David Holmes’ lucrative career as a film composer means he has been able to maintain his healthy eclecticism as a DJ and musician, and the same magic that surrounded his – now unbelievably – 18-years-old Essential Mix 98/01 – possibly the greatest and most eclectic selection of that era – continues. Marrying artists as diverse as Buddy Holly, David Crosby and Die Hexen, Holmes states his aims were to bring together “Memory, love, living, family, friendship, healing, death and the afterworld” on this recording, and his selection of tracks are all imbued with an ethereal ambience. The new exclusive material for this Late Night Tales is quite superb; the cover of I’m Not In Love by Song Sung; Holmes & Steve Jones’ The Reiki Healer From County Down shows why he’s in such demand as a film composer.
Residing somewhere between a thoughtfully-compiled mixtape and an odds-and-sods album, Belfast producer/DJ David Holmes' entry to the Late Night Tales canon is at once a love letter to the sounds that have informed his various scores, and a sonic panorama in its own right, exploring themes of mortality and relationships via meticulous curation of both Holmes' own work and of the songs selected alongside it. Five unreleased pieces of Holmes' reside on the compilation in total, featuring collaborations with BP Fallon (reciting an excerpt of Seamus Heaney's Aeneid Book VI), guitarist Steve Jones, and a pre-fame Jon Hopkins, as well as production work of his for Belfast drone-pop outfit Documenta, and Monaghan vocal duo Song Sung, the latter a re-focus on 10cc's breathy synth classic 'I'm Not in Love'. Across these central pieces, Holmes' relationship with his homeland is teased out, and confronted in a different fashion in each, from reverence to the dead, to connections to the living.
Few individuals fit the mould for a much-loved, artist-curated compilation series quite as comfortably as David Holmes. From his globetrotting, hugely influential DJ career to his genre-hopping solo output via soundtrack work for the likes of Steven Soderbergh and Steve McQueen, the Belfast polymath has the quintessential markings of a Late Night Tales curator. Doubling up as a feature-length breather of sorts following two decades of activity and crate-digging, Holmes’ addition to the series is a quiet triumph of meditative poise and restraint, underscoring his reputation as a savant whose appetite for curio, collaboration and the deepest of cuts continues to hold him in good stead.