New Breed Documentary 1989, Directed by John Woods (Wardance Productions, Nightfilms, 2016)

In 1989, a year before Burn released their highly influential eponymous EP, the band's vocalist, Chaka Malik, along with hardcore scenester Freddy Alva, released the New Breed tape compilation. Featuring songs by Outburst, Breakdown, Life's Blood, Uppercut, and other NYC area hardcore acts, the cassette made a big impact, and years later would go on to become a sought after collector's item.

Now, over 25 years later, Malik and Alva have teamed up with director John Woods (formerly the vocalist of Hell No) to bring us New Breed Documentary 1989, a film celebrating the compilation and the bands that appeared on it. But the documentary serves more of a wider-scoped purpose than just being a tribute piece.

Featuring interviews with both musicians from the New Breed tape and other hardcore scene players—such as Djinji Brown (Absolution), Carl Porcaro (Raw Deal), Chris Wynn (In Effect zine), and Andy Guida (Supertouch)—the film does a wonderful job of placing you in the time period Alva and Malik grew up in. They, along with the other talking heads in the documentary, dig back to their formative years to trace their musical roots and how they led to hardcore and punk music.

Editor Orlando Arce (formerly the guitarist of Stillsuit) uses a blend of archival photos and video clips from the '80s to help set the tone. There's a ton of '80s hardcore-related footage and photos on the internet, but the filmmakers dug deep for the stuff used in New Breed Documentary 1989. It looks like some of the folks interviewed for the documentary offered up photos and videos from their personal archives.

Alva is a frequent contributor to No Echo, so some of you might think I'm being biased here, but if you're as big a hardcore nerd as I am, you have to figure out a way to see New Breed Documentary 1989.


For more info, head to the New Breed Documentary 1989 website.