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Hailing from Belfast, David Holmes was responsible for the greatest Essential Mix so far, eschewing the usual upbeat electronics in favour of a boat load of funk.

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One of the early tracks of this mixset is a fantastic version of California Soul by the always astonishing Marlena Shaw.

Marlena Shaw – California Soul

The opening of this track, the di-di-di-di, did-did-did-did-di-di sound is sampled by Adam Freeland for the soundtrack to the videogame Rez. One of my favourite videogames to date, Rez was directed by Tetsuya Mizuguchi and developed by UGA. Rez is a wireframe 3D on rails shooter with a soundtrack by Coldcut, Ken Ishii and Oval and is the sort of thing I used to dream about at night. This particular piece is used for the fifth level, an allegory of evolution. Or something. I liked shooting things in time to the music.

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The available versions of Fear that were officially released somehow manage to remove all of the good bits from the track, leaving the rather lacklustre Mindkiller in it’s place.

Adam Freeland – Fear (ingame edit)

Continuing in his career, David Holmes went on to produce a number of remixes for acclaimed and not so acclaimed artists, collaborating with many of the usual suspects in the at the time scene such as the aforementioned Andrew Weatherall, Slam, Back to Basics, and remixing artists as diverse as U2, Therapy?, Justin Warfield, Monkey Mafia and others.

After a dalliance with Warp Records for Johnny Favourite, David signed to GO! Beat recording the soundtrack to a non existent movie, “This Films Crap, Let’s Slash The Seats”. A fairly cold record IMO, there are some elements hinting at what’s to come such as Gone featuring the vocals from Sarah Cracknell of Saint Etienne.

By comparison, David Holmes second album Let’s Get Killed is the soundtrack to the streets of new York. Featuring dictaphone recorded dialogue of the denizens of the city, it’s a warm, balmy album that hasn’t dated and was David’s first commerical success.

David Holmes – My Mate Paul (Major Force remix)

David Holmes – Don’t Die Just Yet (LA Funk Mob mix)

I alluded to my techno colleague in a previous post, he was in the position of a Journeyman in the factory I once worked. I think he moved completed pieces from area to area. Anyway, both him and I would end up working night shifts invariably talking about music as it was a passion we both held dearly. He would hang out with the cool kids at 23rd Precinct while I was book smart about music. I particularly remember he brought me some stuff by Major Force, Tycoon To$h, The Orchids etcetera from Japan that had been smuggled out. The 12″ singles had a run in groove with a minute or so of fairly non descript Japanese water music or something, and then it erupted into Return of The Original Artform.

There are later Cut Chemist, Fatboy Slim & DJ Format reworks of this, but I’m not so fond of them.

Soon afterwards, Danny DeVito approached David to score and soundtrack Steven Soderberg’s Out Of Sight. Featuring contributions from the Isley Brothers, Walter Wanderly and Willie Bobo as well as David’s own contributions, it’s a fantastic soundtrack and this led to a commission to score Steven Soderberg’s next project, a remake of 1960’s Oceans Eleven.

Search ebay for David Holmes items.

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