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'Mediocre' Paul Oakenfold 'the Bon Jovi of Trance', NME Declare

Author: Skrufff
Sunday, July 22, 2001
NME's quest to become a leading voice in dance culture continued this week with an unprecedented attack on the world's number 1 DJ Paul Oakenfold. "Oakey- Lovely geezer (bloke). Taking rave culture to the masses, open-minded, taking it to the next level," they snarled (warming up with a little sarcasm). "Pity then, that his music is so grindingly shit. He's like the Bon Jovi of trance, going through the mass market motions with all the soul and adventure of an accountant."

The verbal assault appeared in a review of his latest mix compilation Swordfish-The Album, just a week after the former indie rock magazine announced a rebranding exercise intended to 'have an opinion on dance issues when there is a debate to be had' (Vijay Solanki). Paul Oakenfold, who's recently sold over 500,000 albums Stateside and commands to £60,000 (US$100,000) per DJ set, is unlikely to be too concerned.

"Dance music is underground in America, rarely played on radio stations, it's more of an internet and club thing" he told the Standard. "but for some reason thed film industry has totally embraced it." His heavily criticised new CD ('pop-trance bilge- the revenge of the mediocre on the innovative'-NME ), also attracted a contrasting review from erstwhile opinion formers Mix Mag who said 'every track is a cracker. With this CD, Oakey, who manages to be mainstream and cutting edge, may have finally achieved what he set out to do many years ago: break the US market via the Hollywood route.
Swordfish- The Album is out now on Pete Tong's ffrr label (Warners)
Jonty Adderley