Time flies when you’re having fun, and for Paul Oakenfold, the last 20 years have proven that true. The OG “superstar DJ” shared some of his most magical and earliest days with the iconic English event brand Cream, and today (Dec. 18), he honors that time together with an exclusive mix of updated dance classics, special for Billboard Dance readers below.
To become a legend, you’ve got to make a lasting impression. Oakenfold was destined to become one of the pioneers in international DJ stardom. In 2001, he was the first DJ to play an arena tour in the States, alongside acts including Incubus, Outkast and The Roots. His hits “Ready, Steady, Go” and “Starry-Eyed Surprise” are certified classics. These days, he locks in monumental sets at exotic locations including Mount Everest and Stonehenge, but it all started in London in the mid ’80s as he crept up on the “Madchester” scene.
As part of a duo called Perfecto, Oakenfold DJed for the Stone Roses and produced the Happy Monday’s third album. By the late ’90s, he’d signed a residency with Cream’s Liverpool nightclub of the same name. In 1998, that nightclub began an annual dance music festival called Creamfields, and despite the venue closing in 2002, Creamfields is still considered one of the best in the business, giving birth to iconic sets and performances from Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers, deadmau5, Avicii, and of course, Oakenfold himself.
“Playing Cream and Creamfields is one of the pinnacles of my career,” Oakenfold says in an emailed statement. “It has become a landmark festival and nightclub in Europe. It was wonderful to be a resident for both.”
In 2004, Oakenfold’s 16th mix album Creamfields was nominated for Best Electronic/Dance Album at the Grammys. Today’s mix, entiteled Creamfields 20th Anniversary Set was originally performed at Soundbar in Chicago. That city gave birth to house music in the ’80s, and the set was so magical to perform, he rerecorded it for release.
The mix includes new edits of tunes by Oakenfold, Underworld, ATB and other old-school favorites. It’s a celebration of a big milestone, but it’s certainly not the end of Oakenfold and Cream’s ongoing musical adventure.
“I still work alongside the Cream team,” he says. “I look forward to doing more shows with them.”
Listen to Oakenfold’s hour-and-thirty-minute mix for Creamfield’s 20th anniversary below.
Creamfield’s 20th Anniversary Mix Trackist
Da Hool – Meet You At The Love Parade.
Paul Oakenfold – Southern Sun [Moe Aly Remix]
Atb – 9Pm Till I Come [Am]
Space Brothers – Shine
Delirium – Silence [Tiesto In Search Of Sunrise Mix]
Energy 52 – Cafe Del Mar [Three N One Mix]
Y Traxx – Mystery Land
Grace – Skin On Skin [Man With No Name Mix]
Chicane – Offshore [Grum Mix]
Paul Oakenfold – Beautiful World
Ascension – Someone
Paul Oakenfold Ft. Ryan Tedder – Not Over [Robert Vadneys 3Am Goodbye Mix]
Underworld – Cowgirl [Armitage Mix]
Push – Universal Nation
Jaydee – Plastic Dreams