Paul Oakenfold has targeted the end of the year to complete his first artist album since 2006's "A Lively Mind."
The British DJ and producer tells Billboard.com that he has "about 90 percent" of the set recorded but is still "finishing some tracks." He describes it as "90 percent uptempo. I've gone for what I feel are cutting-edge rhythms, tomorrow's sound today. I call it Urban House. It's very much based on where I think things will go. You're always looking for progressions in putting together, new sounds. Trends come and go very fast, but after DJing for 20 years you get an idea where it's going to go in the club."
Nevertheless, Oakenfold adds that the album "still retains the melody and the emotion and the melodic feel I've been doing for many years." Among the new songs are: "Sleep," which he says "is about being up all night and not getting enough of it;" the "emotionally based" "I Would Die Without Your Love;" and "Raise Your Hand," "which goes down really, really well with people in the club having a good time."
Collaborators on the new, as-yet-untitled set include Cee Lo Green, OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (who appeared on three "A Lively Mind" tracks) and Miguel. Oakenfold has also worked with the Red Hot Chili Peppers on a club track built around their 2000 hit "Otherside."
Oakenfold, who maintains a Planet Perfecto residency at Rain Nightclub in Las Vegas, has been road testing the material there as well as on his Facelift Tour, which wraps on Nov. 27 in Toronto. "I play them live and see the reactions," Oakenfold explains. "That's one of the great things about playing on a regular basis. You see what works and what doesn't, and then you can go into the back of the tour bus and pull out your laptop and fix things on the spot, then play it the next night and check out the reaction again."
In addition to the album, Oakenfold is working on the score for "Barnyard" animator John Luciano's next film, a comedy called "Fugly." "I read the script and I liked the idea of it being a comedy and a bit edgy, because that's really not so much in my bag," says Oakenfold, whose previously scored the 2001 drama "Swordfish." "So it's a big challenge for me, which I enjoy, and it's an independent [film], so I get a lot of creativity and musically can do what I want to do."