Watch: Documentary from queer filmmaker highlights Cork’s underground techno scene

The project from Maclaine Black features footage from raves across the city, as well as interviews with core members of the Kriptik community.

A photo from a techno rave in Cork. The image is in black and white, and is taken from the back of a large crowd at a techno party. The backs of peoples heads dancing can be seen, and strobe lights at the back of the venue where the DJs are performing are also visible.
Image: Instagram: @maclaineblxck

In the summer of 2023, a new documentary dropped showcasing the underground techno scene in Cork. Created by queer filmmaker Maclaine Black, the film platforms the voices of some of the core figures from the Kriptik community, a group behind a new wave of raves in the Rebel County.

The collective began hosting events in May and, since then, has hosted illegal parties in churches, warehouses and other undisclosed locations.

Shot in black and white, the documentary features interviews with DJs Jamie Behan, Melanie Higgins (MEJMI), David O’Neill (Doiléir) and Keyrah. Kriptik organisers also share their perspectives, as does an avid raver, Cyprian Walantowicz.

The participants highlight the differences between mainstream clubbing and underground techno nights and praise the inclusivity of the scene. They also discuss the misconceptions surrounding raves and illegal drug taking and note the measures in place to keep crowds safe at the events. 

The documentary cuts between talking-head interviews and footage from Kriptik, taken at secret parties, as well as local venues and homes of those involved. The photos and videos come from the aforementioned Maclaine Black, who dedicates much of their artistry to their community.



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A post shared by Maclaine. (@maclaineblxck)

Speaking to Four/Four Magazine, they explained their inspiration behind the project: “It’s hard to narrow down exactly because there are so many reasons why I wanted to make this, but when I was 15 or 16 I found an old Vice documentary on the illegal rave scene in the UK and just thought the medium was so interesting.

“I was just beginning to get into techno music at that time, and hadn’t even started doing photography as a hobby, so at the time had no intentions of making my own version, but for one reason or another the documentary stuck in my head,” they continued.

“Fast forward four or five years, I had moved to Cork from Galway, and Cork, specifically the Cork techno scene was really the place where I was able to turn photography from something I had a passive interest in to something that I started to get paid for, to now where it has become my main source of income. I decided very early on that if I wanted my first big project to be something that gave back to the Cork techno scene, which was the inspiration behind ‘Faoi Thalamh,’ my first solo exhibition, and also the documentary.

“The Cork techno scene has done so much for me and given me such a sense of belonging and I wanted to try and explain that world through this documentary,” Black concluded.

Watch the full documentary spotlighting Cork’s underground techno scene below!

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