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Here's my review/thoughts on IDOW: Hardcore Edition
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> I Dream Of Wires Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next [all]
Author Here's my review/thoughts on IDOW: Hardcore Edition
Ockeghem
I've seen part two, and after reading most of the reviews here.
I did like seeing the stories of Solvent and Lori, and enjoyed the virtual trips to the synth shops and the manufacturer comments.
I do think that the second half lacks a consistent point-of-view, in a way.
The first half definitely sends a message to me that modulars have been unjustly neglected in the 80s-90s and are regaining public attention.
Well and good. This makes me happy.
But when I watch the second half, there seems to be no clear answer given to those who like analog polys, or digital synths, or computers, better than a modular. Or to those who buy Euro mainly for the pretty blinking lights. (Really?) And then the idea that, oh well, SMT and miniaturization is inevitable and we may very quickly see it all become obsolete again. This leaves me in doubts.
And, maybe there isn't a clear answer. Maybe I'm just a 5U guy and stuck in the seventies.
"It begins with a blessing,
And ends with a curse,
Making things easy
By making things worse."
thesnow
honestly if it wasn't for part one the film would not have been as good. so i feel a little for people that will only see the "theatrical" version.

when all this was still cooking it did kind of rub me the wrong way a little that certain synth designers would not be included and solvent's automatic attitude toward it was kind of biased it seemed. picking his favorites or what he thought deserved it more or was more worthy of the effort.

in the end it's a nice little film but now I'm kind of glad and it's kind of cool that the main synth designers I feel were missing did not end up in the film. quite the coincidence I think. almost as if they all knew better not to play.

it will be an interesting film for a lot of newbies and cause a lot of new euro converts nonetheless.
tachyons+
Just finished watching it, very overrrrloooaddeddd on syyynntthhssss!!!

The first hour or so was great, excellent top notch perfect. Learned a lot...

Love the Subotnik talks and the Mills College old heads.
The Manhattan Project stuff just mind-blowing!!!
The early Canadian synth dude, that was beautiful.
The polarization of East and West U.S. minds making synth designs.
The choice of old stock footage, blended and edited superbly!

After that kinda got lost in stuff kinda already learned via BBC Synth Britannia, personal use of early digital and analog synths and such. But the film immediately comes out of that and goes way way further....

Second part was inspiring, highly intersting but in one sitting just very very overwhelming. Know a lot of those modern cats from studies and even personally through my own work and just wow its all over the place.

Its really just something that deserves re-watching over and over again. Through time and studying up on who these people are at the end. In one sitting, my brain is simply melted. Its really nice though, usually at the end of a good documentary, You Want More!!! Well, this delivers heavily and by Billion-X!

Would have loved to see Simeon of Silver Apples talk about his Oscillator music making set-up in part 1 for sure....

And more video synthesis action but thats obviously a film within itself.

Look forward to watching this for the rest of my life for needed inspiration and wonder plus sharing with friends.

Though on a personal note, have to admit, absolutely Love! the snobby attitudes, the nerding out, the who-fckn cares of a lot of the people on their viewpoints on the world of synths through out the film. Usually when I talk like this to others, people just tell me I am wrong or snobby. Ha! Its almost like a cinematic stand that I Am Not Crazy! On my personal viewpoints on analog and such. Though in the end of the day we are of course, all wrong and so right. Its all about having fun and this film definitely seemed like it was having fun in a high quality film crafting way.

Also the synth salesman in the U.K. could easily play Doctor Who.

Look forward to seeing the theatre edit on a big screen in the future!
neilbaldwin
I finished watching it at the weekend too.

I have similar feelings to qu.one in that there were some odd choices of people to include and then some glaring omissions: one of the biggest for me, Tom Bugs? But then I guess not everyone would want to be included so may not have been a decision of the makers.

First half I found really fascinating and there were some great interviews and some awesome vintage gear porn.

Second half not so much. Should've spent the whole second half just interviewing Andreas.

It also seemed to have a 'melodic' slant to the whole thing and I get the feeling this is a reflection of the particular style that the makers were interested in as it matched their own musical output. More experimental/challenging stuff never seemed to get a look in.

The two guys who made the synths out of old telephones etc. was the highlight of part two for me.

There were also people like the guy from EA: why? I nearly did a sick in my mouth at that bit. And the trance-y DJ (name escapes me) at Mutek who, while I quite enjoyed the bits from his set, was mainly using Live/MPC.

Having said that, hats off to the makers for a tremendous piece of work.
pugix
neilbaldwin wrote:

I have similar feelings to qu.one in that there were some odd choices of people to include and then some glaring omissions: one of the biggest for me, Tom Bugs? But then I guess not everyone would want to be included so may not have been a decision of the makers.


I wonder if this explains the non-mention of Blacet Research and John Blacet, despite numerous shots with racks of his modules.
pugix
neilbaldwin wrote:

It also seemed to have a 'melodic' slant to the whole thing and I get the feeling this is a reflection of the particular style that the makers were interested in as it matched their own musical output. More experimental/challenging stuff never seemed to get a look in.


I had the same impression.
iamerror
I enjoyed every single minute of it.

Only one flaw: It's still too short. Four hours just went by like nothin'... Dead Banana

Can I order a 9 hour version for Christmas, please?

P.S.: Thank you so much for putting all that work and love into IDOW. THANK YOU. You guys changed my life!
s o l v e n t
pugix wrote:
neilbaldwin wrote:

It also seemed to have a 'melodic' slant to the whole thing and I get the feeling this is a reflection of the particular style that the makers were interested in as it matched their own musical output. More experimental/challenging stuff never seemed to get a look in.


I had the same impression.


Morton Subotnick
Keith Fullerton Whitman
Robert AA Lowe
Surachai
Richard Devine
Container
Skinny Puppy
Orphx
... for a start
pugix
Yes, but we didn't hear much of their music.
emdot_ambient
Well, it's interesting how people can watch the same thing and experience something completely different, because throughout much of the film I was thinking that the melodic side was pretty much absent, getting just little snippets here and there while the more experimental/noisier stuff was what we heard most!
emdot_ambient
As for review...I just sat through all of it with just a bathroom break in between parts.

Talk about hardcore, I feel exhausted after so much stellar synth pr0n!

As with most everyone else, I found the first part astoundingly good. Unlike most others, I found the second part quite good as well. What it succeeded at was representing the huge variety of approaches to module design, business model, design philosophies, and indeed the unfathomably multifarious types of people involved in the scene both in manufacturing and actual synth use.

It was great seeing people I've talked to and bought PCBs from here, and I was so glad that negative opinions of modulars and the people using them were given voice, too. To have done otherwise would have turned the film into a huge self-love fanboy festival, which I did not think this ended up being.

And in that regard, the journey and skepticism of Solvent was our guide from the traditional synth user into modular user, whereas the DIYer (who goes by the name meridian7 on the intertubes) is the flip side of the coin: the non-synth user coming to modulars full of wonderment and curiosity.

So much ground is covered in the second half, it's kind of mind-spinning.

I too have my "why didn't they mention/interview so-and-so" list, but ultimately that kind of complaint is ridiculous and petty. Do you really expect documentaries on any subject to cover every possible person who was in any way involved in whatever the film is about? This ins't a documentary about the modulars that are now available, or even every historic modular out there. It's about the resurgence of modulars, about modulars catching the imaginations of whole new generations.

And I think it did a fine job.

OH, AND...my 3XL IDOW Moog style t-shirts are AWESOME! thumbs up
s o l v e n t
emdot_ambient wrote:
As with most everyone else, I found the first part astoundingly good. Unlike most others, I found the second part quite good as well.


Thanks for the kind words. Just want to point out that this synopsis of "most others" not enjoying pt2 doesn't reflect reality at all. Here on MW we are reading some reviews from the nitpicky-est of nitpickers. Which is fine... but not reflective at all of the kind of feedback we are getting overall, the vast majority of which is extremely positive towards pts 1 & 2.
tachyons+
Please do a reality TV show starring Andreas Schneider!
g0lem
i really wanted the cevin key interview to be longer.
i'm glad they posted the extended interview for chris carter because he was one of the most interesting people interviewed.
VanEck
I'm glad there wasn't too much focus on individual manufacturers, and more focus instead on the "end users" and some bands utilizing modulars. There are simply too many manufacturers out there... in the world of Euro alone, you could dedicate an entire movie to interviewing the minds of the makers.

Too much focus on manufacturers of today would have just felt like a giant commercial.
Kingnimrod
I think it's a great effort - certainly better than any other gear-centric documentary I've ever watched. The Moog documentary is deadly boring by comparison.

I do video editing myself,and it can be quite a challenge piecing together footage into a coherent narrative, especially as much as they had to work with. They have done a great job - it could have been a disorganized hodgepodge of interviews and still be somewhat interesting, but the 4 hours wouldn't fly by so quickly if the editing wasn't excellent.
emdot_ambient
tachyons+ wrote:
Please do a reality TV show starring Andreas Schneider!

I've seen interviews with him done at trade shows as well...the man wears me out. hihi
deastman
Personally I really enjoyed part 2. It's important to keep in mind that this is the hardcore edition. It's 4 hours, and most of that was spent in the second part. It would be extremely difficult to maintain a tight and cohesive narrative over such a long time. I'm guessing that Jason's "modular quest" was added later on as a narrative device to try and tie it all together. I'm sure the theatrical release will be much more successful in spinning a succinct storyline. But we didn't want that, did we? We want the hardcore edition! SlayerBadger!
emdot_ambient
Oh, also wanted to add that I really liked the live concert scenes in Montreal. That performance space is a total dream. I about shit myself.
narwhal
yes, i preferred the second disk. The first is great in terms of narrative but it's a story i've heard before in a sense. Pulling together a established narrative over 40 years is always going to be easier than imposing one on 5-10. For me the eurorack centric second disk was much more interesting and really nice to put faces to names. Personally I liked the inclusion of the EA sound design guy and also the human interest narratives (lori/jason etc) to widen the appeal. Obviously each person can say where they'd like more emphasis and less emphasis but I really enjoyed it. Certainly looks like a monster undertaking. Lastly I hope everyone reads and respects the note that comes with disk.

And yes, Andreas Schneider definitely needs a youtube tv show. SlayerBadger!

Great work folks=]
Tombola
Mine just arrived today, I haven't watched it yet.

Just wanted to send huge respect to Solvent & co, can't believe the amount of complaining and whingeing they've had to put up with.

It's an incredible achievement, I can't begin to think how much work, investment and stress must have gone into this project.
rezzn8r
s o l v e n t wrote:
emdot_ambient wrote:
As with most everyone else, I found the first part astoundingly good. Unlike most others, I found the second part quite good as well.


Thanks for the kind words. Just want to point out that this synopsis of "most others" not enjoying pt2 doesn't reflect reality at all. Here on MW we are reading some reviews from the nitpicky-est of nitpickers. Which is fine... but not reflective at all of the kind of feedback we are getting overall, the vast majority of which is extremely positive towards pts 1 & 2.


Indeed! This doc rocks! we're not worthy
My comments about part 2 were meant as constructive feedback, and were very much 'nitpicking'.
Kaput
I've finished watching my copy (two sittings).

Wonderful work - I loved every minute. And Navs' narration was spot-on.

Star of the show for me was Dieter Doepfer - he just seems like a really modest guy who knows his stuff.

I didn't want it to end. 4 hours wasn't enough for me. hihi

thumbs up
tachyons+
What about the guy who was like 98% of people who buy my stuff are Pro's and .3% who buy the other stuff are amateurs, knob-twiddlers.

What a pompous ass. Ha~!

PS: Pro's usually can not create creative unique music.
They are too busy being pro.
thesnow
tachyons+ wrote:
What about the guy who was like 98% of people who buy my stuff are Pro's and .3% who buy the other stuff are amateurs, knob-twiddlers.

What a pompous ass. Ha~!

PS: Pro's usually can not create creative unique music.
They are too busy being pro.


what are you talking about he was talking about both of his formats and informing that the people that buy his 5U format modules usually tend to be professional musicians or engineers in the field (nothing wrong with that) and the people that buy his euro format modules usually tend not to be. so what is your problem with that?
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