Album Reviews

Paul Oakenfold – Great Wall

(Festival) UK release date: 29 September 2003

Paul Oakenfold - Great Wall In the club world you don’t get much bigger than Paul Oakenfold and Great Wall gives an insight why. While not essentially an Oakenfold album (he only remixes two of the tracks), the album showcases the foresight he has in selecting the cream of dance music. The double album features over two hours of truly cutting edge remixes from some of the best mix masters around, from JXL to UNKLE.

Of the Oakenfold remixes, the pick has to be Madonna‘s Hollywood. Taking a run-of-the-mill release and turning it into a floor filler is no mean feat, yet it’s no surprise that he delivers the goods in some style. Although there’s no Britney or Christina Aguilera within a mile of Great Wall (thankfully), there is room for Bill Hamel‘s remix of Justin Timberlake‘s Cry Me A River. Take a chart hit produced by a pioneer (Timbaland), add a top DJ, sprinkle in some funky beats and there you go – the recipe for success. Just don’t attempt this at home on your own decks, you’d only embarrass yourself.

CD two is where the real club anthems can be found, and starting from the sensational UNKLE take on Ian Brown‘s Fear, through to the very end, there’s simply no let up in quality. Like Oakenfold’s current single release, Hypnotised, much of the album is dual purpose. Besides being great music, these are club tracks that will mellow you out when sleep doesn’t take you fancy on your return from a night out.

There really isn’t a poor track on this compilation, which is something that very few albums can offer, especially when spread over 20 tracks. For those ambivalent towards dance music, you’ll be well aware that there’s a time and a place for the genre to be enjoyed. If that applies to you I would recommend buying Great Wall to see if it can change your views. If it doesn’t move you in the slightest then I simply don’t know what will.

Fans of Oakenfold and the club scene in general should need no encouragement. Great Wall needs to be in your collection.

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Paul Oakenfold – A Lively Mind
Paul Oakenfold – Great Wall