Release Date: 06.18.02
Record label: Maverick
Ready Steady Blow
by: bill aicher
There's hardly a worthy argument out there that Paul Oakenfold is currently anything less than the world's biggest DJ.
After a career spanning A&R (first signing the likes of Will Smith, amongst others), building his own label "Perfecto," remixing a near unfathomable amount of artists (U2, etc), scoring films (Swordfish, Planet of the Apes), and only recently becoming a world-class trance DJ, Oakenfold definitely has much of the music business under his belt. Still Bunkka, his first foray into the world of popular music with his first completely original collection of "songs," is his first highly visible failure.
The major problem with Bunkka, which is destined to be one of the year's biggest mistakes, is Oakenfold's lack of direction and cohesion. Rather than focus on making an all-around solid album the focus seems more to be on garnering an all star cast to partake in the process. Unfortunately, even with the likes of Perry Farrell, Tricky, Ice Cube, and Nelly Furtado, the album never really seems to go anywhere. Instead Bunkka acts as a method of getting big names together simply for the sake of getting them together.
Then there's the fact that nothing on Bunkka is interesting; not even close. Rather than take his super-human DJing skills and expand these into the creation of stellar new music, what we have here is nothing more than a magician trying to throw all his best tricks into a condensed show. True, Bunkka has that signature feel of an Oakenfold mix. But after a while it becomes unbelievably old and predictable. It's safe to say these are selections Oakenfold would never even choose to mix into his own sets, if he hadn't created them himself.
Basically Bunkka has no idea where it's going, and at times one's left to wonder whether it had anywhere to go in the first place. It's more "bunk" than anything else, and any self-respecting fan of electronic music will be more than disappointed.
It's an album which should never have been made - Oakenfold will hopefully now realize he's a DJ and just as Paul Van Dyk has good reason for not generally releasing mix cds, Oakenfold clearly has no business releasing pop dance albums.
Moreover, it's a project which should have been left dead in the water, with the master tapes burned. Fortunately for Maverick Records, Bunkka has Oakenfold's name on it. This should be more than enough to make some money. Now if only they could make some good dance music. 19-Jun-2002 5:15 PM