Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Music > Electronica > Haack - The King Of Techno

Haack – The King Of Techno (Documentary)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: B-     Main Program: C+



There is no doubt that Bruce Haack was ahead of his time in implementing the ideas and concepts of electronic music, but Philip Anagnos’ Haack – The King Of Techno (2004) is a very disappointing look at and coverage of a pioneer in the concept that electronic sounds could actually be music.  What we take for granted now as music was considered unusual and even impossible as recently as the early 1970s.  This work only runs about 64 minutes and the result is that we may hear all this interesting music and how it did and did not make it to the public, but a much deeper analysis is unfortunately skipped.


Also, low budget notwithstanding, the repetition of animated radio sequences where Anagnos tries to come up with endless visual ideas to accompany the music, most of which are either unnecessary or do not work.  It is a big weakness in the work, which would have been better served by dealing with the man and his personal problems.  Some of the interviews are good, but so many more people could, would and should have been approached to comment on the man’s work.  What about all those New Wave artists alone?  He could not get Beck or Russell Simmons to interview, but ought to expand his idea of who to speak to in an update or possible second part.


Canadian-born Haack originally made his base in West Chester, Pennsylvania when it came to Dimension 5 and Electric Records issuing his early work, eventually heading to New York.  He would aim his product at more receptive children, though the music was far more mature and complex, but adults were not getting it.  This also led to several appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and several on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.  He definitely received key exposure during his heyday, which was a heyday of music and television. 


The various aspect ratios are within the 1.33 x 1 full frame ratio, mostly of filmed and video material, but then there is an occurrences of letterboxed 1.78 X 1 framing throughout that does little to enhance this.  You can watch it full frame or TV 16 X 9 wide, but some things are cut at 16 X 9 not originally made like that, including a TV ad for the Parker Brothers’ game Booby Trap.  Though the sound is available in Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1 mixes, neither have any truly pronounced surrounds, though this music would be really interesting in DVD-Audio or SACD format.  Maybe Anagnos ought to consider a DVD-Audio upgrade of this program that eliminated much of the unnecessary images.  Extras include four trailers for other Koch product, radio interviews separately accessible with Haack (17:39) and director Anagnos (36:58), Anagnos at Slamdance (4:54), and 3:07 of one of Haack’s appearances on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.


Anagnos is so well spoken and you can hear him discuss what he omitted, so he did make choices that did not help.  His radio interview is at least as informative as the feature.  He says he wants to produce a dramatic feature film version of his story and the current work is even a still-evolving work.  Hopefully, we have not heard the last of Haack or Anagnos.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com