Due to hit select theaters on February 16th, 2012 Re:Generation follows five different DJs as they remix and change the prevalent norm of traditional music.
Capturing the evolution of music over the past decade, Re:Generation seeks to deliver the recreation of traditional styles and new styles derived from the growth of technology. This progression of music and technology have undeniably regenerated the music industry and allowed for once-unexpected mixtures and collaborations.
Directed by Amir Bar-Lev, who has worked on award-winning documentaries such as “My Kid Could Paint That” and “The Tillman Story,” the documentary features five prominent current artists as they recreate new music with various veteran musicians. In Re:Generation, five leading DJs, Skrillex, DJ Premier, The Crystal Method, Pretty Lights and Mark Ronson all write and record a new track with leading artists from a musical genre they’ve never explored before.
Blending the past with the future of musical creativity, Skrillex tackles rock by mixing with members of The Doors. DJ Premier challenges classical music by joining up with Nas and the Berklee Symphony Orchestra. The Crystal Method confronts R&B by working with Martha Reeves and the Funk Brothers. Pretty Lights tries out country with LeAnn Rimes and Dr. Ralph Stanley. Mark Ronson faces up jazz by collaborating with Mos Def, Erykah Badu, members of the Dap Kings, Zigaboo Modeliste, and Trombone Shorty.
During a live stream event on December 7th, the world previewed the film’s opening ten minutes and enjoyed a Q&A session with the DJs and director, as well as the debut of the songs each collaborator created. Hosted by Jason Bentley of KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” it was an introduction to the awesome hybrids the project has created.
In the interview, director Bar-Lev revealed that the project only began in July 2011, beginning with whirlwind shooting around the world and ending with nonstop editing. Bar-Lev definedRe:Generation as talented artists documenting their creative process while inviting others in to see this intimate process; all you can do is sit back and watch.
Also present for the Q&A were Erykah Badu, Skrillex, DJ Premier and The Crystal Method. Skrillex explained how his first recollection of anything musical is of The Doors, thus making his collaboration with two remaining members special. Skrillex emphasized that in any collaboration, one must trust and have faith in the other musician because music is an intimate experience.
DJ Premier told of how he was excited for the challenge of Re:Generation. He explained that he doesn’t like calling music by a certain genre as it puts music in a box, rather than in a culture.
When Erykah Badu first walked in the studio, Mark Ronson played her his track, simply said “hope you like it.” Instead, she was brought to her knees by the power of Ronson’s creation.
Re:Generation is about branching out and trying anything. It’s about the compatibility of current and veteran artists alike and their willingness to attempt that adaption and change, underlined by the love of creation. As Scott Kirkland of The Crystal Method said, “There is no sound we can’t make, there’s not a beat we can’t create,” which displays the inspiring mentality of these musicians.
When Re:Generation comes to theatre in February, be sure to grab a seat because music has never seen “the tables turned on the history of music” quite like this before.