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Ideal: Music behind the magic

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Jaine Sykes Jaine Sykes | 10:25 UK time, Thursday, 16 June 2011

Johnny Vegas

Creator and writer Graham Duff writes...

Tonight's episode of IDEAL, aside from hopefully being funny and moving and quite scary, will also be mightily tuneful. The soundtrack to this particular episode features contributions from, amongst others, Broadcast, DJ Kudos, The Frequency, Slipstream, Warpaint, Barry Adamson, Clinic, Misha Begley, Venus Ray and Coil.

Whilst most of these names may mean little or nothing to you, I can almost guarantee that on more than one occasion whilst watching the show, you'll find yourself either tapping your foot or humming along.

Many otherwise intelligent and sophisticated programmes and films frequently fall into a lazy shorthand when it comes to music. Either larding scenes with mawkish Hans Zimmer knock offs or slapping on recent chart hits and classics of yesteryear. When I hear James Brown's 'I Feel Good', or Nina Simone's 'My Baby Just Cares For Me' or frankly anything by Coldplay on a soundtrack, I know the programme makers have stopped thinking.

The supposed plus point of using familiar music, is it brings positive associations - "Oh I like this one". However, I strongly feel that those positive associations are actually a minus point. A familiar song on the soundtrack will nudge you outside the drama of the show. Let's face it, if you're thinking about how much you like a song and the times you've heard it before you're not really engaged with the characters on screen.

Music has always been an integral part of IDEAL's DNA and I like to think the show has helped bring some the world's more marginal sonic artists to the attention of a wider audience. But then marginal is a relative term. Whilst some of the pieces used on the show come from the more extreme hinterlands of modern composition, digi-dub or experimental electronics - musics which, by their very nature can only ever have fringe appeal - much of the music played is only marginal due to its lack of public profile, rather than the scope of its actual appeal.

So take another look at the list of artists above and have a little Google and maybe a discreet Spotify and you might just discover your new favorite band...

Watch a preview from tonight's show below:

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More from Ideal:

Ideal continues every Thursday at 10.30pm on BBC Three.


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