- Written by Mike Fossati
"The Godfather of Disco (G.O.D.)" - a documentary about Mel Cheren by Gene Graham
Based on Mel Cheren's powerful autobiography "My Life and the Paradise Garage: Keep On Dancin", "The Godfather of Disco (G.O.D.)" is a feature length documentar by director Gene Graham that will give you an overview of the rise and fall of the 70's era dance music. Through a series of interviews with a who's who of the dance music community, G.O.D. uses the arc of Mel's life to examine the early 70's musical and cultural currents that gave birth to disco, West End Records' contribution to that scene, the rise of Paradise Garage, and the onslaught of HIV/Aids and it's impact on New York City. The documentary look at Mel's activist years as he harnesses the power of music to fight Aids via his charity work for GMHC and 24hrs for Life/LifeBEAT. Through it all, Mel has been there, done that, lived to tell the tale and continues to do it all today.
The movie had its world premier at the 2007 Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival where director Gene Graham received the Emerging Filmmaker Award. More information, including a list of future screenings, can be found at the official website.
Mel Cheren - he's the guy that put an instrumental mix on the b-side of a 45rpm record.
Mel Cheren - he's the guy who put out the frist 12" DJ record.
Mel Cheren and Gene Graham in Minneapolis (picture courtesy of the official website)
- Written by Mike Fossati
MAESTRO, a feature documentary 4 years in the making, tells the story of how a group of people found refuge and a call for life outside the mainstream, what evolved was a scene that set the ground work for what was to come in dance music culture worldwide, a rare insight into the secret underground world.
It’s the first time this story is told in a motion Picture, included in the film are pioneer dance music DJs and producers, "founding fathers", its center being Larry Levan, as well as high-profile DJs of today.
It vividly portrays the world that spawned today's dance music from 2-step, to the eclectic sounds of tribal, to pop artists. Parties from Ibiza to Philly, all are influenced by the quintessential elements that made New York City's Paradise Garage and The Loft such a powerful cultural force in people's lives.
DJs Larry Levan, (Paradise Garage) and David Mancuso, (The Loft), continue to be revered today as the leaders of dance music culture worldwid. This seminal movement - encompassing dancers, patrons, artists, DJs, sound designers, and more - gave birth to DJ pioneers in the film and contemporary dance club parties across the globe.
MAESTRO, with a personal and candid approach, shows the true history of the people through a realistic creative aesthetic. Tracing the underground's dance origin, Maestro brings out a real understanding of this intense lifestyle, and the lives they lived and died for. It is far from mere nostalgia, this film is like the music and experiences it chronicles.