DAVID HOLMES WEEK (5)

Although there will be David Holmes posts over the weekend, we are going to enter it with a special post from D about Holmes’ soundtrack work.

Since the 1995 release of his debut long player, ‘This Film’s Crap, Let’s Slash The Seats’, David Holmes has contributed to, or been executive music producer on, some 30 film soundtracks. Yes, I was surprised too. Still, the title of his own album was, perhaps, a bit of a giveaway as to where he might be heading. Or rather, such was the quality of his first film score that it was inevitable he’d be asked to provide more.

In 1998, Holmes was commissioned to provide the soundtrack for the Soderbergh-directed and Clooney-starring vehicle, ‘Out of Sight’. How cool is that! He contributed nine of the fifteen tracks that make up this highly enjoyable record, the other six being original tunes from the likes of Mungo Santamaria, the Isley Brothers and Dean Martin amongst others.

Punctuated by excerpts of dialogue from the film, the music does what it’s supposed to do, enhancing, complimenting and moving the story along nicely. Ranging from the likes of the punchy, neurotic ‘Jailbreak’ to the sensual, sultry ‘The Trunk Scene’ and the jaunty and humourous ‘I Think You Flooded It’, these are tunes that augment and reflect the mood of the film in a way that doesn’t feel intrusive or, as so many soundtracks seem to do these days, manipulative.

It’s never a dull record either because the change in musical style permeates throughout, so, for example, you get the scattered explosion of ‘Bitch Out’ with its intense, frantic drumming sitting comfortably next to the down tempo, contemplative ‘No More Time Outs’. This is music for emphasis and entertainment and, on both counts, it succeeds with Holmes seeming to have an instinctive feel for what each scene requires without being dull or predictable.

The inclusion of original tracks by other artists could have proved discordant but, in fact, they slot in nicely and only add to what is already a very satisfying milieu. This is because, in many ways, the film has an old-school feel about it, so it’s hardly surprising that the music also harks back to an earlier era. This is part ’50’s rom-com (think Doris Day/Rock Hudson) and part ’70’s Afro-thriller (think Shaft/Superfly), hence the juxtaposition of, say, Martin’s exuberant ‘Aint That A Kick In The Head’ and Holmes’s super funky ‘Foley Part 2’, neither of which sounds out of place. Thus, we get spoonfuls of funk, samba, soul and swing all mixed up into a nutritious and pleasing meal for the ears. Highly recommended.

If I may, I would also give a nod to the Holmes score for ‘Buffalo Soldiers’, the 2001 film starring Joaquin Phoenix (before he lost the plot). A darker, more menacing sound than ‘Out of Sight’, this, again, has Holmes producing some very cool and funky tunes for a blackly comic film. To hear them, however, you’ll have to watch the film as the OST was never released for some strange reason.

 

From the soundtrack to “Out Of Sight”:

 

David Holmes – I Think You Flooded
David Holmes – Jailbreak
David Holmes – No More Time Outs
David Holmes – Rip Rip

 

 

~ by acidted on July 31, 2009.

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