About 1,200 copies of "Eargasm," as it's drippingly titled, were distributed in March, says Bang executive producer Lyle Greenfield, to agency producers, creatives and postproduction companies, and the result has been nothing short of phenomenal, as far as Greenfield is concerned. "We've gotten at least eight jobs in the last four weeks that can be attributed directly to the disc," he claims. Key to this success must surely be the disc's breadth, never mind its length (the cuts generally run well under a minute); in an age of diversity, this is a veritable smorgasbord of beats, with just about every musical category you can think of covered by half a dozen or more selections-everything from three styles of rock to hip-hop, trip-hop, dance, country, blues, R&B, jazz, world, new age .*.*. there's even some sound design. Key also no doubt is the meticulous accompanying booklet that runs down every track with colorful descriptions of the style and instrumentation-all written by Greenfield himself, who used to be a copywriter at JWT and Saatchi. Try this on for size for a Reebok video segment called "The Workout": "Gather the Eurotrash for some club crawling-and don't get lost in the strobes and smoke."
Many tracks also feature music from Bang's indie label venture, Notorious, where Bang composer/producer Christopher Joannou leads a band called Industry that made the dance charts not long ago. The sheer thoroughness of this compilation seems to obviate the usual avalanche of audiocassettes, and that's the point.
"Just about every week someone would call for a reel and it would end up being a specialty reel," Greenfield explains. "The days of typical jingle recording and semi-typical scoring have long since ended, and agency people have much more specificity in mind when it comes to what kind of sonics can accompany a commercial. The whole palette of sounds-cultural, geographic-is open game for advertising. On a cassette, you can put a general reel together that'll run the length of time you can keep someone in front of a cassette deck-five or six minutes maximum, in my opinion. You can represent 12 to 15 pieces of music or styles that you're proud of. But no sooner do you master that cassette and get it out, then someone calls to ask, 'Do you have any urban fusion?' Or they want something that's funky and jazzy, but it's not quite acid jazz. There's so much diversity on the charts these days, so much segmentation in radio programming, this CD is an opportunity to not only showcase our music, it's a useful tool for people and it means we don't have to make a reel every three days." Greenfield say 2,000 discs were produced so they'd have some available on request for about 12 to 15 months. Then they'll release "Eargasm 2." Or maybe they'll release a two-disc set called "Headgasm."
So what does it cost? It's surely more expensive than making a cassette, but all told it comes out to about three bucks apiece, according to Greenfield.
The biggest headache was choosing the cuts that would make the cut. "When I wrote in the booklet, 'Culled from over 2,000 tracks,' I wasn't kidding," he says. "It couldn't have been a more aggravating process. Going through all the demos, the finals, the stuff that was cataloged wrong... When we finally got the DAT master, I said to [composer/producer] Stephen Cullo, 'Please go in a room with headphones on and make sure there are no glitches.' When he came out, I asked, 'What do you think? He said, 'It's a fuckin' eargasm.' He'd just named