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Out Of Sight - Music From The Motion Picture
NOT FOR the first time, Ireland's echoing America in its current musical climate. Meat 'n' potatoes rock is, if not dead, then dozing, leaving the pop-kids and dance instructors calling the shots.
Peter Murphy, 17 Feb 1999
NOT FOR the first time, Ireland's echoing America in its current musical climate. Meat 'n' potatoes rock is, if not dead, then dozing, leaving the pop-kids and dance instructors calling the shots. And as there are no homegrown hip-hop collectives to speak of, the door's open for the DJs and mixmasters of these parishes to weave their digital/analogue spells over the land. A nation, once again, under a groove.
So, out of this demise of Marshall law ascends a funky revolutionary: David Holmes. Of course, certain backbenchers in the rock orthodoxy still hold that Homer and his ilk are mere jackals scavenging the carcass of Real Music; scab workers putting the guitar-totin' union men and women out of a job by dint of E-heightened productivity.
This, of course, is a load of cowpat pie - if The Rickenbacker Hacks from Ballybrack went about their songwriting chores with half as much love and imagination as crazy Davy exhibits while exploring his vinyl goldmine, we'd have a country full of Mercury Radioheads.
So, the Holmes-boy has made the Hollywood A-list, and fair play to him. But don't make the mistake of treating Out Of Sight as an extracurricular option - all the Ulster vulture's albums are soundtracks, after a fashion. Sure, there are six blasts from the past here (two none-more-funky cuts from the Isley Brothers, plus nuggets like Willie Bobo's cool-as-phuck 'Spanish Grease', Mungo Santamaria's rattling 'Watermelon Man' and Dean Martin's 'Ain't That A Kick In The Head'), but it's the skill with which they're stitched into the incidentals that impresses.
Certainly, it's no mean feat to fashion original material that satisfies the semi-retro ambience required by director Steve Soderbergh, yet still works on its own. This is Holmes the funk-soul brother at his 21st century foxiest, suggesting gangly Beasties jams ('Jailbreak'), out-and-out freeform ('Bitch Out'), Isaac Hayes' blaxploitation gyrations ('Foley Part 2') and Herbie Hancock at his most groove-conscious ('Rip Rip').
While Out Of Sight might adhere to the tried and tested Tarantino template in terms of track sequencing (Dialogue/Classic Tune/Original Score - repeat three or four times), Holmes is constantly taking this music's pulse, checking that it's in sync with the overriding Elmore Leonard vibe. And not having seen the movie, this writer can testify that the sounds succeed wholly independent of the visuals. Without doubt, Homer's engineering the rebirth of the cool. Pretty fly for a white guy.