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Q&A: Paul Oakenfold on Cynicism and The Highest Party On Earth

For over three decades Paul Oakenfold has shaped the dance & electronic music genre. He is a two time Grammy Award and two time World Music Awards nominee. He was voted the No. 1 DJ in the World twice in 1998 and 1999 by DJ Magazine.

Paul has provided over 100 remixes for over 100 artists including U2, Moby, Madonna, Massive Attack, New Order and The Rolling Stones. He has also released over 20 DJ mix compilations, and has been responsible for creating film scores including The Bourne Identity, Matrix Reloaded, Swordfish and Collateral.

We had a quick chat with Paul about looking back at his dance roots, his favourite music, and the current political climate.

PM: Your new album, Generations: Three Decades Of Dance perfectly sums up the best dance anthems from the last thirty years. How difficult was it trimming down all the possible selections?

PO: It was a difficult process over 6 months of trying to put it together; shedding light on tracks that maybe you aren’t familiar with.

These tracks bring back a lot of memories. What do you remember when you hear ‘Pump Up The Volume’ by M/A/R/R/S?

What an amazing track that was. I remember hearing it for the first time and thinking it was ground breaking.

Interesting to see the brilliant ‘Lullaby’ by The Cure on this album. A lot of people might be surprised to see this included, but it’s a massive dance favourite.

The Cure was a big part of the early days in Ibiza. I really tried to represent the spirit and energy of the island on that disc.

What’s the most annoying thing that irks you about the dance scene?

The amount of cynicism in the dance music community.

Which non-dance music artists are you rating in 2017?

Great question. Ive been listening to only dance lately. A lot of Hernan Cattaneo mixes.

hernan-cattaneo-argentina
Hernan Cattaneo

Back in April, you hosted ‘The Highest Party On Earth’, spinning a set at the base camp of Mount Everest. You were 17,600 feet up. Is that the most surreal thing you’ve done?

It was a wonderful moment to pull off the event for charity. There were a lot of moving parts, and we didnt even know if the equipment would work. It was a great personal achievement.

When you set out on a trip to Ibiza thirty years ago, did you ever imagine yourself to be in the place you are now? What dreams have come true?

I never thought I’d still be talking about a holiday I had 30 years ago. It has played an important part of my career and certainly helped shape the landscape of electronic music.

And what did you dream of doing but haven’t done yet?

My dream has always been to put together an awards show for the electronic music community and am doing so this September.

Trump/May. Discuss.

I think both America and Great Britain are going backwards.

● Generations: Three Decades Of Dance is out now on New State Music

Generations – Three Decades of Dance


New From: £7.59 GBP In Stock
Release date June 2, 2017.

Tags : Paul Oakenfold
Phil Marriott

The author Phil Marriott

As well as holding the Head of Music position, Phil currently presents the Sunday mid-morning show on Gaydio - the world’s biggest LGBT dance radio station. As a DJ, he has supported Tiesto and played for clubbing brands Fierce Angel, Miami Calling and SupermartXe. He is one half of a remix duo with DJ Rich B and also produces the PMKEpodcast with singer Katherine Ellis and LDN Vegans YouTube channel with Polly Harvey.

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