THE term ‘legend’ is often overused in dance music but when it comes to describing Paul Oakenfold it is appropriate.
Paul is one of the DJs responsible for importing the Balearic beat to the UK from Ibiza alongside cohorts Danny Rampling and Nicky Holloway. The night he started on returning from the White Isle, Spectrum was also one of the parties that kick started Acid House in the UK in the process changing the entire cultural landscape of the country.
Last year Paul played an extraordinary DJ set 17,600 ft up at Mount Everest Base Camp in the Himalayas. The resulting Base Camp album was an instant classic. He has also just finished writing the score for upcoming film ‘Soundtrek: Everest’ and is headlining the huge Clockwork Orange party in Ibiza on Friday 20th July.
We caught up with him for a quick chat to find out more.
It’s been 30 years since your infamous trip to Ibiza with Danny Rampling and Nicky Holloway which changed everything. Irvine Welsh is penning the screen dramatisation of the legendary trip. How do you feel looking back on this amazing legacy?
It’s wonderful to be a part of it and I’m looking forward to seeing what Irvine writes.
Have you had much involvement with the project?
I have sat down with Irvine a couple of times and been involved in the project from the beginning.
Your legacy in dance music is vast. With nostalgia for vintage electronic music very high at the moment with classical interpretations of legendary anthems and reunion events, do you have any stand out eras that are tough to beat? How do you view the now global scene today?
I’ve been very fortunate with electronic music. I never thought I’d see the world through a box of records and never realized it would become the global scene it is today. Some of my most memorable shows were my own show on Clapham Common where we had over 50,000 people turn up and opening for Madonna and U2 at Wembley Stadium and my shows with an orchestra that happened from 2003-2007.
When you spoke to us last (click here) back in 2015 it was just before fabric was almost forced to close and you were already expressing concern for UK clubbing. Have we seen much change since then for night clubs?
I haven’t seen much change. There’s always an issue where clubs can be closed down. They never seem as stable as they should be.
This time last year you threw the highest party on Earth at the bottom of Mount Everest 17,600 feet above sea level. Can you tell us how this came about and the resulting Base Camp album?
The Mount Everest project took two years to pull off. We shot a movie on it which will come out later in the year. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I had never slept in a sleeping bag or hiked in my entire life!
It must have also been a slog getting the sound system and kit up to Base Camp? Were you worried about causing an avalanche?!
It was very difficult to get the sound system up to Base Camp. We didn’t even know if it would work at such a high altitude as it wasn’t tested. And yes, we were very concerned about causing an avalanche!
It seemed a natural progression moving into producing music for films. Was this the case? A lot of your music and sets has a cinematic element to them anyway. Have you got any exciting movie projects you can share with us?
I’ve been writing music for film and games since 2001 when I did the movie Swordfish. I’ve just completed writing the score for the movie Soundtrek: Everest. I used some very unique and local sounds from Nepal.
Finally I wanted to ask you about Clockwork Orange which you are returning to this summer for their huge event in Benimussa Park in Ibiza on July 20th. The success of Clockwork Orange since Danny Gould and Andy Manston brought it back has been immense. What can people expect to hear from you at this special show?
I’m really looking forward to Clockwork Orange. I’ve never really reminisced on the past or played any of these kinds of shows so it’ll be the first time I’ve done this. I’m trying to find all my old tunes because I’ll be playing a definitive retro set from back in the day.
For more information on Clockwork Orange – Clock Stock Ibiza head here.