Album: Oakenfold

Bunkka, Perfecto

Andy Gill
Monday 13 January 2014 03:30

Poor Paul Oakenfold: somewhere along the way from DJ/producer to artist, he appears to have misplaced his first name, though it's questionable whether he deserves the uninominal status afforded those such as Sting, Prince and, er, Toyah. Certainly not on the strength of this solo debut, which simply affirms why producers are not songwriters. It's basically your routine studio-dweller groove exercise, with regiments of vocalists – Asher D, Perry Farrell, Ice Cube, Nelly Furtado and Tricky among them – drafted in to try to disguise the fact that there's little discernible focus to any of these tracks. Most of them just repeat the title or chorus over a backing track of pounding Prodigy-style house-rock, fizzing Euro-disco synths or burbling trance-rock. Invited to contribute a vocal to the trancey groove of "Nixon's Spirit", Hunter S Thompson simply reverts to his old obsession, muttering, "You don't even have to know who Richard Nixon was to be a victim of his ugly Nazi spirit", while Ice Cube takes a moment out from his busy schedule cranking out crap movies to talk about – well, nothing in particular, frankly. The only vocalist who actually brings anything to the party is Perry Farrell, whose cocaine critique "Time of Your Life" has a purpose and structure absent elsewhere. Well produced but largely characterless, Bunkka ultimately illustrates the strength of Oakenfold's contacts book, rather than his musical vision.

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