What do Britney Spears, Madonna, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, U2, Snoop Dogg, M People (!!) and Paris Hilton all have in common?
They’ve all been mercifully rewerked by the golden touch of the one, the only dance music legend himself, Mr. Paul Oakenfold.
And lucky for all of Philly and the entire dancin’ and prancin’ tri-state area, he’s about to bring all of that classic artistry and then some front-and-center for an ultra-special show at NOTO this Friday night, April 6th.
So, where did Mr. Oakenfold’s bombastic journey all begin, you ask?
Born and raised in London, the aspiring DJ began mixing it up right around when he turned sixteen, and well, truly that’s where the magic began. Eventually hooking up with his friend, fellow DJ Trevor Fung, the future disco ball shatterer shook things up by playing soul and rare groove at a basement bar in London’s trendy Covent Garden district. It was also during this time that he began migrating back-and-forth to NYC in the late ’70s, going on to get lost in music mogul Larry Levan‘s mind-numbing sets at the iconic Paradise Garage.
This brilliant immersion would lead Oakenfold to get further in depth with the London club scene, as he would spend much of the ’80s working as a club promoter and became a British agent for the likes of the Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C. He also improved his DJ craft during this time and would soon own (emphasis on the word own) a handful of pulsating club nights including Future at the Sound Shaft and Land of Oz at Heaven, just to name a few.
Look them up….his sets from that era are in a word….fucking legendary.
Oakenfold’s first big break came in 1989 under the moniker Happy Mondays, a project he crafted with his long time beat buddy, Steve Osbourne. The duo’s debut set, Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches, would not only give them worldwide recognition, but its lead single,(W.F.L.) Wrote for Luck)” would win the vote for Dance Record of the Year by NME magazine.
Although the dashing duo went their separate ways a few years later, they both continued to dominate the dance music scene with Oakenfold eventually becoming a British DJ entity in his own right, busting down barriers for future beat masters of the world and still continues to do so today.
Any and every Perfecto (another one of his monikers) remix? Yes. Ministry of Sound, anybody? Fuck yes
While it’s quite fun to list all of the singles, mixes, awards and accomplishments that Oakenfold has achieved during his now three decades of shimmering DJ fame (we would be here all fucking night if we were to spill about what he did for the trance genre), it’s easier to just get down with a couple…dozen of his choice rewerks and bangers.
His take on Ms. Hilton‘s “Turn it Up?” More, please. His still wildly popular groovy refire of JT’s “Rock Your Body?” Time to hit the floor. His throbbing, plugged in take of Brit Brit‘s “Gimme More?” Never leave home without it. You get the idea.
But if there’s one rockin’ Oakenfold groove that we must put our headphones to the sky and rejoice in right this second, it’s Oakenfold’s 2006 collaboration, “Faster Kill Pussycat,” co-starring the dearly departed, Brittany Murphy.
A little bit edgy, a little bit amped (and always yes on those vocals, Ms. Murphy), but all things still glorious after all of these years, “Pussycat” is truly more than enough reason why you should go see Oakenfold destroy NOTO this Friday night.
But in the meantime, let’s fucking dance along with a playlist of his hottest rewerks and bangers one more time today. Because that’s what it’s all about when it comes to the tremendous body of werk provided by the one, the only…Mr. Paul Oakenfold.
Cover photo courtesy of DJ Times