Maestro | Chicago Reader

Maestro

Manuel Josell Ramos interviews an exhaustive roster of less than eloquent DJs, club managers, sound engineers, and nostalgic patrons to remember two New York clubs of the 70s and 80s: the Loft and Paradise Garage. One scene-ster explains that the Loft was the only place in the city that played Chicago house music, while another lauds the bass acoustics of one legendary sound system (“I can't even describe the tightness”). Ramos memorializes the innovative DJ Larry Levan, who died in 1992, and the community of gay youth fostered by the clubs. “It was about completely being safe from the social restrictions from the outside,” he says in a voice-over. “Everything that the Moral Majority told you you couldn't do, it didn't exist anymore.” For a film about dance clubs, this pays little attention to styles of music or dance, and the long-winded talking heads are punctuated by the same few clips of archival video. 96 min.

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