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Paul Oakenfold road-testing new material on tour

of the Oakland Press

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Electronic music superstar Paul Oakenfold anticipates having his next album finished before the end of the year for release in 2011, five years after his last set, “A Lively Mind.”

But fans turning out for his Facelift Tour shows have been getting a chance to sample the new material — and also to help the British-born producer and DJ determine what they’ll sound like in their final form.

“I play them live and see the reactions, good and interesting,” says Oakenfold, 47, whose guests on the album include Cee-Lo Green, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder and others. “It’s good, meaning some of them are working straight out of the box and interesting in that some of the arrangements are not all quite right before the vocals kick in — they’re too long or the vocals aren’t loud enough ...

“That’s one of the great things about playing on a regular basis, you see what works and what doesn’t, and then you can go into the back of the tour bus and pull out your laptop and fix things on the spot, then play it the next night and check out the reaction again.”

Oakenfold, of course, does do a lot of playing, not just in the road but in Las Vegas where his Planet Perfecto show is in residence at the Rain Nightclub in a spectacle that includes fire, artificial snow, dancers and other visual razzmatazz. He can’t recreate the whole experience on the road, but he does promise the Facelift shows convey some of what he’s doing in Sin City.

“I bring the visual aspect, which is really important to us,” he says. “It’s a show you’ll see, not just me up there playing on a couple of CD layers. There’s a whole visual element of the show that’s come from Vegas.

“We can’t bring the performance art people or the trapeze artists. A lot of venues’ ceilings aren’t high enough and we can’t get the licenses, but there will still be a lot to see.”

Paul Oakenfold, Chuckie and Nervo perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Tickets are $52.50 and $35.25, with an $80 four-pack. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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