The RE:GENERATION music project examines the history of different music through the eyes of five contemporary electronic producer/DJs. For the project, Mark Ronson, DJ Premier, the Crystal Method, Pretty Lights and Skrillex each take a specific musical style, and one they’re not usually known for, and explore it by writing and recording a brand new track with a group of influential collaborators in that genre. A film documenting the project will be in theaters nationwide February 16 and 23 only and will play at AMC Elmwood Palace 20 in the New Orleans area at 8 p.m.
“I think that to have five songs come out of a pack of people whose music is so different is remarkable, says director Amir Bar-Lev. “To add the pressure of all the cameras around, the short amount of time that these people had to work and the fact that they also didn’t know each other going into it, the music that came out of the making of the film is remarkably strong.”
The documentary also focuses on the city as a character that plays a role in the music. Filming took place in Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Nashville, New York and Boston. “What this documentary is about is basically what happens when musical styles meet and what happens when traditions meet,” Bar-Lev says. “I think that if it has a message, it’s that when other traditions meet one another, it does not often go as smoothly as when musical traditions meet. That says a lot about the power of music, and the human force and the rest of the world could learn something from musicians.”
Producer Mark Ronson is known to many as the producer of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black, and he recorded “A La Modeliste”—a track based on a groove by drummer Zigaboo Modeliste—with Erykah Badu, Trombone Shorty, Mos Def, Modeliste, and members of the Dap-Kings in New Orleans. The footage for the film was shot during a private show at Preservation Hall after recording was completed.
“It just so happens that they were eager to perform it that very night and the song needed less post-production because it’s a little less electronic,” Bar-Lev says. “They were just really excited about the song, and they performed it last night again on Letterman. It was amazing.”
For more information on the show visit ReGenerationMusicProject.com.