James Holden is far from your average DJ-producer.
The wunderkind James Holden has finally come of age, and has delivered up the debut album to prove it: and at 28, about time too! For although the world seems strangely intent on fixing him in his early twenties (or more specifically, a series of internet sites who have seemingly overlooked the fact that biography ages require a yearly update!), the time has come to acknowledge that DJ and producer James Holden is not quite so young anymore. The timely release of Holden’s ‘The Idiots Are Winning’ mini-album in 2006 marked the occasion, and formed a fitting musical illustration of Holden’s new-found maturity.
Still reluctant to bestow upon it the accolade of ‘debut album’, for Holden himself ‘The Idiots Are Winning’ remains an EP which grew out of control: take four dancefloor-length Holden tracks, mix in the obligatory DJ tools and alternative versions that he is so keen on, and an interlude or two for good measure, and you have far exceeded the single realm and are pushing into album territory. Not that the manner of its creation should affect the listening experience: Holden’s intricate and inimitable production style ensures a coherence of atmosphere, where even DJ-friendly extended intros hold up to home-listening scrutiny. The Guardian went so far as to proclaim it “the most astonishing debut in electronic music since Boards of Canada’s Music Has the Right to Children.” And who are we to argue?