Paul Oakenfold

Creamfields 2004

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People who graze on CDs at the record store by strapping on the headphones and checking a couple tracks are going to pass on Creamfields, Paul Oakenfold's two-CD mix dedicated to the touring party it's named after. Disc one gets off to such a drab start you'll have to look twice at the cover to make sure this is Oakie and not some generic rip-off trance compilation. It's a hectic but drop-dead-dull start, but come "Clear Blue," things get much better. Markus Schulz's "Clear Blue" is as vivid as its name and the following Carlos Vives track is a delicious combination of worldbeat chant and dancefloor drama. Things go back to safe for a little bit till our DJ gets quirky again and ends the first disc with some excitement. Front to back, disc two is much more successful. Oakenfold discovers breaks, bleeps, and bloops for the first part of the set, works steadily up to his epic U2 remix, and exits with a couple reliable stompers. There are thrills but few surprises from this one-time maverick, but if Oakie is trying to sonically reproduce the massive size of a Creamfields' event, he's done it. Skip past the lackluster kickoff and think film composer John Williams as a DJ with a wicked haircut.

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