10 Rave And Music Documentaries You Need To Watch

And if we can’t rave, we shall live vicariously through those who have. Bringing you our quarantine starter pack of specially curated Raving Documentaries to get you through those unfulfilled days and nights… and who knows, maybe you’ll pick up a dance move or two...

Talkin' Headz - The Metalheadz Documentary (1998)

Highlighting some of the legends of the ’90s drum and bass era, this doc depicts the origins of the Metalheadz label and the foundations it laid for the Drum n' Bass culture. Featuring Dillinja, Doc Scott, Ed Rush, Goldie, Grooverider, J. Majik, Matrix, Optical, Randall and Source Direct to name a few, as well as Liam and Noel Gallagher added for good measure. The documentary, originally released in ’98, is an important document of the history of UK dance music.

Analogue Foundation pres. SOUNDSYSTEM CULTURE: Channel One (2020)

Analogue Foundation brought together Classic Album Sunday's Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy and Channel One Sound System - one of UK's most influential and respected reggae sound systems. In this enriching interview hosted by Colleen, selector Mikey Dread and MC Ras Kayleb talk about many aspects of their work including; Channel One’s hand-built sound system, the warm feeling of analogue sound and the dedication and passion behind the sound system lifestyle.

The Summer of Rave 1989 (2016)

Originally broadcast by the BBC, this documentary leans on the development of rave culture in the United Kingdom during the summer of 1989. It takes you through the end of the 1980s, a music scene that was at the time very post-punk and new wave, but where club culture was starting to emerge. The movie captures all the crucial historical events and the effects this had on the evolution of rave cultures. With snapshots of the end of the communist era, the Margaret Thatcher phenomenon, the Hillsborough Stadium tragedy, The Hacienda and “Hot”, an acid house night hosted by Pickering and Jon DaSilva in July 1988.

Tower Block Dreams: Ghetto On Sea (2004)

Tower Block Dreams was a British mockumentary series that broadcast on BBC Three during January 2004, Widely acknowledged as the inspiration for Kurupt FM the show investigates the underground music scene on council estates in London and Southend in the United Kingdom. This edition features emcees Killer and Gambit who both live in council estates in Southend, which follows both of their stories as they pursue their passions for music within the sphere of ‘pirate radio’.

The Chemical Generation - Acid House Documentary (2000)

This documentary covers the acid house, rave and club culture revolution in the UK and of course the chemical MDMA or ecstasy, an era which formed the club culture that we all choose to indulge to this day. The 2000 Channel 4 documentary, presented by Boy George, looked at the history and legacy of the UK acid house scene since the 1980s.
The program goes into detail on the way UK society and attitudes changed after the dawn of acid house culture and, perhaps, more importantly the introduction of chemical of choice, ecstasy to the party diet of the young people of Britain. Featuring Tony Wilson, Irvine Welsh, Danny Rampling, & more; as well as the kids who were there at the time from dealers to clubbers.

Everybody In The Place - An Incomplete History of Britain 1984 -1992 (2019)

Originally aired on BBC Four in 2019 The Documentary Joins an A-level politics class as they discover the stories that shaped British club culture for the first time, viewing the story of acid house from the perspective of a generation for whom it is already ancient history. We see how rave culture owes as much to the Battle of Orgreave and the underground gay clubs of Chicago. As it shifts through musical styles: not merely a cultural gesture, but the fulcrum for a generational shift in British identity, linking industrial histories and radical action to the wider expanses of a post-industrial future.

Dazed & Confused - Jungle Fever (2014)


Dazed & Confused presented “Jungle Fever”, a 23 minute documentary on the history of jungle and drum & bass. Directed by Ollie Evans, the film featured interviews with legends such as Fabio & Grooverider, DJ Brockie, the Ragga Twins and more. It highlights the early days and origins of Jungle and how it helped to shape and influence many other genres beyond itself.

Britain's Illegal Rave Renaissance: LOCKED OFF (2016)


Rave Culture is one of Britain’s great cultural exports, but after its first wave in the late eighties and early nineties, it was soon forced into the underground by stringent new laws and superclubs. But forward 25 years into in the midst of a nationwide purge on the nation’s nightlife, where nearly half of all British clubs have shut down in the last decade, and a new kind of scene has emerged. Clive Martin investigates this 21st century version of Rave, where young people break into disused spaces with the help of bolt-cutters and complicated squatting laws, to suck on balloons and go hard into the early morning. But with the police using increasingly extreme tactics to clamp down on these parties, and more than one fatality causing nationwide media panic, can the scene survive? 

20 Years Of Jungle Mania (2013)


Tracing back to their early beginnings up until 2013, this documentary looks at the history of one of Jungle’s most prominent brands Jungle Mania. This documentary takes you down a rabbit hole of endless jungle raves, i.e. back to heart of the ’90s. We’d say it’s the perfect introduction to a genre that is here to stay for good. featuring interviews with the likes of The Ragga Twins, Kenny Ken, Jumping Jack Forst, MC GQ & more.

Sub Berlin: History Of Tresor (2008)


The original Tresor was in many ways the quintessential Berlin club and a figurehead in Techno’s history: located in an un-renovated vault beneath a bombed out department store, it opened its doors amidst the general confusion and ecstasy that swept across the city when the wall fell. Its low ceilings, industrial decor and generally unhinged atmosphere created an unprecedented platform not only for techno in Berlin, but also for the scene taking shape across the Atlantic in Detroit. It quickly became a second home for artists like Juan Atkins, Jeff Mills and Blake Baxter, as well as countless German DJs. Directed by Tilmann Künzel, SubBerlin traces the club's history from its beginning in the early '90s to the closure of its original location in 2005.

March 20, 2020 — Jack Robinson