Belfast selector's latest great mix album...
It’s building into quite a year for David Holmes. First, the
Belfast-born DJ/producer/arranger firmly established his
place amongst Hollywood’s cool elite by coming up with
music for [I]’Ocean’s 11′[/I] – a film directed by an Oscar winner
starring the biggest contemporary names in film. And now he’s
chosen to launch his new label, 13 Amp, with a mix album of
In the past he could have been accused of trying a little too
hard. His last self-written album, ‘Bow Down To Exit Sign’,
was essentially an homage to MC5 and the sounds of ’60s US
garage. So keen was Holmes to prove his mettle that much of
the ramshackle rock ‘n’ soul, so central an element of the
original sounds, was cleaned out. On ‘Come Get It I Got It’,
he kicks back and relaxes.
Always known for a keen ear – his ‘Essential Mix’ of 1998
still demands repeat listening – Holmes has developed into
one of rock’s great magpies, picking and prowling his way
round record shops and through mountains of vinyl so you
don’t have to.
His best and most valuable trick is bringing us obscure
tunes we’re sure we should know that sound like instant classics.
Old bluesman Muddy Waters pops up with ‘Tom Cat’, a slice of
blissed out, psychedelic, swamp funk while country-gospel
spiritualists The Staple Singers appear with ‘Why (Am I Treated So Bad’)
and at once crystallise the soul-revue of late ’60s Apollo Theatre.
Throughout, Holmes seamlessly runs the tracks together with snippets
from Free Association, the working name of himself and new collaborator
Steve Hilton. At no point does the record sag. If this was played
start to finish in a club, you’d simply think you’d been listening
to a great DJ – hardly suprising given that Holmes frequently
claims his first love is being behind the decks.
While Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim have fought to break from
the shadow of big beat, Holmes has managed to skirt round the
outside and now threatens to run away with the credibility crown.
If Hollywood keeps knocking – and Holmes is currently working
on the soundtrack to [I]’Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind'[/I],
directed by and starring his new mate George Clooney – it’ll be
Holmes who makes the mega-bucks too.
This should be the soundtrack to every party this summer.