Since I first became interested in music (ehh...9th grade or so), I've always loved hearing shit that I recognize on TV. I remember getting a giddy rush of pretentious high-school-music-nerd delight running down my spine when I heard Rapture Rapes the Muses playing in the background of some episode of MTV Cribs. "Well," I proclaimed to no one in particular, since I was awkward, highly unpopular and usually alone, "it looks like someone at MTV has some taste in music." And I promptly high-tailed it to an E6 message board, finding that I wasn't the only scrawny 15 year old who had heard the ten second keyboard riff.
Anyway, since then I've always gotten something of a pretentious thrill out of recognizing snippets of respectable music on the tubes. So I've figured that I would call it out and give credit where credit is due, in a regular series (aka just this one post) of articles highlighting the best of background music.
And the first show to be highlighted: Top Gear UK. Not only is this the best show ever (fuck you Nat, just admit it), but it also has this awesome habit of using really high-level, complex electronic music to buffer its standard car-porn shots.
For example, skip to 2:19 in this video (can't figure out how to do the whole automatically start at a certain time thing when embedding video, so bear with me here):
That's "Nightlife" by Amon Tobin! No shit, they had the taste to throw in one of his jazziest, most melodic and wonderfully creepily reverb-drenched tracks. Bloody fucking brilliant.
And they get even nicer, check this one out (audio starts later, but just watch the whole thing, I know you're not busy):
Come to Daddy (Pappy Mix)! Aphex Twin! Perfect music for watching some car go screaming down a track. Sheeeiiiit, I used to bump this monster back in the day when I was crawling through rush hour traffic to try to make first period...it's just straight up driving music.
Those are the only two examples that I'm gonna bother to demonstrate, but just today I've heard them play a few of my other favorite Amon Tobin tracks (Saboteur especially), Windowlicker, and some Boards of Canada.
Get nice BBC, get nice.