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Gain exclusive access to a pre-set meet & greet with Paul, and feel free to bring any records or memorbilia to sign! 

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Torque Promotions, Lost in Sound, Rotator, & Absolute Resurfacing present:


Friday 23rd February

@ Studio The Venue, K Rd

9PM til LATE

With support from:

Sam Hill
General Lee
Nick Collings
Ramz V
Daniel Farley

“Pete Tong said it perfectly: getting a release on Perfecto is like a badge of honor,” Paul

Oakenfold recalls. “A dance music badge of honor! Those words really meant a lot to me as we

began to consider how to properly pay tribute to Perfecto’s first three decades as a record


Pete Tong, of course, is dance music’s longtime tastemaker supreme – but don’t just take

Tongy’s word for it: in 2003, none other than the late Queen Elizabeth bestowed an award on

Oakenfold on behalf of the British Empire as a “Pioneer of the Nation” for his contributions to

dance music. All aspects of that legacy are coming together with “Perfecto 30”: an expansive

series debuting in 2023-2024 spanning unique global events, musical releases, and exclusive

artist/DJ performances that reflect not just 30-plus years of the Perfecto imprint’s success, but

the goalpost-moving achievements of Oakenfold, Perfecto’s co-founder and figurehead, as


Indeed, it’s hard to separate Perfecto’s landmarks from Oakenfold’s storied history as arguably

the first global superstar DJ, paving the way from Ibiza and Glastonbury to Las Vegas

residencies; as a hitmaking producer for everyone from Happy Mondays to Madonna and U2; a

pioneer of contemporary electronic music soundtracks for games and hit Hollywood movies

like Swordfish and Bourne Identity; and an innovator of DJ culture across genres, crucial in

bringing underground club sounds from trance to EDM to a worldwide mainstream audience

(and that’s just a partial list). “Paul’s attitude in starting Perfecto was quite visionary, quite

refreshing – I think he started a brand, really, that also happened to be a label,” Tong notes in

the upcoming documentary Welcome to Perfecto.

“Perfecto 30 is really the umbrella for it all,” Oakenfold explains. In addition to the release of

Welcome to Perfecto (which features additional commentary from the legendary likes of Fatboy

Slim, Carl Cox, Todd Terry and David Guetta, along with cultural perspective Mixmag’s Nick

Stevenson and DJ Times editor Carl Loben), Perfecto 30 will include a series of remixes and DJ

mix recordings featuring everyone Oakey OGs like Carl Cox to new jacks like Franky Wah.

Meanwhile, Oakenfold himself will make a series of special DJ appearances crisscrossing

America and the UK to Ibiza and Australia – many involving the parties, festivals, and superclub

brands where he made his fame; in them, he plans to revisit Perfecto classics and deep cuts

like PPK’s “ResuRection,” Planet Perfecto’s “Bullet in a Gun,” and his own smashes like “Starry

Eyed Surprise” (the hit collaboration with Crazy Town’s Shifty Shellshock from Oakenfold’s

platinum debut solo album, 2002’s Bunkka). Oakenfold also promises a special event at an

epic, unexpected venue where dance music has never been played before – considering he’s

been the first DJ to play Stonehenge and base camp at Mount Everest, this is no small

promise. “All I can say is we’re looking at one of the oldest cathedrals in England,” Oakenfold

notes with a mischievous smile.


Oakenfold became known for performing at many of the most wondrous, unexpected sites in

the world. In addition to Stonehenge and Everest, he’s spun on the waterfront at the Sydney

Opera House, high up in Patagonia mountains, and at the “Party at the End of the World” that

was held in Argentina’s ancient Ushuaia rainforest. Oakenfold was also the first DJ to play the

Great Wall of China, Area 51, Burning Man, and to headline the main stage at Glastonbury. This

empire conquering organically evolved out of his pioneering turn alongside the likes of Sasha

and Digweed and Armin van Buuren as one of the first-ever superstar DJs to blow up in the

‘90s. Oakenfold would go on to spin in front of global crowds the size of which had been

unheard of for DJs in previous eras. When he played at the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi, the

event was broadcast to over 760 million worldwide households. “I was uncomfortable with that

term ‘superstar DJ,’ but it is what it is,” Oakenfold laughs. “Suddenly, I was playing in front of

thousands – and sometimes millions – all while holding residencies at superclubs like Cream

and Ministry of Sound as they started opening across the world.”

Oakenfold’s success as a groundbreaking DJ and tastemaking A&R savant developed in

tandem – each skill set feeding the other as his star rose. Growing up in South London,

Oakenfold began his career behind the wheels of steel as a crate-digging rare groove DJ,

playing soul and funk in Covent Garden wine bars alongside the likes of fellow local boys

Trevor Fung and Carl Cox before being overcome by the hip-hop revolution. After a full

immersion pilgrimage to hip-hop’s birthplace in New York City in the ‘80s, Oakenfold began

trendsetting A&R gigs at Champion and Def Jam in the U.K. – working on genre-defining

“golden age” releases from Public Enemy, Salt ‘n Pepa, LL Cool J, Run DMC, Beastie Boys,

and Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. But when “guns and gangsters starting showing up in

London clubs,” his focus shifted to dance music and the nascent acid house scene. Moving to

RCA Records as an A&R, Oakenfold began licensing classic house from Farley Jackmaster

Funk, the Hot Mix 5, and Frankie Knuckles. At RCA, he even commissioned club DJ pioneer

Larry Levan’s last-ever remix for “Come On Boy” by DJ H featuring Stefy – just before Levan

died in 1992.

Simultaneously, Oakenfold – along with the likes of Danny Rampling and Trevor Fung – had

discovered the Balearic party scene on Ibiza, and brought home those vibes to create the

Spectrum party at legendary London club Heaven. “By the early ‘90s, people were

approaching me at DJ gigs with their own records, asking, ‘Is there a label to put this out?’,”

Oakenfold recalls. “This happened to me a lot when I was resident at clubs like Ministry of

Sound, Spectrum, Cream, and Home: kids would make records, give me dubplates, and then

I’d play them exclusively. I’d rinse those tracks for six months and break them, so after a while,

it just made sense to start putting them out as a label. That’s how Perfecto was born.”

Thanks to Perfecto-produced hits like “Not Over Yet” by Grace, Oakenfold’s reputation as a

studio wunderkind, working with the most modern sound palette, got him gigs producing for


the likes of Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, as the worlds of indie and dance began

organically colliding. The Oakenfold-produced Happy Mondays album Pills, Thrills, ‘N

Bellyaches would go on to be a critical and commercial smash, opening new doors in the

process. Suddenly Oakenfold’s trance remix of U2’s “Even Better Than the Real Thing” was

doing better on the charts than the original, and Oakenfold found himself as the opening DJ on

U2’s endless “ZooTV” tour. “Rock musicians would go to clubs where I’d DJ,” Oakenfold says,

“and they'd be like, ‘I want that sound for my album.’ We could do a remix for U2, where we

kept the integrity of the act – but gave it the credibility of the dancefloor, with a sound that also

worked on the radio.” “Perfecto pretty much pioneered the idea of using dance remixes for

more popular records and acts,” explains Mixmag’s Nick Stevenson. When Oakenfold remixed

Elvis Presley’s “Rubberneckin’” in 2003, it became a global chart-topping smash – helping kick

off a contemporary Elvis Presley revival that continues to this day. “It was even in Baz

Luhrmann’s Elvis movie,” he notes. “It’s still peaking, exposing a whole new generation to


“I started remixing everyone from The Cure and Smashing Pumpkins to the Rolling Stones,”

adds Oakenfold. “What happened next was I started to get these amazing calls from Mick

Jagger and Paul McCartney to come to the studio. I was like, ‘I can't fucking believe they're

asking me’ – everyone from Bono and Edge, to being invited to produce Madonna, to recording

Hunter S. Thompson in his hotel room for my album Bunkka... Working with those icons, I’d

watch them closely, studying their work ethic and professionalism. They wanted to work with

me because I had this sound, which is how I ended up working on all the movies. I left London

and moved to Hollywood permanently when I got asked to work on the movie Swordfish, which

really set off my whole film career.”

Swordfish was a 2001 box-office action hit starring Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, and John

Travolta – and for its cutting-edge soundtrack, Oakenfold collaborated with Golden

Globe-nominated composer Christopher Young, complementing to the original score with

exclusive, genre-defying tracks like Oakenfold’s hard-hitting electro remix of N.E.R.D.’s

“Rockstar.” Oakenfold soon found himself supervising, composing for and contributing to the

soundtracks for The Bourne Identity, Collateral, and The Matrix: Reloaded; he even oversaw the

Latin-based music for a Christmas movie, 2008’s Nothing Like the Holidays. “Working on films

made total sense,” Oakenfold says. “My music is so cinematic – I am cinematic, period, in

everything I do. Whenever I’d work on a song or a DJ mix, we were always trying to create a

mood, a scene, to get absorbed in. That translated automatically to movies.”

DJ mixes as well were another area that Oakenfold would take to the next level throughout his

career. Bringing the full DJ journey to recorded music like it had never before, Oakenfold broke

ground with his 1994 Goa Essential Mix, which became the state-of-the-art statement on the

bubbling Goa trance sound. Oakenfold’s Tranceport and Global Underground mixes would go


on to define the anthemic big-room sound of the day – leading to the success of Perfecto

Presents: Another World, which sold hundreds of thousands of copies upon release, making it

the most commercially-successful DJ mix record released in the United States. “Everyone has

a DJ mix on Soundcloud now, but back then, it took six months to put them together – to

choose and clear the tracks, mix it in the studio, and then fly somewhere to do the photography

for the album art, always in a new and exotic location,” Oakenfold. “Often, the mix albums

reflected sets I’d played in specific countries and cities I’d visit as my career quickly grew more

and more international in nature.”

As such, Oakenfold’s status as a superstar DJ rests in part on his relentless drive to play

anywhere and everywhere. In fact, Oakenfold’s gigs and tours across the globe have on some

level helped blaze trails for dance music into new markets, from Monaco to Mumbai, Hong

Kong to the High Desert – even South Africa to play for Mandela. Oakenfold was one of the

earliest rave culture DJs from the U.K. to systematically break the American market – touring

the States in the ‘90s with everyone from Moby to OutKast and beyond (emphasis on beyond).

“I didn’t just play New York and Los Angeles,” Oakenfold states. “I went from Nebraska to

Alaska, and back again. Usually, I was the first DJ to ever play in many of those places.”

Oakenfold definitely found himself getting in on the ground floor when it came to superstar DJ

residencies at hotels – like his longtime Las Vegas residency, Planet Perfecto, at the Rain

nightclub in The Palms hotel. “We were averaging between three and five thousand people

every Saturday,” Oakenfold says. “Planet Perfecto was what put Las Vegas on the map for

DJs.” “Oakey pioneered the idea of the DJ being the star of Vegas,” Nick Stevenson says. “That

didn’t used to be a thing – but you go to Vegas now, and all the billboards have big DJs!”

Don’t be surprised, meanwhile, to see Oakenfold at a Perfecto 30 event in Las Vegas in coming

months. Most of all, the upcoming Perfecto 30 festivities will celebrate the full heritage and

influence of the dance-music empire Oakenfold has built – from helping create DJ superstars

out of the likes of Hernán Cattáneo, Mark Ronson, and David Guetta to bringing underground

dance sounds to fresh ears. “I can honestly say, Perfecto tipped me on to house music,”

Fatboy Slim claims, pointing to hearing early Perfecto classic “I’ll Be Your Friend” by

house-music legend Robert Owens at a Brighton club as a career-changing epiphany. “I

learned trance from Paul Oakenfold,” Todd Terry admits in Welcome to Perfecto, citing his

groundbreaking mix CD’s like Another World and the Tranceport series. Indeed, with trance

revivalists like Evian Christ currently redefining the big room sounds Oakenfold popularized and

neo-electronic groups like Sextile exploring the Manchester grooves he helped produce in the

studio for Happy Mondays, Perfecto’s diverse sound remains more relevant than ever. Across

the main Perfecto imprint and its four sub-labels – Perfecto Records, Perfecto Fluoro, Perfecto

Black, and Perfecto House – the label has touched nearly every significant dance movement of

modern times, from progressive, trance, and EDM but also drum and bass, Balearic, electro,

indie, and beyond; as such, on his last artist album, 2022’s Shine On, Oakenfold found himself


collaborating with a diverse creative crew including Cee Lo, Luis Fonsi, Aloe Blacc, Azealia

Banks, and Zhu.

Oakenfold points out Perfecto 30 will also launch a number of releases of today’s most cutting

edge dance-music artists and producers including Velvet Cash, Danny Stubbs, Blink, Adam

White, and Nat Monday. Oakenfold’s syndicated Perfecto Radio show, meanwhile, still draws

25 million listeners internationally on a weekly basis to hear him spin his latest tunes and

dancefloor discoveries. For the next chapter of Perfecto, meanwhile, Oakenfold claims he’s

returning to the roots of the label’s original mission.

“I’m going back to doing straight club records – underground tracks that I love,” Oakenfold

says. “You have to understand, Perfecto is now a thirty-year-old brand: there are generations

that have grown up with the sound. They got into dance music and have grown up with the

label, collecting our vinyl from day one. It’s turned into much more than a label.

So to celebrate iit, I’m just going to do what I’m good at and really love – and go out in a blaze of glory for my last dance!”

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