Rambling, evocative docu homage to superstar club DJs traces dance-music culture from underground roots to global omnipresence. “Liquid Vinyl” also sounds a cautionary note regarding Internet downloading and CD-burning as dire threats to recording labels and DJs who double as remixers. It’s a warning that may turn off a sizeable portion of the pic’s target youth aud. Still, many other party-hearty people attuned to melodic beats and rave-all-night grooves will want to sample “Vinyl” in niche fests and ancillary venues.
Helmer/co-producer Taylor Neary interweaves commentary from a veritable who’s-who of notable DJs, with emphasis on East Coast purveyors and itinerant Brits who worship the late, great Larry Levan, groundbreaking’80s record-spinner at Manhattan’s Paradise Garage. Memorable interviewees range from ultra-spirited Carl Cox (“You know that when you’ve got the doorman dancing, you’re having a good night!”) to drum-and-bass pioneer Goldie (flamboyant music producer-DJ who branched into acting in Guy Ritchie’s “Snatch”) to living legend Tony Humphries (credited with defining the New Jersey club sound at the legendary Zanzibar). Rough-edged pic could use more music and fewer words, but earns props for conveying the exuberance of the club music scene.