Paul Oakenfold – Greatest Hits & Remixes
Record Label: Ultra Records
Release Date: October 22, 2007
Some fans may recall Paul Oakenfold from his Sirius Satellite Radio program that exposes American audiences to cutting edge electronica artists, and then there are others who may know him as the mastermind behind club remixes for U2’s “Beautiful Day” and the Smashing Pumpkin’s “Perfect.” Oakenfold’s work has also been heard in commercials for the Diet Coke campaign with his beatnik melody “Starry Eyed Surprise” and his pinnacle piece, the excellently sculpted remix of David Arnold’s “James Bond Theme Song” which is featured in the motion picture Die Another Day.
Oakenfold’s trance-pop formations amass a potent combination of club music, hip-hop, and glam-punk, transforming it into a style that supersedes those fields and migrates into world music. His recent Greatest Hits & Remixes album is an overview of his work. Released on Oakenfold’s label Perfecto in collaboration with Ultra Records, the album supplies digital funk beats and industrial-electronica relatable to Moby, sci-fi synth blazes with similarities to The Chemical Brothers, and glam-punk sparks with rotating motions akin to Hard-Fi. Oakenfold shows inventiveness and freedom in his electro-minuets but always keeps a club music standard.
The urban stylizing of “Starry Eyed Surprise” and Oakenfold’s remix of Happy Mondays’ tune “Step On” creates shingles of sunny-pop explosions through the bubbly beats and striking synths. The glitzy electronica in Oakenfold’s remix of Justin Timberlake’s track “My Love” has a discotique vibe while his remix of the Smashing Pumpkins “Perfect” has a more trance-hop ringing. Oakenfold’s electronica tinkering of the “James Bond Theme Song” is awesome. The sonic blasts and rainfall of confetti synths accentuate the horn and string arrangements brilliantly. Oakenfold does a lot of fine-tuning using urban and hip-hop traits but his work with chamber music and symphonies are his best pieces. They totally grab the listener’s attention and engulf them like his mix “Dread Rock” for the movie Matrix Reloaded. Oakenfold’s compression of sci-fi synths with the finessed feel of chamber music gives the listener a new appreciation for orchestras. Music supervisors must have caught onto Oakenfold’s skill to do this because he scored the soundtrack to the movie Swordfish while working with the Boston Pop Orchestra.
Other highlights on the album include Oakenfold’s remix of Radiohead’s single “Everything in Its Right Place,” Brittany Murphy’s track “Faster Kill Pussycat” and Everything But the Girl’s “Missing.” The glam-punk synth fillings for Hans Zimmer’s “Jack Theme Suite” have a power pop magnetism and the cinematic electronica embedding Afika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force’s number “Planet Rock” are profusely vibrant with intense flickers and fantasy-suffused imagery. Oakenfold’s arrangements have bold sonic streaks and digital beats which fit the club music standard while indulging in his imagination and fascination with electronica based music.
The album has 20 tracks of club music and the deluxe edition of Greatest Hits & Remixes includes a bonus documentary DVD about Oakenfold’s life and times. Oakenfold will go on a DJ tour across America through November 2007 and later in Europe. His work as a DJ and record producer has made a vast impact on world music as well as his service as an A&R consultant for Profile Records and Def Jam where he signed recording artists such as Salt ‘N’ Pepa, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Will Smith. Oakenfold is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most popular DJ, but his work with orchestras keeps his inventiveness prominent and his music on the cutting edge.