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Top tracks from Paul Oakenfold at Cream 2017

The British veteran smashes out the classics thirty years on from his fabled trip to Ibiza.

This summer there's good reason to be bursting with nostalgia for those bygone dance music years, as it was three decades ago when Paul Oakenfold, alongside Danny Rampling, Nicky Holloway and Johnny Walker, made that fabled trip to the White Isle.

What went down for the duration of those seven days would result in a rocket being sent through youth culture and be a catalyst in the explosion of those heady rave years. The social, cultural and political influences had us sweating in fields with thousands of other eager-eyed hedonists, healed community divisions created by Margaret Thatcher's aggressive rule, and had ravers fighting the government for their right to dance.

The acid house revolution changed a lot of people's lives forever, and that makes for the kind of stories that will be passed down to the grandkids – proper Werther's Originals moments. But for us adults in Ibiza, it's about the here and now because Oakenfold is sorting us out big time in 2017.

As part of his 30th anniversary celebrations of that 1987 holiday and the decades that followed, he's kicked off a world tour and released new compilation album, Generations. Before his Pikes residency kicks off in August, he squeezed in a date with iconic residency Cream and what a trip that was.

The tracklist on Generations is an absolute blinder, and for anyone who's either been a raver or done their dance music research, you'll be a slave to this one for days. I unfortunately fall into the second category in the above, and in the days before his Cream date I was hanging off my bed in full-on trance dive mode.

We ventured into Cream at Amnesia in hopes of receiving a good thrashing and a taste of what's to come at Pikes. Oakenfold certainly looked in his element with his selection, and here's some of the tracks that did the damage.


Schiller / Das Glockenspiel (Humate Mix) / Black Hole Recordings / 2013

We're diving right in with the first track that had us by the ankles. One of those instantly recognisable records, the moment you hear the chime of the bells come in, it's game over for anyone around you who needs their personal space. Quick fact: the song's name is inspired by the poem Das Lied von der Glocke by Friedrich Schiller from 1799.


Matt Darey Pres. Lost Tribe / Gamemaster / Hooj Choons / 1999

This golden oldie influenced Paul Oakenfold himself, and trance giants Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto and Above & Beyond, among more. “Embracing the goddess' energy within yourselves will bring all of you to a new understanding and value of life,” are the lyrics which envelop you before leaving you with on ana ascent to club heaven. Sound cheesy? Ocht aye, and that's fully intentional. The dance floor needs its goddesses.


Grace / Skin On Skin (Oakenfold & Osbourne Mix) / Perfecto / 1996

A follow up to huge dance classic Not Over Yet, this record from 1990s dance music act – which consisted of Oakenfold, Steve Osborne and jazz singer Dominique Atkins – is a masterful reworking of Oakenfold's Perfecto Mix of U2's Lemon. Ahead of his Pikes residency he mentioned that he wouldn't be diving into the obvious choices, and here's a prime example. Good shout.


Junk Project / Composure / Liquid Asset / 2002

The beginning of this Junk Project track is utterly sublime, and undoubtedly there have been plenty of clubbers moved to tears by its construction. Sasha has utilised it as an opener in his sets, and you'll find it selected by Paul Oakenfold on one of his Global Underground compilations. Euphoric to the bone.


Way Out West / Ajare / Deconstruction / 1997

One look at the comments section of this track will relay just how badly clubbers of the '90s pine for the years when trance was at its peak. With an ability to transport ravers to the haunts they inhabited three decades ago, this track is utterly savage.


Tilt Vs. Paul van Dyk / Rendezvous / Lost Language / 2013

Originally released in 1997 on Perfecto, Rendezvous is the mammoth trance hit from Tilt and Paul Van Dyk. A few years back, for a special digital release, Lost Language pulled in a selection of top-notch remixes – this whopper included. Unleashing this went down a storm.


iiO / Rapture / United Recordings / 2001

This was blasted on the radio continuously and on Thursday, Oakenfold toughened it up for the Cream crowd. It tasted oh so sweet.


Binary Finary / 1998 (Paul van Dyk Remix) / Positiva / 1998

Anyone who had themselves on Ibiza's dance floors in the late ‘90s will remember this brute. Ooooft. This is a record that will never sleep. Binary Finary, the guise of producers Matt Laws and Stuart Matheson, became known as the name behind one of the biggest trance anthems ever, and trance heads will never tire of hearing it blasted. Quite simply, it is so damn excellent.


The Space Brothers / Shine / Manifesto / 1997

I ran from Amnesia's carpark as soon as I heard this Space Brothers track bubbling. I'd forgotten about this track before I´d thrown myself into the Youtube's trance zone, and had it on repeat. What a moment it was to hear it reverberating off Amnesia's Main Room walls.


Robert Miles / Children / Deconstruction / 1996

And lastly, a track that with Robert Miles passing this year, has had DJs from all corners of the dance music spectrum utilising. If you missed it this time, we'd urge you to check out Oakenfold at Pikes as we'd guarantee he'll be commemorating Miles' instrumental composition again this summer.


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