Human Traffic, Berlin Calling and even Kevin & Perry Go Large are all fantastic and acclaimed dance music movies that typify their respective generations at the time of being made. As a raver, what's not to love about seeing what you do week in, week out, laid out for you on the big screen in an endearing, funny and thoughtful way?
More recently Eden has been garnering praise for its well-shot, beautifully-scored, coming-of-age tale with dance music at the centre of it. But what about the EDM kids? Where is their glowing take on the scene that's exploded all over the world? Well, it's arrived in the form of We Are Your Friends and we don't blame the majority of dance music fans for being pretty dubious about it. In fact, we were eager to go and check it out to see just how shit it was.
Directed by Max Joseph of Catfish fame, the film (set for release on August 28) tells the story of Cole Carter, played by sickly-sweet Zac Efron, and his struggles to make it as a big-time DJ. He's pitted as a promoter alongside his friends Ollie, Squirrel and Mason, desperately trying to work his way up the ranks. After meeting superstar DJ James Reed, played by Wes Bentley, they strike up a friendship and from there Carter goes to loads of jaw-dropping parties that overflow with drugs and booze and becomes a massive DJ. The end.
It's not that simple but that's pretty much the gist of it. Going into the film we knew it wasn't going to be ground-breaking but there were some glaring loopholes and general quotes we picked up on that made us laugh out loud for all the wrong reasons. We're a dance music publication, so let's break it down and focus on the dance music. Spoilers ahead.
1 The music
One of the first things that makes us laugh is Zac Efron's opening gambit in which he begins to explain what it takes to be a DJ. Maybe this is telling of the average EDM DJ but come on, really?
"All you need is a laptop, some talent and one track. That track is your ticket to everything."
If you want to specialise in creating lowest-common denominator dance music or, as our boy Troxler called it, "sonic ear rape", then this rings true but seriously, that's not what makes a good DJ. Seeing as the basis of the movie surrounds this quote, we're not off to a good start are we?
As the group of likely lads turn up to the night they've been promoting, we're treated to some high-octane scenes and of course they're soundtracked by abrasive, squitty EDM that induces high levels of nausea. Dillon Francis makes a brief and completely unnecessary cameo where he plays to an empty Room Two before Efron's character jumps on deck, but at least there's a famous DJ in there within the first 15 minutes right?!
James Reed headlining the Main Room is equally unsettling. Where did these actors learn to dance because it certainly wasn't in a nightclub. His uncomfortably awkward moves behind the decks are followed by him fanning the crowd with a vinyl record. At least the record's being used as a prop because he sure as hell isn't mixing with it.
Reed and Carter make their first encounter outside a club and then Reed invites Cole to an afterparty. In the car on the way there, Reed reels off a list of countries and cities he's taken his EDM usb sticks to. An impressive list including Berlin, London, Mallorca, Dubai and Paris follows, as well as comments on how the French capital has a "really good scene right now". Thank god, at least he's aware of the techno and bass music that labels like Bromance, Sound Pellegrino and ClekClekBoom are pushing at the moment. Oh, he didn't mean that?
Aside from tracks like 'Pushin' On' by Oliver $ and 'I Think I Like It' by Fake Blood, the soundtrack is strictly EDM. If that's what you're into then great, you'll love Will Sparks heinous banger 'Ah Yeah So What', but as you can judge for yourself, it's not the one at all.
DJ Academy is the way to kickstart your career behind the decks
Mixmag and Coors Light are offering people the chance to play The Lab LDN and more
Alan Fitzpatrick to launch new imprint, Apex Faction
A new leftfield and electronica label from the UK techno powerhouse