Let this ’90s rave bro explain techno to you

September 16, 2014

Do you know anything about techno? That’s the question that opens what might be the greatest educational video of all time.

What you’re seeing is a scene from the 1996 film Vibrations. It’s about an aspiring small-town musician named T.J. (played by James Marshall of Twin Peaks fame) who loses both of his hands in a freak construction equipment fight incident and enters into a spiral of depression, landing him in New York at the doorstep of a cute girl named Anamika (played by Christina Applegate, a.k.a. Kelly Bundy). She and her motley crew of artistic, Gen-X, Web 1.0-core slackers take him in, and slowly help him deal with his problems and rebuild his music career. The critical moment comes when Siemon, a quirky, techno-loving cyber punk, constructs a pair of robotic hands for T.J., which allow him to play keyboards like the virtuoso he is on the inside. T.J. goes full-on with the robot thing, making a complete Robo Cop-like suit, and performing shows as Cyberstorm.

The video above shows Siemon teaching T.J. about techno for the first time. Apparently it’s about creating a vibe and setting the lights right while executing jive talk in the process. This is good to know, because we always thought it was about writing and playing music.

Vibrations is as great a ’90s throwback b-movie as they come, and because the Internet can be a wonderful place sometimes, the whole thing is available to stream on YouTube. It’s like a weird amalgamation of the movie Hackers, which came out a year before, with the TV show Friends. Watch and give your inner cyber-slacker a treat.


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