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4 Films From the Fringes: Far-Flung Music Scenes Spotlighted at SXSW 2015

From New Y

1. They Will Have to Kill Us First

After jihadists banned music in Mali in August 2012, musicians there kept it alive by performing wherever they could. Director Johanna Schwartz commissioned artists to write songs that act as narration (including new material from recent Atlantic signing Songhoy Blues). "Our soundtrack is a combination of [that], music from our characters and the score, written by Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs," says Schwartz.

2. Dominguinhos

Gilberto Gil, Hermeto Pascoal and other Brazilian greats discuss the late master accordionist Dominguinhos in this documentary, which producer Deborah Osborn worked on for six years. "It's a universal story about love and pain, the life of an immigrant," says Eduardo Nazarian, one of the film's three directors. "He became a musical phenomenon without ever looking for fame. He was someone who made his music, his work, bigger than himself."

3. We Like It Like That

Director-producer Mathew Ramirez Warren explores Latin boogaloo, the post-mambo fusion of guajira and R&B popular in New York during the 1960s that has seen a recent revival. "It reflects the American experience, and I think that translates to all cultures -- everyone who's an immigrant," says Warren. "It's about generations in flux, generations that are assimilating but still kind of harking back to their roots. That's what boogaloo was all about."

Y/Our Music

This film focuses on nine Thai musicians outside the mainstream -- ranging from Bangkok indie rockers and a master pin player to an optician who builds saxophones out of bamboo. "The thing everyone has in common is they don't pander to the mainstream -- they completely follow their own paths," says co-director/editor David Reeve of the artists. "They have done it for different reasons and in different ways, and they continue to do that."


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