Handicapping the Waste Management Phoenix Open's Scottsdale After-Parties

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Paul Oakenfold - El Santo - Saturday, February 1

Your headphones are drenched in sweat, lower back locked in the shape of an old office chair, and the crushed aluminum of too much guzzled taurine litters the space around your feet. Your heart pounds like a bass drum. It's 3 a.m., and the pulsating blood vessels in your eyeballs are red. You have an unblinking liquid crystal stare, and adrenal jitters betray the 19-hour studio session your body has endured. Plus, you stink.

But the anthem to mayhem you've composed is beyond amazing; it's Earth-shattering. So you've burned several CD copies of it for Paul Oakenfold, upended a bottle of Cool Water cologne over your greasy head, changed shirts, and clamped a pair of limo tint shades over your eyes before racing to the club to hand it to the man who broke house music in the UK and took the uncompromising sound of trance around the world.

Oakenfold's career began in the late '70s playing funk records in a London barroom. In 1987, he took a birthday vacation to Ibiza, stayed out dancing like a maniac all night, and brought the Balearic island sound back to England like a souvenir. He invited over Spanish DJs and threw illegal after-hours parties of orgiastic excess. In time, Oakenfold locked down official club residencies that took him mainstream and led to worldwide tours with the likes of Madonna and U2 at venues like the Great Wall of China. In 1988, he formed Perfecto Records and has continually used the label not only as a vehicle to propel his own career but to launch new ones as well.

"I'm an underground guy who made it overground," he tells New Times. "With Perfecto Records, the key to what we're doing is to stay true to our roots in the underground. We're always looking for new talent. Anyone who has tracks they want me to hear, bring them to the club and hand them to me. Seriously. I once signed a Russian record like that called PPK, and it went on to sell 300,000 copies." -- Jacob Katel

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