Breath Control: The History of the Human Beat Box

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Breath Control: The History of the Human Beat Box
Breath Control- The History of the Human Beat Box FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byJoey Garfield
Produced byJoey Garfield
Jacob Craycroft
Zachary Mortensen
Doug E. Fresh
Biz Markie
Marie Daulne
Emanon Rahzel
Kris Jung (AKA Chris Jung)
Edited byJacob Craycroft
Distributed byGhost Robot
Release date
Tribeca Film Festival 2002
Running time
74 min.
CountryUnited States

Breath Control: The History of the Human Beat Box (2002) is an award winning documentary directed by filmmaker Joey Garfield [1]. The film explores the world of beatboxing, a form of music using the human mouth, throat and diaphragm to generate sounds that are usually produced by machines. Over 30 practitioners of this art form discuss their techniques and the evolution of their craft. The human beat box is one of the key elements in the development of Hip Hop culture, alongside Dj-ing, Graffiti, Breakdancing, and MC-ing. Unfortunately, its contribution has been largely overlooked, as has the fun, expressive, human, and spontaneous dimension of Hip Hop that it represents. As the first documentary of its kind, Breath Control: The History of the Human Beat Box uses interview's, live performances, archival footage, and animation to bring to light this important and neglected ingredient of Hip Hop's identity .

With the help of Beat Box pioneers Doug E. Fresh, Wise, Biz Markie, and The Fat Boys, Breath Control traces this art form from its basic beat beginnings in the Eighties to its present-day multi-layered, polyrhythmatic figurehead's Rahzel and Skratch of the Hip Hop group The Roots. But Breath Control isn't limited to Hip Hop. Musician Zap Mama opens up the idea that human beat boxing is an art form practiced all over the world and has been refined by many different cultures. Breath Control is a half historical, half tutorial look at humans as actual instruments.

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