A new documentary series about electronic dance music is coming to television starting Monday, March 14. And no, it's not on MTV, or that new Vice channel. Nope, Real Scenes, produced by highly regarded dance music media brand Resident Advisor, is making its TV premiere thanks to KCETLink Media Group. In other words, EDM is coming to public television. (Though not actually to PBS — after we originally published this article, KCET publicists reached out to inform us that since
becoming part of KCETLink Media 2011, the station is no longer affiliated with the Public Broadcasting Service.)
OK, to be fair, Real Scenes won't be devoted to EDM per se. The first episode to be broadcast, which will explore dance music culture in Los Angeles (each of the 10 episodes focuses on a different city, sorta like Sonic Highways for electronica), is slated to feature appearances by experimental techno producer Gifted & Blessed, funk/R&B auteur Dam-Funk, and Moe Espinosa, best-known for his techno alias Drumcell but appearing him in his more ambient-leaning guise as Hypoxia. So they're clearly going for a more underground, less cake-throwing vibe, which has always been more RA's terrain.
Actually, many of the Real Scenes episodes are already available on Resident Advisor's website, including shows filmed in New York, Detroit, Berlin and Mexico City. It's not clear yet how much the episodes will be re-edited for TV, although at a minimum, there are a few F-bombs in the New York episode they'll have to bleep out.
As a promo for the L.A. episode, RA released a pretty cool 360-degree video that follows Dam-Funk on a drive around his neighborhood, Ladera Heights. Use the controller in the upper left corner to decide what angle you want to see as Dam explains why he ditched his hometown of Pasadena for the area sometimes nicknamed “the black Beverly Hills.”
Real Scenes will premiere Monday, March 14, on Link TV (DirecTV channel 375 and Dish Network channel 9410) and re-air on KCET on Saturday, March 19 at midnight. Visit www.linktv.org for more information and other airdates.
[Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to KCET as being part of PBS, and identified the wrong Hypoxia as appearing in the episode. We regret the errors.]