There is no denying that Paul Oakenfold entirely deserves his reputation as a living legend in dance music. Bringing Goa trance into the mainstream and taking it to Ibiza changed dance music forever. Since then his domination of the trance scene in the 90s and his successful mainstream re-invention in the noughties has ensured his status as one of the world’s top DJs.
It’s fair to say 2011 is going well for Oakenfold, with headline residencies in Ibiza and Las Vegas and a tour of festivals across the world. His new Planet Perfecto radio show is already reaching 15million listeners a week, showcasing all the styles of the melodic electronic music he is famous for. Now ready to release the first in his ‘We Are Planet Perfecto’ compilation series, Oakenfold looks set to finish the year in style.
Acting as a platform for Oakenfold’s Perfecto & Perfecto Fluoro labels, which make up over 20 of the tracks, ‘We Are Planet Perfectro’ also looks back through the years. Remixes of some of Oakenfold’s top releases, including ‘Southern Sun’ & ‘Faster Kill Pussy Cat’, act as timely reminders of his finest moments.
The 1st CD reflects the glitzier sound that Oakenfold has been exploring since his Las Vegas residency. The summery house and trance beats makes easy listening, with some commercial remixes sitting alongside underground club tracks by up and coming producers like Arty. Reflecting both Oakenfold’s refusal to be restricted by genre and the current diversity of dance music, it is an energetic mix that will appeal to Oakenfold’s mainstream following despite not really enhancing his relevance in today’s scene.
The 2nd CD is a darker journey altogether and a nod to his Goa trance roots. Tracks like Oakenfold’s ‘Full Moon Party’ and ‘I’m Alive’, his collaboration with Infected Mushroom, bring the Goa trance vibe right up to date. Protest Movement’s ‘You Forget’ is the stand-out track from the mix and proof that Oakenfold’s Hollywood years haven’t taken him away from his roots.
Paul Oakenfold is re-launching himself yet again, showing no signs of wanting to rest on his former glories. Keeping his long-held place in DJ Mags top 100 DJs, ranked this year at 69, and with a new artist album expected in 2012, this could be Oakenfold’s renaissance. All this despite being ranked no.1 in LA Weekly’s tongue in cheek ‘Top 5 Douchiest DJs’, there’s clearing no stopping him.
Words by Dave Morris