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This Film's Crap, Let's Slash the Seats

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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.

Customer Reviews

David Holmes, back when he was good

I was stunned by the lackluster review that iTunes submitted so I thought I'd throw in my two cents. First off, this album came out in 1995, not 1999. David Holmes used to be quite a talented producer of techno music before he went all Hollywood on us. Nothing sounded like this album back when it was released, and it enjoyed some deserved success. Tracks like Minus 61 In Detroit and Gone showcase the intensity that he was able to reach. He always babbled about producing soundtracks even back in the early 90's and he obviously got his way. Good for him, but I for one am sorry he got what he wished for as this music is the stuff I truly miss. The remixes are absolutely excellent as well. It's a shame the PFM remix of 'Gone' isn't included here, but overall this is a good buy. Check it out!

Outta Sight.....It's Gone!

If you buy nothing else, Gone (Alter Ego Decoding...) mix is a masterpiece. Funky, eerie, and pretty. A downtempo must!


Born: February 14, 1969 in Belfast, Ireland

Genre: Alternative

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

Inspired by classic film composers such as Lalo Schifrin, John Barry, and Ennio Morricone -- as well as dancefloor innovators and a large cast of jazz/soul pioneers -- David Holmes' music moved from spacious, theatrical, yet club-ready productions to award-winning movie scores. His first album, hotly tipped in England, raised the stakes significantly for his second. Let's Get Killed hardly disappointed, gaining critical and artistic success given the constraints of instrumental dance music. The increased...
Full Bio

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