Is it all too much, too soon? Easy then as The List takes you step by step across the sonic milestones that together make up the career in music of Mr David Holmes.
I This Film’s Crap, Let’s Slash The Seats (1995) David Homes’ debut album of dark atmospheric, hard- edged electronica, aimed less at the dancefloor than the big screen. Includes the singles ‘No Man’s Land’ and ‘Gone’ featuring St Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell.
I Let’s Get Killed (1997) If you buy only one David Holmes record, buy this his second album. lt's the soundtrack to a city (NYC to be specific) replete with voices and noises recorded on DAT, more funk than you’d find in a James Brown hair follicle, dancefloor styles galore from Latin to drum & bass and a classic reworking of the James Bond theme on ‘Radio 7’.
I Stop Arresting Artists (1997) A feature length remix ‘ of the Let’s Get Killed album. A diverse array of remixers q apply their technical skill, I including Andrew Weatherall, Red Snapper and the Stereo MCs while Holmes himself does the duties on mixes of ‘My Mate Paul’ and ‘Don’t Die Just Yet’.
a The Essential Mix (1998) Neither an artist album nor a soundtrack, this is a mix CD featuring hard-to—find funk, soul and 608 pop plus a few of Holmes’ own tunes. It’s release had so-called ‘eclectic DJs’ spitting venomous envy.
5 Out Of Sight (1998) Holmes’ second film soundtrack (Resurrection Man has never been released) and the one that propelled him into the Hollywood big league. Sassy as Jennifer Lopez and smooth as George Clooney, it’s a stylish affair fusing original 703 funk with electronic interludes, all interspersed with snatches of sultry movie dialogue.
m Bow Down To The Exit Sign (2000) Third album, a modern take on the psychedelic vibe of the 1970 Mick Jagger film Performance. Think drugs, think sex as vocal collaborators Bobby Gillespie and Jon Spencer get rock sleazy, performance poet Carl Hanand gets radical and Sean Gullette (star of Pi) gets plain weird on some eerie spoken word.
I Ocean’s Eleven (2001) Another stylish soundtrack featuring Holmes’ noirish grooves (including ‘Gritty Shaker’ and ‘69 Police’) alongside sourced material from Perry Como, Quincy Jones and Arthur Lyman. The highlight is a rare Elvis gem ‘A Little Less Conversation’, described by Holmes himself as ‘funky as fuck’.
12 THE LIST ’28 Mar—ll Apr 2W)?
‘They’re just regular guys,’ says Holmes about George Clooney and the cast of Ocean’s Eleven (top), Resurrection Man (left) and Out Of Sight (right), all of which he scored
Concentrating his efforts on achieving a synergy between soundtrack and image as he always had. Holmes set himself apart from the Hollywood- friendly electronica pack (Leftfield. Fatboy Slim. Moby etc) by seamlessly cutting and pasting the spiky. jazz funk of his own original material with classic tracks such as Walter Wanderlst ‘One Note Samba‘ and Dean Martin's ‘Ain‘t That a Kick in the Head’. The project worked so well that when Soderbergh started work on the remake of Rat Pack heist film Ocean's Eleven starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Holmes was the obvious choice to score the soundtrack.
‘lt was fzmtastic.‘ he enthuses. ‘I don‘t have a bad word to say about the whole project: it was just so much fun. I took George down to the studio a few times and we‘d hang out and I’d meet him in the bar for a few drinks and stuff. They‘re just regular guys. just like us. Straight- forward. down-to-earth. no bullshit. like a laugh. like a drink. you know'.’ That's the most surprising thing. You don't know what to expect. but then you see that they're just cool people who want to make great films and work with people that they respect and enjoy. You realise that Hollywood does have a bullshit-free environment,’ he says. quickly qualifying himself: ‘Depending on who you're working with.’
You get the impression, though, that this in- demand DJ. remixer, producer and film composer is happiest working with himself and a close knit team of collaborators. His last album Bmv Down To The Exit Sign was developed alongside a feature film script. Living Room. which could soon come to fruition. Holmes has expressed an interest in making short films himself. Having recently launched his own record label l3 Amp — the first release of which is the mix album Come
with Free Association
Ger Ir. I (int It collaborator Steve Hilton — Holmes is planning his own ‘soul record‘ and is hard at work producing recently signed acts Joey Zipper and Yellow Hammer.
Talking passionately about these signings to his label — he describes Yellow Hammer as ‘Ennio Morricone meets Joe Meek in a David Lynch movie‘ — Holmes is just as excitable when asked about his forthcoming DJ date in Edinburgh: 'l'll play loads of twisted psychedelic music. from start to finish. Bit of punk rock maybe. bit of soul. bit ofjazz. bit of hard funk — just whatever tickles my fancy. I just turn up with two boxes of records and play my heart out.‘
Holmes was booked for this date by his old mates who ran legendary techno night. Pure. and the size of his fee reflects how little big league success has gone to his head. He’s playing for free.
And so despite people queuing up to get a piece of the Holmes action. the Belfast boy is in the game for more than the money. He chooses the films that he scores with care and consideration — he was offered roughly 30 films after Out Of Sig/1t. all of which he declined — and when he does commit to a project. he gives his all for the music. The next film to bear his trademark beats will be the Gregor Jordon-directed Buffalo Soldiers. due out this summer. While the offers continue apace. fans can expect only premium product from a visionary producer of filmic scope. ‘I turn down so many films,” he says. ‘When you actually do one. you‘re doing it because you love the story. you love the vibe and you want it to be the best it possibly can be.‘
And with David Holmes at the helm. it invariably is.
David Holmes plays a DJ set at Radio Babylon at Ego, Edinburgh on Sun 31 Mar. Come Get It, I Got it is released on 13 Amp.