Paul Van Dyk
From early Berlin techno and house through to progressive trance, producer/DJ Paul vanDyk has soundtracked the German electronic dance scene ever since he moved to the city and began mixing in 1988.
A native of a German town near Frankfurt, van Dyk first heard house music on the radio during the mid-’80s. Soon he was experimenting with a rudimentary turntable setup, and after hitting Berlin, he gigged around the city. By 1991, he had appeared at the legendary Tresor club; he later set up his own E-Werk club, and debuted on record as Visions of Shiva, with fellow trance wizard Cosmic Baby. He remixed for New Order, Humate, Sven Väth, and others, then signed to the German MFS Records for his first album, 1994’s 45 RPM. By the midpoint of the 1990s, van Dyk had become a globe–trotting DJ and remixer.
His second album, Seven Ways, resulted in British and German dance chart entries for the singles “Beautiful Place,”“Forbidden Fruit,” and “Words.” While both of his albums were issued in America during 1998, van Dyk added a remix collection (Perspective) and mix album (Vorsprung Dyk Technik) to his discography. 2000 saw the release of the single “Tell Me Why (The Riddle),” the album Out There and Back, and the EP We Are Alive. As a follow-up to global club dates in support of those releases, van Dyk released another EP, Columbia, in mid-2001.
After a relatively quiet 2002 (on the recording front), van Dyk returned with a mix-album/greatest-hits/DVD (Global), the soundtrack to a film (Zurdo), and a new production album (Reflections). He released the second volume of his Politics of Dancing mix album series in 2005 and returned with another studio album, In Between, in 2007. The remix effort Hands on in Between followed a year later, and then live DJ gigs, remix work for others, and his own mix albums kept van Dyk from releasing a studio effort for the next four years. He returned in 2012 with album Evolution along with the single “Eternity” featuring Owl City frontman Adam Young.
2013 was the year that Paul van Dyk returned to the classics. Less ‘Strings of Life’, however, than the strings at the Munich National Theatre, mashing together Verdi and electronica in the most auspicious surroundings of the Bavarian Opera Festival.
“It was a big challenge,” he says. “It wasn’t about combining Verdi’s music with electronic instruments, it was like transferring the compositions into something that could become a proper club night. I’m always up for things that are artistically more challenging.”
But it’s been the scale of one other project that has pretty much dominated his year — bringing together the third in his Politics of Dancing series. This will be no ordinary mix album, however. Rather than harvest new tracks months in advance, instead he went into the studio with a wealth of producers to make original compositions. “It became more an artists collaboration album, and I’m really very proud of it,” he says. Who is involved, he can’t say. But 2014 should reveal all.