Anyone Else Here In To LIBRARY/PRODUCTION MUSIC?



Well, I've really gone down the rabbit hole now.

I've always been a fan of soundtracks and some esoterica, musically.   (I love the internet station Luxuria Music!)

And I was aware of the famous British KPM music library, which has been heavily sampled by DJs/Rappers for many years.  I've had several downloaded KPM albums for many years in my digital collection.  I love the lush orchestration and happy vibe in so much of their pieces.

But getting in to vinyl with a new turntable has cranked up my dive in to Library Music big time.  Part of it is the way youtube's algorithms have become all the more amazing at leading one to discover new, great music, and just going down the path of a library piece or two reveals so many others posted on youtube.

The other is getting in to discogs where all this stuff is actually available on vinyl to explore and buy easily.

I'm just in a state of wonder at how vast is the Library Music genre.  It's like an entire alternative universe of music that was occurring while I grew up that I wasn't aware of, or only dimly so as some of it was incorporated in to familiar cheap movies, or TV shows, or documentaries etc.   It's such an intriguing phenomenon: talented composers and often highly proficient musicians, gathered to churn out music based on possible themes and moods for movies, tv, commercials, industrial videos etc.   I've always loved music that sets a strong mood, so this stuff is glorious.  I remember how much I've always liked the themes for old 70's cop or adventure shows, and late 60's early 70's superhero cartoons.  The themes were these muscular, balls-to-the-wall jazzy, funky, big-band horns blaring pieces that were so vivid and evocative.   Library music is where some of this came from and there are just tons of examples of lush, vibrant, funky, energetic, creative music in there.

I'm particularly smitten with the Bruton Music Library at this point, as I find it most consistently delivers the type of music I enjoy - everything from lush, almost experimental, moody analog-synth based space-scape sounds from the 70's, to lush orchestration, to creative funky grooves, to blaringly energetic action themes.  
The recording quality is often absolutely fantastic - bass guitar is big rich and tight, with great character, drums are up front and punchy played with great enthusiasm, strings and horns recorded with wonderful richness and warmth.  Plus, the players for Bruton are tight as hell.  It makes sense when you have a group of excellent musicians who day after day churn out tons of music that has to be played often as one-take.  You are going to get chops and synergy happening there.  (Though I have found the opposite in some other Libraries, with other bands, some of the playing is a bit to loose for my liking). 

I also find the covers for Library music - Bruton being a great example - compulsively collectable and enjoyable in of themselves.   There's both a comforting in their utilitarian consistency of design, and yet within that, some great creativity.  

It's intriguing that generally speaking, these records were never meant to be available to the public.  They were only created as demo vehicles, to be sent out to a TV/Movie production house, where the editors listened to the vinyl, selected the tracks they want, and then they were sent (click and pop-free) tape versions.   Thus these records were often just tossed away after, and even the Library companies producing the records had little compunction about just throwing out or destroying the records after they were used.  It's amazing as many survived as can be found on discogs/ebay.

Am I the only nut here who enjoys this stuff?







prof
prof I have literally never heard of this until your post! Just googled it and doing some reading about it now on Pitchfork. Thanks for the tip!
+1 jond.  Very interesting...thanks for pointing this out to everyone!
If anyone else cares to read about it this is very well written........
https://pitchfork.com/features/starter/9410-library-music/

Glad to see someone finds it an interesting topic.

Here's a site with a whole bunch of Bruton Music covers.  You can see how the designers had to work within the somewhat idiosyncratic "block of cubes" graphic designer signature of the company.  I find quite a few attractive and creative.  Love the Bold As Brass cover (great album!):

https://maraid.co.uk/blog/2015/11/bruton-music-library-lp-covers/


I purchased a new book on the history of library music, Unusual Sounds, which is fun to read when listening to these wacky albums.  Info here:

https://elephant.art/unusual-sounds-hidden-history-library-music/




I don't know if we can post youtube links, but if you google these you can get an idea of one flavour found in these library recordings:

Alan Hawkshaw - Fuel Injection - Bruton Music Library

Beach Journey - Alan Hawkshaw

For old school keyboard fans, there's lots of clavinet and synth grooves in Alan Hawkshaw's stuff (though he spans from experimental electronic to jazzy big band and orchestral music as well).



Looks like I'm alone in my looniness.  :(
"Looks like I’m alone in my looniness. :( "

Well, unfortunately, no...you’re not. Plenty of walking wounded out there - your interest in Library/Production Music being a relatively benign manifestation, in any case.

I’m interested in hearing some of it, though my interest might simply underscore your essential isolation and sure ain’t no mental health certification.

By the way, you can definitely include links in your postings. Click the right most icon above the text box ("insert URL") that you see as you type.  Paste your copied link there or simply past it in below your text in the text box.  That seems to work too.




Thanks ghosthouse.

I feel....better?
Yes!! I was introduced to this music via the compilations that Dutton Vocalion has assembled (Time To Fly and Liquid Sunshine being two of them) and last I checked are still available. Let me know if you cannot find these or would like a complete listing. What struck me was the excellent musicianship and recording quality of this music. But it’s more than that. HD Tracks has a very limited number of the KPM 1000 series available now. And the soon-to-be-launched-in-the-states Qobuz (hope I got that right) music service looks like it carries pretty much all the KPM 1000 series titles. Oh, Dutton Vocalion just released a new book about this music called Mood Modern, and it focuses on KPM and, I believe, Brutton.
@prof

Hahaha...belatedly, realized I should have included some smiley face emoticons to signify the jocular intent of my remarks. Seems like you picked up on that anyway. A good thing. ALSO - should have said THANKS for the introduction to a completely new (to me) category of music. I do that now.  Another THANKS for introduction to LuxuriaMusic which I found on Tune In internet radio. Lots to explore
Yes ghosthouse, the spirit of your reply was obvious.   Glad I could help introducing some more nuttiness in to your music search.


nicotico,

I have liquid sunshine (only available on CD I believe), though haven't bought Time To Fly...yet.  I'm more obsessed with the available vinyl records as this point.

I have purchased a few HD tracks of KPM though, which I've yet to listen to. 

Thanks for the heads up on the new The Mood Modern book.   Looks like I have another book to read!

Bumping the thread to post a link to a fun discussion of the Bruton Music Library, here:

https://wearethemutants.com/2017/06/08/the-bruton-music-library-1977-1989/

These guys really do a good job at describing the charm of this music, the packaging, etc. You can see the weird mix of utilitarian and wacky creative design in the many album covers shown on that web page.  As I’m currently re-organizing my album shelves, the vibrant, color-coded Bruton library looks particularly nice on a shelf.

The Bruton Music Library comprises the bulk of my purchases, as I just seem to like their sound so much. And I have of course some KPM. But my foray in to Library Music has spread, virus-like, into other libraries:

Music De Wolfe, Rouge Music Ltd, Chappell, Tele, Themes International, and others. Not to mention delving in to movie soundtracks, often foreign, that share the same DNA - funky, gritty, jazzy horns, strings, bold analog synthesizers, etc. Much of this music just comes charging out of the speakers with such vitality, and a sort of goofy confidence.

It’s been the most fun I’ve had in exploring music in a long time.

There are many collections of Library music as well. Show Up Records has put out some nice collections. I’ve had this one for a while:

https://showuprecords.bandcamp.com/album/v-a-dramatic-funk-themes-vol-2-thrilling-rare-grooves-from-...

A bunch of moody and funky music often use in crime movies. I really love cuts like #3 on the album above, Frank McDonald & Chris Rae - Soul City Drive.


Here’s another page with a bunch more of their collections.


https://showuprecords.bandcamp.com/


At this point I either own or have ordered all of those albums (my bank account groaning)!

As I mentioned in my first post, many Library albums, especially some of the Bruton and KPM, are just beautifully produced and recorded. When I play them I just sink in to the analog days gone past....


Thanks for posting those links Prof. I’m definitely going to check some of those out. I totally get your fascination with this music but you are way ahead of me with your collecting of it. Do you have the Dutton compilation entitled “Big City Suite & KPM 1000 Series Compilation (1972-78)”? If not, I know you will like it (track #14, “Alto Glide” is up there with the biggest monster grooves ever invented, IMO). Also, I just became aware of another book on the subject, entitled “Unusual Sounds: The Hidden History Of Library Music” that you may find worthwhile.
@nicotico

Glad my post was of interest. Can’t respond with more links now - travelling - but THANK YOU for the heads up on those albums I haven’t heard. I’ll check it out.

I own the Unusual Sounds book. It’s terrific. There’s an earlier book on Library Music, well regarded by afficianados, I’ve also been meaning to buy, but the name escapes me at the moment. Also, a full length documentary recently came out I think called The Library Music Film. I haven’t seen it yet — but I already have the soundtrack :-)