched tons of the Future Music “in the studio with…” episodes and they are widely varied. Granted most of the time it is a producer showing you a track they did previously, but the Avicii one was particularly bad.

      To see the contrast, I suggest you check out the Fred Falke one. The dude is a super talented musician and this comes across in the video. http://youtu.be/3tblZ3EqRE0 The Chromeo one is similarly inspiring.

  • why is certified trap episode’s 1 & 2 not included here?

  • Viixtor
  • Guest

    there’s a very important documentary I think every DJ should watch, it’s called: Maestro – Larry Levan & Early DJ Culture

  • Loved the Beat Junkies documentary. Been a fan of those guys since I started.

  • lol_u_mad

    Avicii @ 0:03:53: “I’m gonna go with something kind of obnoxious and in your face”

    Yup. We know.

  • KillMySelf

    Electric Daisy Carnival was on netflix (it might still be on there); that gets me wanting to dj

  • Anonymous

    The #PostDubstep doc was filled with so much good new music. You forced me to go crate digging, damn you Spacecamp.

    • Spacecamp

      You’re welcome!

  • Anonymous

    Attempting to sit through the avicii DOC is harder then sitting through computer class and going online haha… it was so bad

    • Again, probably wasn’t even his idea. He could have just been working when some asshat showed up and said, “I’m gonna film this!”

      • Anonymous

        i doubt it… i have seen those hour long videos before. some were great some were not 😀

  • Anonymous

    how about featuring the “motherboard, Electric Independence” videos… 😀 very hipster but very good lol

  • lol_u_mad

    Gas Lamp Killer seriously cracks me up. I’ve seen him play at the 1015 in San Francisco and he was the only one jumping up and down and doing his performance spasms while the audience just sat there and stared at him for an hour. Much like the video just illustrated. I ended up leaving cause I got bored watching him.

    • Spacecamp

      Hah! I was there as well, can’t cite the guy for not being into his music. He put on a much better show at the Fox in Oakland opening for FlyLo a few months later

    • This. When did driving people off the dancefloor and acting like a twat on the mic become “future” and worthy of praise? I actively avoid any night with GLK on the bill, because I don’t want to deal with his boring antics. His records are passable glitch hop, but his DJ and live act is beyond awful. Getting really excited about your music is great, but the point is to get the CROWD really excited about your music. The emperor has no clue.

      • lol_u_mad

        Pretty much nailed it. I have yet to see him play at a gig that consisted of anything more than people standing still on the dance floor with their drink in one hand, and their phone in the other just to record him doing whatever the hell it is he does. I don’t get it, nor do I care to. I’d rather see someone like James Zabiela tear shit up – and he is way more technical and open about his work flow than this moron is. Then again, James also does something thats worth talking about.

  • Owen

    DJ Derek is such a lad. Have seen him a good few times now and always had a good time.

  • Owen

    DJ Derek is such a lad. Have seen him a good few times now and always had a good time.

  • Toontown

    The Warehouse Project was cool. I love stuff like that.

  • Toontown

    The Warehouse Project was cool. I love stuff like that.

  • Toontown

    The Avicii video was a huge disappointment. He produces tracks the exact same way I did when FL Studio came out–by fucking around with stock sounds and tweaking the parameters until it doesn’t sound like cheap MIDI. I should have known that there wasn’t much “artistry” in his productions. I’m not hating, it’s just a reminder of where any of us could be if we had a basic understanding of music theory and ample time.

  • Toontown

    The Avicii video was a huge disappointment. He produces tracks the exact same way I did when FL Studio came out–by fucking around with stock sounds and tweaking the parameters until it doesn’t sound like cheap MIDI. I should have known that there wasn’t much “artistry” in his productions. I’m not hating, it’s just a reminder of where any of us could be if we had a basic understanding of music theory and ample time.

    • Spacecamp

      Exactly why I wanted to include it. It’s pretty revealing of how achievable commercial popularity is if you happen to meet the right people and make the right track at the right time.

      • Your point is valid, but it shouldn’t be the ONLY reason u would’ve included it.

    • Anonymous

      “COOL, what program did you use” haha thats how it starts

    • Réàlitee

      Yeah, Skrillex the same :p

      • Anonymous

        Skrillex had some really, really original patches on his first album (imo at least.) I heard he had help making them though, and that’s why they don’t turn up on any of his tracks after his laptop got stolen (that’s why you don’t hear that crazy growling sound from scatta anymore.)

        • skrillex knew the right people tho. cause he’s been famous before haha

        • good patches don’t make good music necessarily. And I’m NOT defending skrillex here.

    • Dasreb

      Do people really have an issue with his not having tons of technical knowledge? Do people get mad that Stevie Wonder didn’t program the moog patch in very superstitious? Like I know there can be some snobbery in rock, but everyone can appreciate a well written 4 chord folk song.

      I don’t even like Avicii but I feel as though people hate him for his mainstream appeal and the type of people that listen to his music than his lack of engineering cred.

      • But did you just compare Stevie Wonder to Avicii?

        • No he didn’t. You missed the point he was making.

          • Actually I didn’t.. And you thinking that lets me know you didn’t read deep enough into my question

          • Oh I understood your question, Sir. But he wasn’t comparing them as artists overall (which is quite OBVIOUSLY no comparison). He was making the point that even accomplished and amazing musicians don’t need to create their sounds/patches from scratch to turn them into something mind blowing and timeless. And that it is pointless even caring whether they do or don’t so long as the end result is capable of captivating the listener.

      • HOW DOES THIS NOT HAVE MORE UPVOTES?!!

    • Mad Zach

      its all about the path of least resistance. Regardless of his process, he created something that was well liked and appreciated across the world. Will Smith didn’t make the beat for “Welcome to Miami,” its a direct lift off “And the Beat Goes On” by the Whispers. But he is still a hero because he put two things together that made something more than the sum of its parts. Perhaps Avicci has a simple process but that doesn’t mean he isn’t an artist. There is more to producing music than theory and ample time. Its a delicate alchemy of emotion, restraint, build and release.

      • Toontown

        You’re right, beyond theory and time it also helps to know Laidback Luke. (that’s a joke) Look, I know he’s an artist by a wide variety of standards–but there’s no depth to this creation. No emotion. That’s all I’m saying. I was disappointed because I had always heard he was such a thoughtful artist who pays close attention to the intricacies of House music, but none of that was apparent in this video.

      • Again, how does this not have more upvotes?

    • Newsflash: putting down his “process” in any way could be considered “hating”.

  • gadgeteer

    thank you again for the documentary links 😉

  • gadgeteer

    thank you again for the documentary links 😉

    • Spacecamp

      Glad you’re digging them! If you spot any out there that you love that we’ve missed, share them over on Twitter – @djtechtools

      • Anonymous

        good idea 😀

      • udevil

        There is a whole of Future Magazine interviews in youtube. Guess you would have already seen them!

    • Yes, thank you.

  • That Avicii documentary thing makes me want to kill myself.

    • Toontown

      When he started going through the loops I lost it. It’s so elementary. I bet he pirated all of his shit too.

    • Toontown

      When he started going through the loops I lost it. It’s so elementary. I bet he pirated all of his shit too.

      • Who cares if his software is pirated? So if a grammy-award winning song is written on a stolen guitar does that give it less merit?

        • TYLR

          lol, typical response.. dude made MAD money on that one track, if he’s using pirated software he should def be called out on it

          • Don’t see how that’s a “typical” response. But ok, I’ll bite. Perhaps he should be called out on using pirated software. That is of course IF it is pirated. Tho i doubt it could be proven so why even harp about it. Now how about an answer to the question I posed. If something artistically great is created with materials not paid for by the artist does that mean it can’t/shouldn’t be appreciated?

          • Christopher Gorence

            I agree with saturn. Seems like such a petty argument to make over an artist/producer that you’re obviously biased against. A stronger and PROVEN case of this would be the main part of Black Eyed Peas’ song “I gotta feeling” It was directly lifted from a demo of an aspiring musician who sent the track to Interscope and isn’t even credited for the sample! The original artist called them out on it, sued and subsequently lost because the original hard drives that contained the song were stolen years before BEP’s even came out with the song. But if you listen u can’t deny the blatant sampling. Such a shame.

            http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/black-eyed-peas-stole-i-gotta-feeling

    • lol_u_mad

      A-fucking-men.

    • It just goes to show, it doesn’t take a lot of talent to become famous, it takes other people being interested in selling what you have. That video was completely boring and I got tired of watching it about 20 minutes in. I kept thinking “when will all of this boring, un-edited video start to pay off?”

      • If your interpretation of it is a documentary on what not to do, then in a way it did pay off.

    • Good thing no one forced you to watch it. Lord knows we would have missed you dearly.

  • That Avicii documentary thing makes me want to kill myself.

  • Thank for the Props to the warehouse project 1 of the best in Manchester…

    • Spacecamp

      Have you been? Definitely a dream of mine!

      • caught them at 1 of the first events at the boddingtons factory when when studied in the city groove armada headiner great vibe night on the night…

  • Thank for the Props to the warehouse project 1 of the best in Manchester…