A David Holmes interview from 2008.


So we’re not in normal dance/DJ interview territory here but then David Holmes, though a staple on the British dance scene for nearly 20 years now, has always been something of an anomaly. Like his peers, he has a nice line in classic dancefloor fillers (Gritty Shaker, 69 Police) but he’s always been as interested in producing atmos-heavy soundscapes with melancholy, leftfield rock bands like Mogwai and Arab Strap.


Unlike the majority of his dance -music colleagues, Holmes has never been a slave to the rhythm – his internationally renowned DJ sets are as eclectic and surprising as they are effective. Perhaps because of his obsession with the cinema (his first album in 1995 was called This Film’s Crap, Let’s Slash The Seats, the third, 2000’s Bow Down To The Exit Signs, was an imaginary soundtrack for a never-made film), he has always been more interested in “making people feel, rather than just making them feel funky.”


He may have started life spinning vinyl at his now legendary club Sugar Sweet, based in Belfast’s Art College in the early 1990s and then compiling acid-house mixes for Radio 1’s Pete Tong show, but, rather unusually for a touring DJ, Holmes has made most of his money adding a little chutzpah to George Clooney and Brad Pitt’s strut with his sassy soundtracks for the Hollywood smash hit movies Ocean’s 11 and Ocean’s 12.


He’s lived a large part of his life at 100mph, working with U2, the Manic Street Preachers and Primal Scream, producing five albums and nine film soundtracks, including this year’s Cannes award-winner Hunger, about the death of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, and the upcoming Five Minutes of Heaven, Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Troubles-based film starring Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt.
He’s spent chunks of his life in London, New York and LA but now, four years after the birth of his daughter and a year after the death of his father, David Holmes has made Belfast his permanent home and has produced a haunting, elegiac album about his family, his friends and the city he grew up in.


“In theory, this album (The Holy Pictures) really started when I lost my mum 12 years ago,” Holmes explains as he hovers over the kettle (he drinks endless cups of tea) in the shiny, hi-tech kitchen of his very cool, and very modern, east Belfast home. “I took her death badly. I remember I came to hate Christmas after she died. On Christmas day I used to just go to her grave. I hated it right up until my daughter was born.


David Holmes – Gritty Shaker (Richard Fearless Mix)
David Holmes – Gritty Shaker (Red Snapper Mix)
David Holmes – Gritty Shaker (Our Latin Thing Mix) by The Ballistic Brothers


Bonus track:
Justin Warfield – Live From The Opium Den (David Holmes Main Mix)



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~ by acidted on July 31, 2009.

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