As arguably the UK’s highest-profile DJ and producer, Paul Oakenfold had been bashing around the international dance circuit for almost a decade and launching talent via his scene-defining Perfecto record label.

Now it seems the heavyweight has decided to come late to real fame.

Reviewed in Distortion last month, Oakenfold’s debut album Bunkka has pushed past the DJ’s usual repertoire of releasing cutting edge sounds from the spheres of international house and breaks via Perfecto artists Timo Maas, Arthur Baker and Hernan Cattaneo.

Instead, Bunkka explores its own range of dance sounds, from the bittersweet melodic house of current single Southern Sun (featuring the vocals of Bondi prodigy Carla Werner) to the dark, metal-edged hip hop of Get Em Up (featuring the legendary Ice Cube).

The potential risks to credibility that come with taking the leap from DJ to producer-as-artist were not lost on Oakenfold.

I hope the dance crew realise that in any forms of music you need to push the boundaries, Oakenfold says on his Perfecto website. I’ve been inspired by all kinds of music on Bunkka from guitars to trance, and hopefully the dance audience will understand that.

So far, Bunkka has gained a reputation as one of the best party releases of 2002 featuring a plethora of celebrity vocalists, including Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction, Hunter S. Thompson, Nelly Furtado, Tricky and Shifty Shellshock, who does vocals on the up-beat single Starry-Eyed Surprise.

Distortion has five copies of Bunkka to give away to our readers thanks to Mushroom Records and Soundproof. To win a copy, call 9380 5266 this Friday at 3pm.

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