Movies About Electronic Dance Music
Electronic dance music is more than just a genre of party music. It’s a movement and a piece culture with a rich history and extraordinary stories shared by the makers of the music and the people who enjoy it. Movies about electronic dance music capture all of these stories in their most honest, entertaining, and even sad ways. These movies range from animations and documentaries, to music festival experiences and rise-to-fame stories.
INTERSTELLA 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5star 5ystem (2003)
EDM started out as an underground music genre, but when it slowly climbed up the mainstream musical world, Daft Punk was among the electronic music producers who were at the center of the transition. INTERSTELLA 555 is a visual experience to all the tracks of the duo’s second studio album, Discovery. The movie is divided into several chapters, with each chapter corresponding to one track in the album. The story revolves around an interstellar band and all their adventures in space. The nuances of the story are delivered by the unique sounds of electronic music that the duo is famous for.
Take One (2010)
When EDM exploded, the Swedish House Mafia was perhaps the biggest thing that happened. Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Steve Angelo came together to produce some of the most popular EDM tracks that people still adore to this day. Take One is a documentary movie about the trio as they toured around the world and experienced some hardships along the way. The movie is filled with amazing EDM tracks.
Leave The World Behind (2014)
Years after the rise of the big trio of EDM, the Swedish House Mafia, came the split up that produced one of the best EDM tours in history. Leave The World Behind reveals the grandness of the final tour that the trio did while also giving enough clues regarding the main cause of the split up. Aside from being incredible music producers, the three members of the band were also friends and in the film, the split up was the only logical thing to do to maintain their friendship.
It’s All Gone Pete Tong (2004)
Ibiza is famous for nightclubs, parties, and great EDM music. It’s All Gone Pete Tong is a comedy feature film with Ibiza as one of the locations. A fictional DJ, Frankie Wilde, is on his way to becoming a superstar DJ/producer, but he falls into the trap of drugs and too much partying. His career takes a turn when he loses his hearing. He leaves the party world behind but later realizes that he can still make music despite his disability. The movie highlights a fallen DJ’s redemption in a comedic and dramatic way. Real-life DJs like Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, Carl Cox and even the real Pete Tong also appear in the movie.
I Am Hardwell: If You Can Dream It You Can Do It (2013)
Hardwell is another famous name in the world of EDM. It is safe to say that Hardwell, whose real name is Robbert van de Corput, was destined for EDM greatness as he started out his career in making music in 2010. But what accelerated his career was because of the film, I Am Hardwell: If You Can Dream It You Can Do It, a documentary about his journey. It did not only showcase his talent to the world but it reminded everyone that this guy is going to be really famous. The movie follows the young DJ as he spent his 3 years making a name for himself.
Electric Daisy Carnival Experience (2011)
When you’re at a music festival, you might have felt so good that you sometimes wish you could share it with others. Electric Daisy Carnival Experience is a documentary that makes you experience the biggest EDM festival in America. The film also features the making of the music festival from the organizers, to the main performers. The movie isn’t just for the fans but also for the artist. You can witness the whole party from the view of the fans and the DJ. Some of the feature appearances in the movie include Travis Barker, Kaskade, Steve Angello, Boyz Noize and Will.i.am.
We Are Your Friends (2015)
We Are Your Friends stars Cole Carter, played by Zac Efron, who dreams of becoming a famous DJ. He meets James Reed, a self-made DJ/producer and takes him under his wing. He gets the chance to show off his work but eventually things get complicated when he gets involved with the girlfriend of his mentor. The movie also lays out the basic elements of EDM which makes the movie sort of an educational piece for EDM.
A Year With Armin van Buuren (2012)
This movie documents the very important moments of Armin van Buuren’s career. It shows actual scenes from his world tour ‘Mirage.’ Armin’s personal life is also featured, from his parents’ house to the luxurious private jets and the final preparations before he does his shows. You can catch the full movie here.
Armin van Buuren: This Was Intense (2015)
If there is one word that could describe the ‘Armin Only’ world tour, that word is Intense. During the end of the summer of 2013, Armin started another world tour that would take the EDM world by storm. This movie will let you experience the intensity of the tour that went around 5 continents and 33 stops. Each show lasted for 6 hours featuring bands, dancers, and other artists.
Re:Generation Music Project (2012)
With the collaboration of The GRAMMYS, this documentary film looks at the history of 5 different genres of music in the perspective of 5 renowned producers and DJs. The whole process of songwriting, recording, and producing are documented to reveal how different forms of music are created and influenced by other genres.
Electronic Awakening (2011)
EDM is a movement. The unique sound that is made from synthesizers and the experience that you get from such a large crowd coming together to enjoy music can provide a spiritual experience. Electronic Awakening touches on that element of EDM. It follows the evolution of EDM and the ‘awakening’ effect it has on people from different cultures. The movie also compares the EDM movement with the other movements happening in the world.
Pump Up the Volume – The History of House Music (2001)
How did EDM start? Pump Up the Volume tries to explain how EDM really started. The origins of the music genre was said to start at a club in Chicago called ‘Warehouse’ where the House Music got its name. The music eventually reached the UK in the early ‘90s where it evolved into subgenres. You can watch the full movie below.
Idris Elba’s How Clubbing Changed The World (2012)
The beginning of clubbing was slow and unnoticed until it accelerated when it reached Britain. Now, clubbing has changed into a multi-billion dollar business. Clubbing has opened up a world where DJs and producers can exercise their talents and make a living out of it. This movie contains anecdotes to some of the famous DJs and producers like David Guetta, Nile Rogders, Armand van Helden and more. Watch the full movie below.
High Tech Soul: The Creation of Techno Music (2006)
Some movies already document the origins of EDM but High Tech Soul explores the deep roots of the music genre. It brings you to ‘60s Detroit and the riots to the underground parties that happened around the ‘80s. The people who are said to have given birth to the genre are interviewed as each explain how the signature sound of EDM could have only come from Detroit. The movie is down below.
Electronic music, just like any other form of music, is created using musical instruments. Bob Moog is known for creating some of the most iconic electronic music instruments. This documentary shows how the mind of Moog worked and how his inventions affected the worldwide phenomenon that is electronic music. You can watch the full movie below.
Party Monster (2003)
This movie is based on a true story. Michael Alig is a party organizer at Club Kid. His life was turned to hell when he revealed in live TV that he committed murder. He’d killed his roommate and his drug dealer. The movie exposes some of the darker sides of the clubbing scene.
Another movie about the shady intermingling of drugs and partying, Rolling takes on the story of different characters coming together in the underground party scene of LA which is also riddled with the drug they crave, ecstasy. The movie captures the culture created by the euphoria-inducing drug and how the lives and relationships of the people tangled with it are affected.
Paris is Burning (1990)
The origins of electronic music is tied to close knit urban worlds. Paris is Burning is a movie about New Yorkers who are obsessed about fashion and self-expression. The movie received awards and praises from critics because of remarkable performances.
First-time party experiences can be meaningful. Groove is a movie about a recluse being dragged to a rave in San Francisco and experience for the first time the thrill and intensity of dance parties. Drugs become involved and the guy is thrown into a wild world of dancing and excitement. He meets a girl, but soon the party ends and everything disappears. Although, his life has certainly changed by the 12 hours he spent. The full movie can be seen here.
Richie Hawtin: Slices Feature (2011)
This Slices Feature takes on Richie Hawtin, a teen who absorbed so much influence from Detroit radio in creating his work which would later make him as one of the most-celebrated DJ and techno-entrepreneur in his time. The feature film includes footages and materials about the life and career of Richie Hawtin that have never been released.
Human Traffic (1999)
This comedy movie stars five friends who escape their boring work-life by spending their nights raving and partying. They crave freedom as they hop from one club to the next. Later on, they find something different when they decide to go to a party and look for meaning and connections.
Berlin Calling (2008)
This movie is both a tragedy and a comedy. The life of DJ Ickarus is obviously on the road to fame as he takes on one club after another to promote his debut album. But, all of this changes when he is rushed to the hospital after being so high on drugs.
Don’t Forget to Go Home (2006)
Another movie set in Berlin, Don’t Forget to Go Home or locally called ‘Feiern’ is a documentary film about the EDM scene in Berlin. A major step in the evolution and progression of EDM happened in Europe and this film is one of the proofs of that.
Modulations: Cinema for the Ear (1998)
This movie is all about stimulating your eardrums. Modulations lets your experience the evolution of electronic music and some of its genres. The creation of this type of music came from different experimentations and the movie gives you a taste of the results of those experimentations by featuring works from different styles and ranges.
Kraftwerk and the Electronic Revolution (2008)
Kraftwerk is one of the pioneers of electronic music and is one of the contributors to the style that is characteristic of electronic tracks. Kraftwerk and the Electronic Revolution is a movie is about krautrock but it extensively covers the works and history of the German band, Kraftwerk, as they influence the music world with their signature style and electronic instrumentations.
Maestro is a documentary film about the history of house music and the club culture in New York City. It’s another film about the origins of electronic music but what makes it different is that it also includes the positive effects of this genre of music. The movie shows fans of different cultures, races, ages and sexual orientations coming together to enjoy house music and clubbing. The first of the nine-part series can be watched below.
Electronic dance music isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s still growing and evolving. People will always love partying and more stories will be created as more EDM music are produced. More of these movies will also be created. If you’re truly an EDM fan, everything related to EDM is worth experiencing.