‘Re:Generation Music Project’ redefines the meaning of DJ

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By Krystal Sidzyik, Senior Staff Writer

One of the greatest music documentaries of the year comes to Omaha for a limited theater release this month. “Re:Generation Music Project,” follows five DJs as “they remix, recreate and re-imagine five traditional styles of music.” The first showing of the film was Feb. 16, but those who missed it can catch the final showing on Thursday, Feb 23.

The film will play in three metro theaters: Twin Creek Cinemas, Rave Westroads 14 and Village Pointe Cinemas. Tickets can be purchased through the “Re:Generation Music Project” website at regenerationmusic

project.com.

The basis of the film asks some of today’s greatest DJs to re-examine and “re-generate” some of the more traditional genres, including classical, country, rock, jazz and R&B. Directed by Amir Bar Lev, the film provides a captivating look into the colorful lives of five music producers: Skrillex, The Crystal Method, Pretty Lights, DJ Premier and Mark Ronson as they work with their assigned genre to create cultivating music.

Over the course of 90 minutes, viewers get the chance to experience each collaborative process. Grammy award-winning Electronic producer Skrillex is assigned rock. Duo The Crystal Method is assigned R&B. Electronic music artist Pretty Lights is assigned country. DJ Premier is assigned classical. English producer Mark Ronson is assigned jazz.

In the film, Skrillex is shown working with members of the iconic group, The Doors. It’s entertaining to watch two different genres of music come together to eventually create a phenomenal track titled, “Breakn’ A Sweat.” The track features elements of the traditional Doors sound, including Robby Krieger’s blues guitar, Ray Manzarek’s keyboard riffs and John Densmore’s drumming.

The Crystal Method is shown working on their R&B track with singer Martha Reeves and the Funk Brothers. The song is an ode to Reeves’ hometown of Detroit. The film follows Reeves and The Crystal Method on their walk through the once booming city of Detroit as Reeves talks about the city’s despair and her heartbreak when the building where she first performed was torn down

Electronic music producer Pretty Lights had a difficult time breaking down walls with country legend Ralph Stanley. Stanley is 84 years old and determined to do things his way when it comes to the producer giving direction. Pretty Lights brings in country musician, LeAnn Rimes to give the track more dimension. Pretty Lights creates a product that won’t disappoint his fans.  

Mark Ronson worked with The Dap Kings, Trombone Shorty, Erykah Badu and Yassin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) on a phenomenal Jazz track that is titled “Good Gumbo.”

Lastly, DJ Premier worked with Stephen Webber, a professor and conductor at the Berklee College of Music. Webber taught Premier how to conduct, and then Premier recorded with the Berklee Symphony Orchestra. Nas provided vocals on the fun and unique track.

The film showcases an evolution of music right before the viewer’s eyes. It can’t be denied that music DJs and producers are revolutionizing the music industry right now, and every music lover should watch “Re:Generation Music Project” to see why. The film doesn’t disappoint.

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