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Album review: 25 Years of Perfecto Records

Paul Oakenfold presents his label's best and brightest over the years.

Artist: Various (compiled and mixed by Paul Oakenfold)
Album: 25 Years of Perfecto Records
Label: Perfecto Records
Release date: 20/03/15

Ha - yes, Perfecto! Absolute party from drop one. After twenty-five years of service to the dance floor, Paul Oakenfold's Perfecto Records has put out a colossal collection of best-ofs - thirty-four of them in fact, mixed by the man himself.

Oakenfold's selections are all peak-time appropriate, which makes for a high energy - if a little in your face - collection that starts pretty intensely and never dips. Enjoy dance floor bangers in all their glorious incarnations over the years, from pacey piano house and string pad break downs, to funky vocals, gospel choruses, acidy gurgles, organ chimes and later the growls, grunts and euphoric breakdowns of the trance genre we associate most with our man Paul.

More than half the tracks are presented in a remixed form and for the most part I like that, though there are some classics given a less-than-welcome EDM treatment which grated a little. For the most part, however, the emphasis on remixes feels entirely appropriate. Dance music is strengthened by its healthy remix scene, tracks are re-imagined and re-released, keeping the best ideas alive for longer and enhancing and strengthening the music community. A retrospective compilation such as this does well to feature this aspect of the scene it helped create.

It's hard to critique such a compilation; so many worthy hits, so many memories, such bass lines and much fun. It's a collection of unbridled enthusiasm within which anyone with any sort of fondness for clubbing is sure to find something they have or will rave to. You don't have to have lived through it to love it, and just because you lived through it doesn't mean you'll be amenable to every track, but if you can find even a few moments in there that take you away from the bedroom, the bus, the house clean or the morning run and onto a laser soaked sweaty dance floor to bliss out — then Perfecto has done its job.

The industry has long since grown up around Perfecto Records and its fellow pioneering labels, but releases such as this remind us where it all came from. Where would we be without Oakey and his influence? Probably not on the cusp of the biggest Ibiza season to date. Probably considering Adagio For Strings as a marvellous piece of classical music and no more. Probably listening to minimal.

Buy it here.

WORDS | Jordan Smith


Tracklist:

CD1
01. Paul Oakenfold ft. Angela McCluskey – You Could Be Happy (Future House Mix)
02. BT - Embracing The Sunshine (Embracing The Future Mix)
03. Grace - Not Over Yet (Perfecto Mix)
04. Robert Owens – I'll Be Your Friend (Glamorous Mix)
05. Lost - The Gonzo (Original Mix)
06. Tilt – My Spirit (Groovestation Ext Mix)
07. Mozaic - Sing It (The Hallelujah Song) (Quivvers Dirty Dub)
08. Quivver - Believe In Me (Original Q Mix)
09. Grace – Skin On Skin (Orange Mix)
10. Dope Smugglaz - The Word (Original Mix)
11. Stella Browne – Every Woman Needs Love (Full Intention Mix)
12. Ce Ce Peniston ft. Joyriders - Finally (Tiger Stripes Remix)
13. Paul Oakenfold - Southern Sun (Moe Aly Remix)
14. Paul Oakenfold & Cassandra Fox – Touch Me (Paul Oakenfold ‘Stateside' Mix)
15. Timo Maas ft. Martin Bettinghaus - Ubik (Original Mix)
16. Tilt vs Paul van Dyk - Rendezvous (Tilt's Quadraphonic Instrumental)
17. Man With No Name ft. Hannah - Paint A Picture (Vocal Mix)
18. Man With No Name - Vavoom (Original Mix)

CD2
01. BT - Loving You More (Man With No Name Remix)
02. Leama - Requiem For A Dream (Paul Oakenfold Remix) [Cover]
03. Paul Oakenfold ft J Hart - Surrender (Protoculture Remix)
04. Paul Oakenfold - Cafe Del Mar (Original Mix)
05. Mekka – Diamondback (Original Mix)
06. Paul Oakenfold – Barber's Adagio For Strings (Original Mix)
07. Ascension - Someone (Original Mix)
08. Perfecto Allstarz - Reach Up (Papas Got A Brand New Pig Bag) (Perfecto Remix)
09. Amoeba Assassin - Rollercoaster (Oakey's Courtyard Mix)
10. Tilt - I Dream (Casa De Angeles Remix)
11. Man With No Name - Floor Essence (Apogee Remix) [Cover]
12. Jan Johnston - Flesh (DJ Tiesto Remix)
13. Planet Perfecto Knights - ResuRection (Paul Oakenfold Full On Fluoro Mix) [Cover]
14. Paul Oakenfold - Full Moon Party (Thomas Datt Remix)
15. Planet Perfecto - Bullet In The Gun (Saturday Mix)
16. BT - Flaming June (BT & PvD Mix)


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