Today marks the premiere of Watch The Sound With Mark Ronson, a new Apple+ documentary series. In it, Ronson and guests explore groundbreaking technologies that have impacted the music industry, and each episode ends with Ronson creating a song based on the techniques discussed in the episode. Alongside the show, those songs have been released on their own via the Watch The Sound soundtrack. That’s out now, and it features contributions from Paul McCartney, DJ Premier, Wale, Jónsi, Diana Gordon, Gary Numan, King Princess, Santigold, and Kathleen Hanna.
Ronson recently told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe of the show, “It is my dream TV show. After a lot of hours and hours of brainstorming and rambling and talking around it, we were just like, ‘Let’s do six episodes, six subjects — reverb, distortion, synth, sampling, drum machines, and Auto-Tune — and talk about how they revolutionized music and talk to the people who did your favorite stuff on them.'”
He also said of recording with McCartney, “He was going to put acoustic guitar down on [‘Alligator’ from McCartney’s 2013 album New], and he was like, ‘It sounds like an acoustic guitar, but I want it to sound like a record, as if you just put the needle down.’ […] That quote has stayed with me more than anything. That quote from Paul McCartney was almost the ethos of Watch The Sound as a show. […] In music, the most important thing is always going to be the song, the vocal, the performance. But then you go to that next level where you talk about arrangements, sonics, the kick, the snare, the 808. And that’s the thing that makes the difference between a really good song and an iconic recording, something we remember forever. Like, when the needle goes down on track one, you’re like, “Oh, sh*t.” So that quote from Paul definitely, even though I hadn’t thought about it before, is kind of like the symbolic fortune cookie statement of the show.”
Stream the Watch The Sound soundtrack above.