Analog Love: The Art of the Mixtape (Blu-ray Review)

  • Reviewed by: Tim Salmons
  • Review Date: Sep 30, 2021
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc
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Analog Love: The Art of the Mixtape (Blu-ray Review)

Director

Robert V. Galluzzo

Release Date(s)

2021 (August 17, 2021)

Studio(s)

Passion River Films
  • Film/Program Grade: B+
  • Video Grade: A-
  • Audio Grade: A-
  • Extras Grade: B

Analog Love: The Art of the Mixtape (Blu-ray Disc)

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Review

Several years in the making, Rob Galluzzo’s Analog Love: The Art of the Mixtape is a major passion project that has finally come to fruition. Speaking to a number of professional musicians and deejays, including Henry Rollins, Chantal Claret, Matthew Currie Holmes, Jennifer Finch, and Christian James Hand (among many others), the participants all share various stories about their obsession with mixtapes during the 1980s and 1990s.

Like many good documentaries, Analog Love is more than its base subject matter. It’s a jumping off point for discussing how we relate to each other as people, especially through music, and how those relationships can either boom or bust. A key throughline involves a young teenager in today’s timeframe who has never been exposed to making mixtapes in their life—let alone knows very much about cassette tapes and tape decks in general—making a personal mixtape for their dad from beginning to end. It winds up being a very touching moment as much of the music figures into their familial relationship with each other. It’s a prime example of why the subject matter is significant.

People like Henry Rollins show off their mixtape collections and why they’re still important to them, arguments are made for why mixtapes are better than CDs and MP3 playlists (and vice versa), and there are examples of lifelong relationships based upon exposure to music and mixtapes. Not all of the music mentioned or featured in Analog Love will be to everyone’s taste, but it’s part of the point as to why mixtapes were so valuable to people. Being exposed to new and different kinds of music was an essential part of the process, as was creating and severing connections with those who you either had a meeting of the musical minds with or not.

Analog Love is a purely digtally-shot film. As such, it has a very clean and clear look, keeping interview subjects mostly in perfect focus, aside from moments that go out of focus for emphasis or aesthetic reasons. Everything is bright and colorful, offering a variety of visuals in each subject, as well as the chapter titles. Brief uses of vintage music videos crop up occasionally, and since those are mostly sourced from video tape, they’re the least appealing visually. But the majority of the presentation offers crisp images, deep blacks, and good contrast.

The audio is presented in English 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital with optional subtitles in English SDH. The 5.1 track mostly fills out the surrounding speakers with score and music, as to be expected, but keeps narration and commentary front and center. The stereo mix is almost identical, outside of having lesser speaker space to play in. Both tracks sound great, leaving little to complain about, even in a lossy format (which is somehow fitting, given the subject matter).

The following extras are also included, all in HD:

  • Extended Tour of Henry Rollins Tape Collection (10:33)
  • Extended Interview with L7’s Jennifer Finch (3:44)
  • Deleted Scene: Sound and Vision (3:04)
  • Music Video Mixtape!: Jonah Matranga – Get a Dog (3:00)
  • Music Video Mixtape!: Jonah Matranga – Tenderwild (3:08)
  • Music Video Mixtape!: Radius Etc. – Most High Shine (3:01)
  • Music Video Mixtape!: Chantal Claret – End of Time (2:51)
  • Music Video Mixtape!: Euringer – What a Fool Believes (3:51)
  • Music Video Mixtape!: Euringer with Chantal Claret – Fuck Everything (3:29)
  • Trailer (2:19)

The Extended Tour of Henry Rollins Tape Collection features more of the singer showing off his various mixtapes, offering plenty of background on why they were created in the first place. In the Extended Interview with L7’s Jennifer Finch, she talks about her time as a photographer directly with Rob Galluzzo and shows off some of her photographs. The deleted scene briefly discusses the pros and cons of film soundtracks. Following that up are six separate music videos—which can all be optionally played in a row—and a trailer for the documentary. The Blu-ray disc sits in a blue amaray case with one-sided artwork, which is the main artwork for the documentary found on all platforms.

If you’re a fan of any kind of music and enjoy sharing it with people, Analog Love is a documentary that not only covers that in detail, but celebrates it with people who love it the most. At a brief 86 minutes and co-engineered by cinematographer and producer Buz Wallick (Never Sleep Again, Crystal Lake Memories), Rob Galluzzo’s Analog Love is a fun and emotional trip down memory lane with more to say than you may realize.

- Tim Salmons

(You can follow Tim on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook. And be sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel here.)

 

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