New Documentary Looks At The Reality Of Techno DJing

Kvadrat is a feature-length documentary that looks at the reality of techno DJing, through the example of Russian DJ Andrey Pushkarev.

Filmed as a hybrid between a road-movie and a music video, the film not only illustrates the festive atmosphere of techno night clubs, but also reveals the lesser known side of this profession: weeks of track selection, lengthy travel, difficult schedule.

Shot in Switzerland, France, Hungary, Romania and Russia, the film omits the typical documentary elements: no interviews, no explanatory voice-over, no facts, no figures. The visuals and the techno music replace them, leaving the detailed interpretation to the viewer.

The full documentary is embedded above and is also available via the documentary’s site.

20 thoughts on “New Documentary Looks At The Reality Of Techno DJing

  1. I’ve quickly skipped through and found all the music sounds pretty much like the same tired old minimal background house from over a decade ago. I admire the mans dedication but I don’t think I could take 1h:46mins all the way through without some serious drugs.

  2. pushkarev and most of crew play deep house actually (original deep house, not beatport/usa/netherlands “deep house”)

  3. I want to see a documentary that traces the progression of musical fads and how it correlates to the decline of the human side of the music. Musicianship is declining exponentially. I know that is subjective but I do mean in the traditional sense of the word.

    Also it’s only a matter of time before computer programs are smart enough to put this kind of music together without a human twitching their thumbs on a mouse. Will people still pay to see someone on a stage hit play and trigger all the fancy lights?

  4. I was very uninspired by this. Dumpy and uninspired dj guy and his tough life of travel ? I ‘get’ the art of this documentary, but I definitely didn’t appreciate it.

  5. Most of the movie looks like it holds off showing his life.
    Possibly it’s supposed to mirror the minimalism of the music somehow, but mostly the grinding travel.

    He’s obviously greeted by someone on arrival, get gigs somehow, hangs somewhere between sets, etc.
    This is not shown in the major part – it’ just the solipsist man going nowhere far away, half asleep.
    Well, he listens to a Christian anecdote on his phone. Ok…

    Those parts quickly got boring. Well crafted, but too slow filmmaking to me.

    It’s about 38 minutes until we get a little closer.
    There’s a brief discussion about DJing. He would rather work daytime. (That’s not hard to get.)
    A glimpse of happiness when he switches into new record, the tweaking of knobs to put some variation into the music, an enthusiastic or laid-back audience.
    Those parts are worth the trouble, along with say half of the travelogue.

    So, I guess the film could have been cut by 40-50 mins and conveyed the message equally well.
    But it’s not bad.

    1. “Obviously”?

      And, you can see that in the film, if you pay attention. In Saint Petersburg, in Olten, in Budapest, in Bucharest… Moreover, “obviously” the language barrier (namely his basic English) is a problem for this particular DJ and the “someone on arrival” who generally speaks next to no English. Lots of awkward silence.

      I agree that the movie could be cut by an hour to become a easy-to-swallow entertaining pill of false excitement of being a DJ ;-).

      But you’re spot on about “the solipsist man going nowhere far away, half asleep.” That’s the reality, whether you or me like it or not.

      Oh, and that wasn’t an anecdote on his iPhone… it was a random passenger in the compartment talking to us. Rather strange and opportune parable about being thankful.

  6. I would not call this movie a “documentary” as much as i’d call it a music video… There is almost no dialogue… As a matter of fact i did not hear any but apparently the guy utters a sentence at some point according to other comments.

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