Hello there. I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the
wonderful world of production music.
What is it? Well, it’s cheaper than music. TV/film/interactive production
companies use it when they can’t afford to pay a composer or license an
existing song. It tends to be sold in CD sets, much like sound effects. Some
of it is perfectly fine at first listen – especially tracks like “Drama
Drums,” “Percussive Drama” and “Drama Percussion”, which are meant to lie
under a given scene and not get anything more than a first listen anyway.
Much more of it, however, is greatly entertaining for how narrowly, or
sometimes hugely, it misses it’s target.
I once chatted with a composer who was doing stuff like this. He was
composing a TV theme for a basketball team. Circumstances dictated he use
hiphop elements, yet he confessed, “I hate rap. I’d rather be listening to
Mozart.” Accordingly, his composition was waaaaaay off. Sax over
Kraftwerk-esque beats, and a whole lot of trashy synth.
Career angst is audible in production music.
I’d love to post some tracks here, but the potential for legal headaches
discourages me. However, there is more than enough entertainment in the song
titles and descriptions. So here is a list of my favourites, with the requisite quippery appended.
- Experienced: “medium up-tempo, three piece, 60s psychedelic rock.” Can you guess what this song sounds like? Many production music tracks are like this one; they’re the background-music equivalent of Bruce Le.
- Vonette: “acoustic headbanger pop with cello lead melody.” I have no idea what they were trying to clone here, but I wish I had some.
- Paranoid suicide: “dark, hard-hitting.”
- Slap my bass up: “energetic, accelerating slap bass.”
- Mission Just Possible!: “dark, dramatic opening to all action & heroic climax.”
- Full time jack move: “urban gangsta drama (contains explicit lyrics).” Bonus points for redundant use of the much-loved “urban.”
- Cool blue: “fast, ambient drum & bass jungle featuring sax.” Help! Administrator! There’s sax in my jungle! Please help me!
- Information jungle: “hip hop jungle bass, drum & bass.”
- and my personal favourite – Dance Energy: “up tempo, punchy, Pan-European house, features ‘do it all night’ vocals.”
Did we leave anything out?