Critic's Choice

You can peg British DJ Paul Oakenfold five ways: as record producer, remixer, A&R man, label head and gas bag. He might even be an honorary local, given the number of times he's spun in Colorado this year. His upcoming appearance at the Fillmore Auditorium on Tuesday, November 27, however, promises to be the lengthiest -- and most intimate -- sampling of his vinyl crates so far. Though he is notoriously bigheaded, Oakie's reputation as one of the major engines behind global club culture is honestly banked. From the days of the early-'80s residency he held as a teenager in West Harlem to the bass-heavy production he laid down for the Happy Mondays' Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches, Oakenfold has always had a knack for pushing dance music's frontiers. He even signed Salt-N-Pepa to their first U.K. label, Champion. But his current vogue status grew out of his early trips to the then-obscure resort island of Ibiza, Spain. The isle's infamous holiday clubbing ambience has reached the ears of (sub)urban kids everywhere, partly as a result of Oakenfold's transplantation of its vibe to London clubs and, later, to New York. Paul Oakenfold really is one of the best DJs in the world -- a title claimed by every Tom, Dick and Henrietta lately. So if you missed him on his first half a dozen rounds through the Rockies, get yourself some tix and go.


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