03 March 2004

I was watching a documentary on the TV last night in which the title music and almost all the incidental music was lifted from Aphex Twin's "Selected Ambient Works Vol.II", with a couple of snippets of Boards Of Canada too. It worked perfectly in that context and makes explicitly clear the link between Richard James' ambient work with that of the Radiophonic Workshop in the 1960's. The 'thunderous hush' and eerie soundscapes of SAW II draw distinct parallels with stuff like Delia Derbyshire's "Blue Veils and Golden Sands" which, by a staggering coincidence is being used in a sketch for The Impressionable John Culshaw as I type this.

Aphex Twin was one of the first post-rave artists to benefit from the lucrative world of TV licensing, when Pirelli tyres paid him 'lottery money' for the use of one of his more relentless rhythm tracks in one of their TV advertising campaigns back in the mid-90's. Since then his music has appeared in so many programs and adverts that I would imagine he could live quite comfortably from these proceeds alone. But of course it's not just RDJ who's making a mint out of it, everyone from DJ Shadow to Moby to Daft Punk have all done well in the world of television. Even electro-godfathers Suicide managed to get their early demo "A-Man" used on a Tia Maria advert a while back. The most recent surprise has been Pram's re-make of LFO's "Simon From Sydney", on heavy rotation soundtracking a car advert.

Now, I personally think it's great that a large portion of my own music collection is getting so much exposure through the media, but a little while back I had what might be called a 'minor disagreement' with a correspondent of mine on this very subject. She hated it when all these cool tunes were being 'prostituted' for the sake of commerce and industry and wished they'd leave 'our' music alone. I would counter that it's better that 'our' artists are getting nice fat cheques in recognition of their talents, and exposing the public to some great music into the bargain. Plus I get to have loadsa fun spotting all the tunes and irritating the hell out of my wife.

Hall and Oates' "Maneater" is playing on a show called "Tabloid Tales" on BBC1 right now. Wicked...