Last Friday night at Neuehouse in Hollywood, Resident Advisor screened the latest installment of Real Scenes, this time focusing on Los Angeles. The series explores electronic music in major cities across the world, previously covering Paris, Detroit, Mexico City, Berlin, and others. Real Scenes Los Angeles features segments on Dam-Funk, Tropic of Cancer, Zane Landreth and Mahssa Taghinia from Mount Analog, and other pillars of LA’s electronic music community. It takes an especially close look at how the 2 AM cutoff time for alcohol sales in the city has created an underground subculture, with parties popping up in empty warehouses and other unconventional locations across the city.
Patrick Nation, the head of films for Resident Advisor, has directed each episode so far. He explains that before shooting in a new city, he and his team do months of research. “It’s an intensive process, especially for the cities that we know very little about initially,” he says.
Nation and his team begin to identify key fixtures in each city. Once that’s done, they send out a list of email questions to the people they plan to film interviews with, hoping to find patterns and consensus among the answers. “We always try and let the identity of the city dictate the way we approach it,” he says.
They also try to reflect the nature of the city in each edition’s look and vibe. In Tokyo, they chose to film everything at night because of the iconic visuals its bright neon lights provide. In car-centric Los Angeles, they filmed a segment with a 360-degree, interactive view from inside Dam-Funk’s ride, allowing the viewer to feel as if they are actually in the passenger seat. The video served as a teaser trailer for the Los Angeles episode.
According to Nation, the sprawling, sometimes isolating reality of Los Angeles makes it harder to penetrate.. But this situation also means that there’s plenty of space for all kinds of different people. “The scene seems generally pretty embracing of the freaks and weirdos,” he says, “which I think is very important to keep things interesting.’