Music Seen: Music Supervisor Hot Picks * Underworld’s “Scribble”

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Artist: Underworld

Song: “Scribble

Why I Luv It: Underworld is one of the most influential and talented veteran electronic collectives out there today, and it’s arguable that the trio (fronted by vocalist Karl Hyde and guitarist Rick Smith) are absolutely the hands down the greatest electronic group ever.

Rick Smith and Karl Hyde of Underworld

These Brits have been making their unique brand of elegant dance/trance/house/techno since the mid to late 80’s, and they’ve been influenced by the best and most historically important — groups/musicians like Brian Eno, David Bowie, Gary Numan, and Kraftwerk to name a few.

In return for these powerful influences, Underworld has generously given back the gift of musical inspiration and influenced many great contemporary acts like Bjork, Portishead, LCD Sound System, Chemical Brothers, Tiesto, Royksopp, Goldfrapp, and too many more to list here.

Their catalog is stylistically diverse yet somehow with all the new sounds they manage to create from album to album, whenever you hit play on a new song, that Underworld sonic signature just can’t be mistaken.  My favorite Underworld albums are the following in no particular order: Dubnobasswithmyheadman 1993, Second Toughest in the Infants 1996, Beaucoup Fish 1999, and Oblivion with Bells 2007.

“Scribble” is the first single from Underworld’s upcoming 2010 full-length album, Barking, due out September 2, 2010.  You can pre-order it here if you’re chomping at the bit like me for this thing to be available for purchase!!!  It is a beautifully orchestrated and produced piece of epic vocal electronica music, and frankly, it may be one of the most “poppy” Underworld songs I’ve heard to date.

This is one of the rare moments, that “poppy” is not a bad thing.  In fact the pop sensibility of this song actually balances out the massive earth bouncing rhythms and vast pastoral synths as well as the elegantly inspirational single note melody in the hook. “Scribble” is yet another bulletproof Underworld masterpiece, and there is no doubt that it has huge potential to be licensed for something significant.

Scene I Can See it In: After selling millions of records over the last nearly two decades, Underworld most definitely isn’t in desperate need for more money and accolades, but like they say on Wall Street, “the rich getter richer, and the poor get…” Oh well, you know the rest, and my point of bringing this up is that I generally prefer to profile an up and coming hungry artist rather than a proven vet on this blog because I think it’s important to help those who are young yet worthy.  But hey, sometimes you have got to point out that which is great.

Like I’ve said before, what’s great is great, and when it’s truly great, there’s no denying it.  “Scribble” is damn great, and for all you young producers out there, consider it a tutorial on how to do everything right if you’re trying to produce a hit electronic song.

“Scribble” is an absolutely perfect song for a lavish travel lifestyle or expensive automobile sales campaign.  We’ve seen artists like Moby, Led Zeppelin, Chemical Brothers, Dirty Vegas, Black Eyed Peas, Bob Seger and so many more do it with major success, and this song has the potential to make just as big of a splash in these 2 realms of advertising.

The song is extremely uplifting melodically and the lyrical hook “..and it’s ok…you give me everything I need” sets the mood perfectly for a classy car campaign for any brand that has an expensive / high society reputation to uphold. The same goes for a beautiful vacation destination in a wealthy exotic location with deluxe accommodations.

The lush and vast production value of this song makes it feel expensive & exclusive, and therefore it will sit nicely under well shot visuals of state of the art cars soaring down beautiful winding roads in breathtakingly gorgeous environments.  With all due respect, this is not a song for KIA or Hyundai folks.  We’ll call Chromeo or Hot Chip if we need a clever fun foot-tapper to spice up one of their ads, and trust me, it’ll be great!  We’re talking about Underworld here folks. It’s a different animal all together.

“Scribble” is ready for the big time. Wait no, it is big time. Just like Audi, BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes, “Scribble” gives up “everything I need” in a car or deluxe travel destination song. It makes me feel just daring enough that I’m cool yet everything around me is still well, happy, secure, safe, classy, sexy, and modern chic……all in a timeless way.

So who’ll be first to make one of these 2 placements happen? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I’d love it to be me!!! You can bet your bottom dollar, I’ll make a serious effort because there is opportunity here.  Write it down. I said here first. Enjoy listening to greatness… It’s “Scribble” by Underworld. — Dave Hnatiuk

Dave Hnatiuk of Autonatic Entertainment is a Music Supervisor / Sound Designer for MTV On-Air Promotions, NYC. Visit him at Autonatic Entertainment, Music Supervision Central or The Song Hunters. To be considered for a “Music Seen,” submit your track or link to Hnatiuk at

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