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Paul Oakenfold
Greatest Hits & Remixes
Perfecto/Ultra Records
www.pauloakenfold.com


World renowned DJ, mixer, and producer Paul Oakenfold has put together a collection of his most prized electronica-timbered mixes, remixes, and original compositions for his Greatest Hits & Remixes album, released by Ultra Records in coordination with his own label Perfecto. The compilation showcases Oakenfold's ingenuity and affinity for dance hop/electro-pop assortments covering original works like his own watermarked dance-club track "Ready Steady Go" to the remixes he has done for such recording artists as Dirty Vegas, Radiohead, Madonna, U2, and Everything But The Girl. There are extras like the mixes he did for soundtracks, beginning with the prowling, subterranean electronica imprinted on "Dread Song" from Matrix Reloaded and his trance-hop tweaked rendition of the James Bond theme from Die Another Day. The material has Oakenfold all over the place from urban, hip-hop, R&B, and chamber music to mid-tempo and dreamy-pop always working in digital beats and surges of excitable synths.

The album commences with a familiar party-pop tune "Starry Eyed Surprise" used in the Diet Coke TV commercials. Elements of urban and hip-hop are mixed with the electronica sequences to fashion sparkling, carbonated spurts. The album rotates a sunny vibration with buoyant keyboards on Happy Mondays' tune "Step On" and sprightly, flashy synths on the Smashing Pumpkins' single "Perfect." Oakenfold's mix of Massive Attack's song "Unfinished Sympathy" coordinates an R&B voicing with electronica modules, and stylizes violin toned samplers with hip-hop vocals for Oakenfold's remix of Mark Ronson's track "Stop Me" featuring Daniel Merriweather on vocals. Oakenfold's remix of Justin Timberlake's hit song "My Love" alternates vocals with T.I. and has an acid-pop timber primed for clubs, as too do the digital workings of Dirty Vegas' track "Days Go By", with layers of instantaneous popping sonics folding into the dreamy glam-pop tumescence.

Oakenfold experiments with sci-fi/fantasy fielded synths on his original compositions "Ready Steady Go" and "Southern Sun." An assortment of chanting synths are stippled by digital beats creating festive environs for Madonna's single "Sorry" and U2's "Beautiful Day." His electro-pop grids are marbled with lounge-jazz textures on "You're Not Alone" as the blissful vocals of Olive purvey a likeness to Sade. The starry acid-pop rotations in Radiohead's track "Everything In Its Right Place" produce a panorama of liquid crystal psychedelics, which also pulsate through the synths in Everything But The Girl's tune "Missing" and Brittany Murphy's "Faster Kill Pussycat." The synth complexes fall into a comatose state repeating the layout over and over into an acid-hop daze. The album concludes with the industrial electro-punk motions emanating through Hans Zimmer's "Jack Theme Suite" and the funk-induced electronica of Underworld's "Born Slippy Nuxx". But Oakenfold's most impressive digital workings have to be the enhancements he made on the James Bond theme song for the film Die Another Day. He kept the horn and string arrangements intact and worked his wizardry around the basic melody, creating an invigorating sonic elixir.

Oakenfold's Greatest Hits & Remixes album is a terrain of acid-tasseled pop. It's flashy club music dressed with hip-hop and urban trends. Oakenfold will embark on a short tour of America to promote the album. The deluxe edition of the album features a bonus documentary DVD perusing the life and times of Oakenfold with insightful interviews from friends, family members, and business associates filmed in London, Ibiza, and Los Angeles. It's everything you ever wanted to know about Paul Oakenfold.

-Susan Frances


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