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Belfast DJ David Holmes spent two weekends over the past two summers running around N.Y.C. with a DAT machine. From Rodney Yates, the street astrologer who tells Holmes he’s a bad man because he was born in the year of the rooster, to the Lower Eastsider spaced on seven different drugs who admits he “can’t even tell you what day it is,” the voices of the Apple are the centerpiece and inspiration for Holmes’ second long-player, Lets Get Killed. But had Holmes focused too much on his interviews and neglected the music that supports them, he probably would have ended up sounding like a more technofied version of Scanner, a one-trick ambient artist who uses intercepted cell-phone calls to flesh out his skeletal works. Instead, Holmes etches Lets Get Killed with grooves so deep you could fight a trench war in them. Holmes builds up his mod, dub, drum ‘n’ bass, and triphop tunes with cinematic sounds and melodies that are grander than the canyon. In fact, films and their scores often inspire Holmes. (His first album’s marvelous title was This Film’s Crap, Let’s Slash the Seats.) “My Mate Paul,” “Rodney Yates,” and “Gritty Shaker” are all Austin Powers meets Blow-Up ravers, while “Head Rush on Lafayette” and the title track could have soundtracked urban psychodramas like Taxi Driver and Menace II Society. Holmes’ only miscue is also inspired by motion pictures: “Radio 7,” a reworking of the James Bond theme, is as tired as 007’s series. But then, even auteurs screw up sometimes.Christopher Porter
Holmes DJs with the Crystal Method, BT, and others Friday, Feb. 20 at the 9:30 Club.