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This Films Crap - Let's Slash The Seats

David Holmes

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Album Review

It's important when encountering this album for the first time to think of it as a dry run for film soundtracking rather than as a straight-up techno effort — because viewed through the latter lens, This Film's Crap is actually not much. Thus the lengthy opener "No Man's Land," opening with pure Third Man/Spy Who Came in From the Cold dynamics — bells, solitary footsteps, a moody late-night vibe — and developing into a more mainstream and less classically-oriented (but still quite successful) version of In the Nursery's majestic work. Even the military snare drums that suggest that band's crisp approach are here, used rather well at that. Other fine cuts that hit the balance between modern sheen and black-and-white-era thriller include "Inspired by Leyburn," with a particularly great John Barry/Ennio Morricone guitar figure courtesy of Steve Hillage, and the closing "Coming Home to the Sun." Where Holmes more openly flies the techno flag, his work is useful enough for dancefloor filling but not particularly remarkable beyond that, functional without being truly striking. Thus songs like "Got F****d Up Along the Way" start with basic and unsurprising techno clichés but only get inspired when things sound, again, like a soundtrack to a chase scene, nervy synth notes echoing through the accelerated punch. Perhaps by default, one of the most notable tracks is a collaboration with Saint Etienne singer Sarah Cracknell, "Gone," a beautiful jazz-touched ballad that takes the atmosphere and slow seductive crawl of Julee Cruise's work and transposes to a more openly modern setting. Later versions of the album in America included a bonus disc of old and new tracks and remixes. Unsurprisingly, "Gone" was the target of most of the remixes, including an enjoyable enough reworking from Kruder & Dorfmeister.

Biography

Born: 14 February 1969 in Belfast, Ireland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

David Holmes is the among the best in a growing cadre of invisible-soundtrack producers inspired by the audio verité of classic film composers — Lalo Schifrin, John Barry, Ennio Morricone — as well as the usual stable of dancefloor innovators and a large cast of jazz/soul pioneers to boot. Similar to the work of Howie B, Barry Adamson, and Portishead's Geoff Barrow, Holmes' productions are appropriately spacious and theatrical, though usually focused on future club consumption as well....
Full bio
This Films Crap - Let's Slash The Seats, David Holmes
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