Back in 2000, when Discogs was still in its infancy, a musically dedicated comrade named Roman Shirokoff founded the website Dark Science to compile comprehensive discographies for select producers of progressive house and trance. In 2002, Roman and I collaborated to create a compendium of Paul Oakenfold productions.
As part of my research, I pieced together a history of Oakenfold’s Perfecto label, which has gone through various incarnations and seen several distribution partnerships over the years.
1989: FFRR Records
Oakey’s close association with Pete Tong in the late-1980s saw FFRR to release the very first Perfecto single: Izit’s “Stories” (FX 122/FCD 122), a cover of the 1972 tune by Latin ensemble Chakachas, and perfectly reflective of that era’s Balearic vibe. Oakenfold’s ‘Mellow Mix’ features on the remix 12″ (FXR 122).
1990 to 1993: RCA/BMG Records
Catalog (1990-1991): PT 40000 (12″) / PD 40000 (CD)
Catalog (1991-1993): 74321 00000 0
After Oakey negotiated a deal with BMG, Perfecto Records became a proper label in 1990. During this period, associated artists included: Gary Clail, Carl Cox, Lynda Law, Lost, Robert Owens, and Jimi Polo.
1993: Perfecto Records/Perfecto London
Catalog: PERF 0
For a very brief period in 1993, Perfecto was a completely independent label, and released only four singles:
PERF 1 – State Of Grace “Not Over Yet”
PERF 2 – B-Real “I Can’t Take Your Love”
PERF 3 – New Direction “Run To Me”
PERF 4 – Jeanne Dee “No Life Without Love”
1994 to 1998: EastWest/Warner Music UK
Includes Perfecto Fluoro and Perfecto Red
Catalog: PERF 100
Few will argue that this was Perfecto’s golden era, during which time Oakey mainstreamed trance to the masses. The first four releases carry standard EastWest catalog numbers:
YZ839 – Rise “The Single”
YZ884 – Jon of the Pleased Wimmin “Passion”
YZ892 – Perfecto Allstarz “Reach Up (Pig Bag)”
YZ895 – BT “Embracing The Sunshine”
After that, the PERF prefix was reintroduced, starting with the first reissue of Grace’s “Not Over Yet” (PERF 104). Other Perfecto artists during this period included: Angeles, Ascension, Jelle Boufon, Johann Bley, Man With No Name, Minds Of Men, Mozaic, Quivver, Section X, Tilt, Transa, and Zee.
1999 to 2004: Mushroom Records
Catalog: PERF 0 / SPECT 0 (48K)
Oakey went down under for his next deal, forging a partnership with the UK arm of Australian-based Mushroom Records. Recycling and resetting the PERF prefix, the new Perfecto racked up more hits from 29 Palms, A.I.D.A., Stella Browne, Dope Smugglaz, Jan Johnston, Jazzy M, Mekka, PPK, Skip Raiders, Timo Maas, and Planet Perfecto. Oakenfold also released his first artist album under his own name, 2002’s “Bunkka.”
2005 to 2006: Perfecto Records
Catalog: 12PER000 (12″) / PERCD000 (album)
In 2005, Oakey took another stab at an independent Perfecto. The most prominent release during this period was Oakey’s second album, “A Lively Mind”, and its related singles, “Faster Kill Pussycat”, and “Sex ‘N’ Money.” Other artist offerings came from Emjay, Loverush UK!, and Perfecto Allstarz.
2008 to 2009: Perfecto Digital
Includes Perfecto Black
In 2008, Oakenfold shifted Perfecto to cyberspace, establishing MP3 files as the new distribution model for singles. Perfecto all-digital artists include: Richard Durand, Marcel Duri, Elucidate, Fraction, Fransiska, Happy Monkey, Hibernate, Barry Jay, Jan Johnston, The Joyriders, Leya, Nat Monday, Outer Sunset, Kenneth Thomas, Trenix, Robert Vadney, Vibe Shock, and Adam White.
2010 to present: Armada Music
Includes Perfecto Fluoro
Catalog: PRFCT000 (Perfecto) / PRFLU000 (Flouro)
Oakenfold signed a new deal with Armada Music in 2010 to continue the Perfecto legacy with a new breed of talent and a return to proper trance, including resurrection of the Perfecto Fluoro sublabel.
Paul Oakenfold production aliases:
- The Speech
- Movement 98
- (State of) Grace
- Perfecto Allstarz
- Wild Colour
- Element Four
- DJs United
Paul Oakenfold remix designations:
- Land Of Oz Mix
- Future Mix
- Raid Mix
- Perfecto Mix
- Perfecto Jeep Mix
- Sexy Disco Dub