Ayo Jegede
reviews editor
August 16, 2003
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Rock Music Reviews
Paul Oakenfold
Bunnka

most people don't know (or agree with) this but the mixed cd is an art. usually people will arrange a selection of songs based only on their immediate strength, completely disregarding the fact that the person you're giving it to probably hasn't heard quite a few of them. but that only dilutes the importance of the music and ignores the crucial process of conceptual organization which goes into every cd you buy. musicians don't arbitrarily arrange their tracks because they understand that different musical progressions dictate different overall moods. Thievery Corporation understood that idea when they made their DJ Kicks compilation, Chris Vrenna understood that idea when he scored the video game Alice, and Oakenfold has been a pioneer in the Trance genre for firmly and diligently using it. so it's no surprise that on his debut as a musician Oakenfold still employs an ethic which made him king of the Trance scene.

that being said, Bunkka is a fashionable hybrid of different electronica sub-genres and though they are all firmly attached to a single sub-genre (Big Beat), it's still a motley of songs. the first thing i noticed was the near-blasphemous spattering of popular musicians from Grant-Lee Phillips, Emiliana Torrini, Tricky, Nelly Furtado, Ice Cube, Shifty Shellshock, and Perry Farrell to obscure additions like Ash D, Tiff Lacy, and Hunter S. Thompson. the roster's diversity helped to expand Oakenfold's work on the cd. the album changes from classic Big eat ("Ready, Steady, Go") to darker, more ambient-based items ("Zoo York," "Nixon's Spirit"), to more trip-hop elements ("Hold Your Hand," "Motion," "The Harder They Come"). a central drawback to Bunkka is, ironically, its main appeal: the overwhelming element of compilation. however enjoyable the emotive range was, i admit that it can wear on me during some listens. the aesthetic demarcations found in each song aren't hard, but sometimes i wish otherwise. it'd be great to see him produce an album based primarily on one of the numerous styles on Bunkka. overall, i'd say this gives hope to people who see burned cd's as an art :)

Release date: June 18, 2002
Label: Maverick
Rating: 8.0 / 10

[RMR]