In this installment of 3 Reasons to Watch, we rewind back to Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson, a 2021 miniseries about the ins and outs of modern music production and recording.
With superproducer Mark Ronson (who’s worked with stars like Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga) as our host, we see the ways in which sound can be manipulated — and the ways in which it is already miraculous. Here’s why you should give this must-see Apple TV+ music miniseries a spin.
3 Reasons to Watch: Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson
In the six-episode Apple TV+ docuseries Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson, the man who has given us everything from “Rehab” to “Uptown Funk” unpacks the instruments and techniques that allowed him to change the face of pop music forever. It’s an informative and delightful show, which will likely never — but most certainly should — get a second season.
1. An anarchist’s guide to gold records
Ronson, a most affable and charismatic fellow, opens up about all the tricks and instruments he relies upon to make his records, and that his musical heroes implemented to make their timeless music.
On the one hand, it’s great to know that the fundamentals of music (and the X factor of talent) will always remain consistent. However, it’s also heartening to know that, now more than ever, the tools at one’s disposal to make great music are not being gatekept.
Now is the time to make your dream song — and Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson will show you how.
2. A cavalcade of musical legends
Ronson has worked with giants in the industry (and made a few of his own in the process). Nearly all of them stop by during Watch the Sound’s six fleet and engaging episodes. Paul McCartney, Questlove, Gary Numan, The Beastie Boys, T-Pain, Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes, Charli XCX, Tame Impala, Santigold, Too $hort, DJ Premiere and more stop by to give candid, first-hand accounts of the ways in which they changed the musical landscape, with and without Ronson. And Ronson is just as eager to hear their stories as any other audience member.
3. Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities
Beyond the guest appearances, Ronson gets to play mad scientist all through the series. In the process, he gives us a window into the creative process. Ronson travels miles under the earth to get the perfect natural reverb in disused industrial spaces. He uses Auto-Tune with Sean Lennon on old vocal stems of his father’s Beatles tracks. He even tries to mess with — and fails to improve — a Lady Gaga performance.
These aren’t the kinds of things that get worked out or achieved every day. And Ronson is naturally wise enough to know an experiment from a good idea. It’s undeniably exciting to be in the same room as these rarefied music makers take steps into unknown territory.
Stream Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson on Apple TV+
You can watch all six episodes of Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson on Apple TV+.
Watch on: Apple TV+
Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper and But God Made Him A Poet: Watching John Ford in the 21st Century, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.