Top 10 Techno Documentaries

Top 10 Techno Documentaries

By Sabine Spethling


Techno documentaries are a great way to understand techno culture and its historical background: Where the different sounds and genres come from, how they developed and who are the initiators behind. This article gives you an overview of the best documentaries about scenes, places and people worldwide. From the beginning of house and techno in the United States, to the development of the techno capital Berlin and the current topics of techno culture worldwide.

We call it Techno



‘A documentary about Germany’s early Techno scene and culture. Inspired by new sounds, new technologies and the political events of the time, a scene emerges in the early 90s in Germany that euphorically celebrates the beginning of a new era. In Berlin, Frankfurt and many other cities in Germany, the activists are working on a new music and club culture around the coordinates of techno and house.’





‘Maestro tells the story of early 70s New York disco. Featuring its pioneering founders, David Mancuso, Nicky Siano, Frankie Knuckles, the film focusses on the original maestro, Larry Levan. A time capsule into Levan’s Paradise Garage, the original modern nightclub, the film consists of some of the era’s rarest archival footage and interviews with countless legends who are no longer alive.’


Richie Hawtin – Pioneers of Electronic Music



‘This edition is a documentary film based on electronic producer, performer and industry icon, Richie Hawtin. The film draws from the important stages and events in Richie Hawtin’s personal and artistic life, revealing the journey of an introverted and transplanted computerminded teen that develops by way of Detroit’s radio and records fueled by pure driven passion into a successful techno-entrepreneur and global DJ entertainer.’


The Summer of Rave 1989



‘A documentary by the BBC about the development of rave culture in the United Kingdom during the summer of 1989, when people came together in abandoned warehouses to dance to the new sound from the States while under the influence of a drug that went seemed to go pretty well with it.’


Raving Iran


The famous movie from 2016 about the two brothers Anoosh and Arash, DJs in Tehran’s underground techno scene. This documentary is showing how hard it was following their passion for techno in Teheran, why they needed to hide from the police and how they organised one last big rave in the desert. It’s also about how they managed getting booked by one of the biggest festivals in Switzerland.


Back in the House



A five hours house music documentary about New York Cities mid 90s, including Djs such as Francois K, Joe Claussell, Frankie Knuckles, Junior Vasquez, Danny Tenaglia, MAW, David Morales, Shelter, Nuyorican Soul, Underground Network and many more. Also including labels stories of e.g. Strictly Rhythm, Nervous and Nu Groove.


Bar 25 – Tage außerhalb der Zeit



A contemporary documentary about the world famous club at the Spree river in Berlin. From the beginning in 2004 until its closing in September 2010, the film accompanies the creative minds of the Bar25 in their very own world.


Sub Berlin -The Story of Tresor



‘Directed by Tilmann Künzel, SubBerlin traces the club’s history from its beginning in the early ’90s to the closure of its original location in 2005. It includes interviews with many of the artists that played at the venue, from Atkins to Sven Vath, as well as the people that made the club happen, such as original founder Dimitri Hegemann’


Doku Berlin ´90 – Der Sound der Wende



The musical history of the turnaround in Berlin. The Berlin music scene celebrates German unity in its own way: vacant factory buildings become techno temples. A journey through the German capital with interesting city specific political background information.


Why we DJ – Slaves to the Rhythm



‘Why We DJ – Slaves To The Rhythm’ provides an honest look at the lives of professional DJs from the point of view of the people subjected to a heavy schedule of travel, sleep deprivation and creative pressure, whilst constantly under the social media spotlight.



Photo by Tina Rataj-Berard on Unsplash


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