MAKING CONTAKT - DVD DOCUMENTARY
by Ali Demirel, Richie Hawtin, Niamh Guckian and Patrick Protz
Last year, Minus celebrated its ten year anniversary with CONTAKT - a free-flowing, improvisational show involving the label's top DJs and live performers backed up by state of the art visuals. The fly-on-the-wall documentary edited by Niamh Guckian (Totally Wired Movie) superbly documents the journey, offering a unique, behind the scenes look at what makes this crazy, passionate and highly focused group of individuals tick, as they attempt to redefine the conventional clubbing experience.
Interspersed with a running commentary from the artists, friends and backroom staff who made the event possible, it's a warts 'n' all appraisal of the highs, lows, triumphs and near catastrophes that accompanied the tour, revealing exactly what it takes to get a performance of this magnitude on the road and keep the electronic movement pushing forward.
Aptly kicking off amid the shaky foundations of St Andrews Hall in Detroit, where the bass frequencies literally bring the house down, the show moves on through a host of major cities before peaking with an awe-inspiring spectacle in Amsterdam and a memorable finale in Tokyo. Each venue poses a new challenge and the close-up camera style and subtle juxtaposition of images get right to the heart of the matter as the crew battle with a seemingly endless string of problems - whether it's the dimensions of the building, an excommunicated Cube, overheating equipment or self-inflicted software updates.
As the drama unfolds, it's fascinating to watch how the show evolves. The nimbus clouds from the Detroit experience slowly disperse and the performers gradually embrace the new format, harnessing the creative potential at their fingertips. It all boils down to keeping a cool head while others are losing theirs and the multi-tasking Minus collective all have a part to play in making sure the show can go on.