Internal combustion sounds are being obliterated. Background music has become endemic. What usually happens is something like this…
A fine example of fossil fuel burning metal thunders over your screen. The narrator teases with bore and stroke talk, working his way to engine displacement and horsepower output. You start to drool. Then it comes. He says: “Listen to that glorious straight six”. But no satisfaction follows. Before the engine reaches fifteen hundred rpm all cilindrical notes are buried under blaring (synthesized) ram bam rock. This happens not just in car related TV programmes, the Music Mob rules everywhere.
The Silent Film
It started in the so called silent film era. A lie. They were never silent. Of course, the moving images had no voice, but a mediocre piano player in the theater broke the silence. Unfortunately, when the movies became ‘talkies’ he did not shut up. Au contraire. He moved behind a studio microphone, and got company. The assembled instruments became an audience guiding mood creator. For decades the violin was instrumental, particularly highlighting tear jerking moments.
Then the Music Mob discovered TV. Where they started to drown out just about everything. To sum up the current state of affairs, they only momentarily shut up when the news reader speaks. In just about all other cases any subject relevant sound, if present, is accompanied or drowned out by unrelated sounds. In many programmes the back ground noise even tries to prevent you from hearing what the narrator is saying.
Jamming the brain
It boggles the mind. Literaly. Your brain cannot process all sound input simultaniously. Effectively back ground music functions as a jammer. We may be accustomed to it, and don’t know any better, but it is silly, retarded even.
Anyone with a few drops of petrol in his or her veins wants to hear the roar of shown sleek lines, not what the Music Mob serve instead. Even in the case of not so sleek lines, e.g. those of a combine harvester, you might like to learn what it sounds like. Instead, you get the Mob’s crap. Which are never tunes of choice anyway.
Is it too late? Has the Mob won? It looks like it but sometimes they are (were) not victorious. Sometimes the right stuff is made. In all the mud gems do glisten. Gems like Victory by Design. When Alain de Cadenet said: “Listen to that glorious six”, the six responsible did the talking, and the right heavenly ♫ entered your ears.
Michiel Mans was a driving instructor in Amsterdam (1985-1994). Before teaching people how to drive he worked some years in the car rental business and a year for a Mercedes Benz dealer. He kept Iwan on the right side of the curtain ploughing through sand, mud and snow at the wheel of his M38A1 NEKAF jeep. He has moved about a bit. And not just on all fours. Although his career in putting pedals to metal ended in 1994, he continued to twist the throttle of his beloved Kawasaki Z650C until 2012. In petronostalgic moods, he still does as ‘Zed’ now lives in perfect running order on his third floor apartment in Amsterdam. However, Zed’s tank is empty, so no decibels leave Zed’s Laser pipe when Mans jerks the throttle. Be sure, in his dreams he throttles with both hands. And feet. In his dreams he drives and rides everywhere and has the ignition keys to anything. Mans’s Roar is in many ways an exhaust for these dreams, and whatever else keeps him mechanically occupied.