Paul Oakenfold

Global Underground: New York

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Released right around the height of Paul Oakenfold's trance-era popularity, Global Underground: New York is mighty representative of not only the DJ but also the era, stringing together a variety of progressive trance highlighted by the occasional anthems. As with most of Oakenfold's mixes, the mixing itself isn't paramount -- more than anything, it's the overall mood and the progression of it from track to track that is center stage here. It's not uncommon for Oakenfold to jump from a hovering track of mostly ambient synth melodies to a barnburning ten-minute epic of ups and downs (and more ups, and then more). There's no shortage of highlights: "Rescue Me," "Summersault," "3 Drives on Vinyl," "Leave Planet Earth," "Air," "Rollercoaster," and "Dream Universe" are probably the biggest standouts, but there are plenty of other remarkable moments. Again, Oakenfold is much more interested here in mood than he is in such technicalities as mixing, so techno/house-type listeners may not even want to bother. However, if you favor the blissful moodiness of progressive trance, Oakenfold's Global Underground: New York set is chock-full of such bleary delight and doubly serves as a wistful memento of its likewise blissful (if bleary) era. [The differently packaged U.S. and U.K. versions share the same track listing.]

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