Speaking in Code is an intimate account of people who are completely lost in music. Director Amy Grill follows a series of characters (including her technoobsessed husband) over a number of years as some struggle to make it while others thrive in the world of electronic music.
The film reveals six intertwined character studies and raw vérité views of new music in an intimate way not seen since The Decline of Western Civilization opened up the world of the LA punk scene. It’s a window into a world filled with warehouse parties, endless gigs, international travel, risks, inventions, triumphs and breakdowns.
The characters are as compelling as their storylines: Modeselektor, a rambunctious producer duo, are jettisoned from playing a tiny room in the US to playing to 20,000 people in Barcelona; journalist Philip Sherburne leaves America to find a more complete techno lifestyle in Europe; The Wighnomy Brothers are catapulted from their idyllic world in the former East Germany and they face their breaking point on camera; Tobias Thomas contemplates the near-end of his career; while Monolake, an inventor of the software that nearly all electronic musicians use to create their music, continues his steady yet quirky approach to a life in music. And back in the US, David Day (Grill’s husband) tries tirelessly to turn Boston from a rock-centric town to a techno city. Day’s wanton attempts to make electronic music popular put strain on his marriage to the director.
It’s a tightly interwoven story about the electronic music scene told from the inside-out: intimate, raw and vivid.