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USA, 1998 (MIFF 1998, Pump Up The Volume)

Director: Iara Lee

Following her first feature, Synthetic Pleasures (1996), lara Lee's Modulations cements her standing as the cinematic voice for a subculture centred around electronic music. Modulations lays bare a clear map of the territory of electronica in all its forms - house, acid, techno, ambient, trip-hop, experimental, drum & bass, to name just a few. Interviews and live clips augment the sound and vision of key artists such as the Prodigy, Carl Cox, Afrika Bambaataa, Bill Laswell, Money Mark, Pierre Henry, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Derrick May, DJ Spooky and dozens more.

The film, like the music, is multi-layered in ways that go deeper than casual observation. Cutting-edge graphics, rapid-fire interview snippets and a steady pulsating stream of electronic music (from across almost eight decades!) are the fuel for this energetic film. Juxtaposing the music of the contemporaries and classics offers a glimpse into a world more dynamic and substantial than the sum of its individual parts.

"I wanted to ask how does technology impact music-making and the concepts of music-making?... My idea was to explain how the pioneers and the intellectuals of electronic music influenced rave culture and techno music... Technology empowers us. You have this very sophisticated sound that is not created in a big studio but in someone's bedroom." - Iara Lee.

"Director lara Lee has put together a cogent picture of the streams of experimental music that flowed together to create the new sound of electronic music all splashed together on a bright, throbbing canvas of sound and film, a vivid pastiche that reflects the rugged vitality of the music." - San Francisco Chronicle

"It's the best film yet about the history of electronic music, and likely to be an art house institution." - mixmag

Iara Lee was born in 1966 and relocated to New York in 1989, where she made several acclaimed shorts while studying at New York University. Both Synthetic Pleasures (1996) and Modulations debuted at Sundance Film Festivals.

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