With a very old national culture of folk music, Georgia's modern musicians have now started to create electronic music. Samplers of this kind of music first appeared here in the late 1980s. They began mostly with imitations of New Wave, New Romantics and the typical synthy sound of that time. The 90s then brought computers and the Internet and also the end of the Soviet Union (which Georgia was involved in). Since then, Georgian musicians have been using the opportunity to visit western countries. And so they bring new experiences and sounds home with them, as well as the technical know-how for making this kind of music.
A style has developed, which is characteristic to the whole genre of Georgian Electronic Music: bizarre and exotic western influences combined with elements of Soviet film scores and Georgian folk music. The latter contains a whole variety of Oriental as well as European musical rudiments. So what we now have is: Multicultural melodies meet the artificially designed sounds of electronic machines - strongly influenced by jazz and individually mixed by the various artists. One can say that this is a very special musical experience!
Still, electronic music remains very 'underground' in Georgia. Most of the artists are involved in other musical projects aside from electronic music and many of them are visual artists as well as musicians.
"Elektronavtebi" (Electronauts) tells the story of six Georgian musicians: the story of their musical careers, as well as their feelings and thoughts about the music industry and underground culture.
Nika Machaidze (aka Nikakoi/Erasti) was the first to reach global listeners. In 1999 Nika won the grand-prix at the Paris Electronic Music Festival and in 2002 he released his first album (as Nikakoi) on WMF records, Berlin. Today he also releases his music (as Erasti) on the Japanese label "Laboratory Instinct"; creates jingles for Georgian TV programs; produces videos; writes scripts -- and yet still doesn't like the fuss of promo activities.
Tusja Beridze (TBA), Gogi Dzodzuashvili (Gogi.Ge.Org) and Nika Machaidze are part of GOSLAB, a multimedia collective of artists (as they call it). Gogi has just released his first album in Germany and the film crew accompanies him as he visits that country alongside his old friend and collaborator - Tusja. Both, Gogi and Tusja are signed to MAX ERNST, a famous German electronic label, and have just started getting an insight into the independent music scene.
The brothers Dima and Dada Dadiani, not only geographically but also musically, live on two different parts of the planet. Dima, an uncompromising artist of the Georgian electronic scene, still lives in Georgia; whereas his elder brother Dada (known as the pioneer of Georgian indie music) moved to London a decade ago. "My fascination with Dada's presence in the band and his music disappeared when I realized that I wanted to work with absolutely different kinds of sounds", says Dima, who describes his own music as repetitive and mechanical but not at all unpleasant. Dada, whose musical career started in a punk band, produces underground Londonese MCs and says that he chose dance-oriented music because he's too old to make music for old people.
"Dance music is not the right media for protest. I'm dreaming of good times and pretty girls when I produce my music", says Baju, another former Punk hero from Kutaisi - the second biggest town in Georgia. The town, like the whole country, has serious power supply problems, but that doesn't stop Baju from making electronic music. "Every time they cut the power off, I ride my bicycle to the nearest car repair shop and charge my batteries. That's how Georgian electronic music works", says Baju.
This documentary includes exclusive interviews and archive footage, intertwined with music videos and live performances by the six artists. The film was shot in April-June 2005 in Germany, the UK and Georgia.
Written and directed by Sergi Gvarjaladze - Camera: Niko Tarielashvili - Editor: Giorgi Lomsadze