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Guest Reviewer: Paul van Dyk

Reported by Sam TID on September 25, 2012

It is a very special honour to have the pioneer and all round worldwide ambassador for dance music in the Trackitdown Guest Reviewer hot seat this week. Ahead of his two highly anticipated UK club shows we find out what's happening in his world and see what 10 bombs he recommends we slot into our own DJ sets.

Tickets are selling very fast for both shows, so if you want to come and join us at the front, grab your tickets and FREE tracks from Trackitdown.net tickets department today!

Thanks very much for taking time out to speak to us! Can you tell the readers where you are in the world today and what you’ve been up to over the last 7 days?

Today I’m back in Berlin. Over the last week I’ve taken the EVOLUTION show to Spain, playing in Madrid and Barcelona, which has been wonderful. The reception to it there was very special indeed. When you play somewhere and you can see in the first 20 minutes that everyone already knows the tracks you’re playing and are singing along to them, it’s gives you a great feeling. 

It’s been a crazy summer for you performing in different continents, your residency in Ibiza for Cream, Amnesia and now touring your new album ‘Evolution’ Worldwide. What’s it like having such a relentless schedule and are there any downsides to living the dream at such a rapid pace?

It can get a bit crazy at times, of course. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Luckily I have a great support team that ensures everything runs smoothly!

With your final UK appearances this year being held on Friday 5th October at Goodgreef/Digital Society in Leeds and then the tour finale at London’s Electric in Brixton On Saturday 13th October,  there is bound to be a lot of excited fans at these shows, what can they expect from PVD on the night?  

Well the shows this year have been all about showcasing the music from the album. What the fans will see is essentially a hybrid between a DJ set and a live performance. Whilst I’m playing I have a custom studio set-up (keyboards, synths, etc) on stage with me that allows me to create a unique experience every gig I play. 

You have been a successful producer & DJ for over two decades now, having a hugely impressive discography & remix accolades for global pop icons such as Madonna, Justin Timberlake, U2 and Depeche Mode. What do you feel are your 3 personal best or favourite tracks from the whole span of your career?

I really couldn’t say. For me it changes all the time. I don’t tend to reflect back like that too much. I prefer to remember it all as a whole, rather than breaking it down. I also think I tend to be more concentrated on that future than the past. 

Your new album ‘Evolution’ has just hit the stores and features some amazing vocal & artist collaborations. How do you decide who to work with on such an important project? 

The people that I chose to work with are basically sharing the same passions and enthusiasms for music that I do. This is opposed to acts that say the management might like me to work with - the big superstars that drive profile, but little else. That’s what makes for a successful album I think.

Your label Vandit has been going strong now for over 10 years, what is they key to its success? 

The crucial factor is not mistaking quantity for quality. We have a label ethos that if the music quality is not there one month, then we don’t release. Simple as that. We do though fight to sign the music we love and we think is exceptional. I’m happy to say, we have a group of regular musicians – people like Giuseppe Ottaviani, Tyler Michaud, Austin Leeds - that don’t fall simply into the ‘good’ or ‘very good’ categories, but the ‘excellent’.

Having surpassed various milestones over the course of your career, including selling more than 3.5 million albums, twice being voted the world's No.1 DJ and even earning a Grammy nomination, what goals & achievements are there still left on the PVD hitlist?

In terms of what you’re talking about here, these were never goals as such. They’re always great things to happen naturally. So really spreading EVOLUTION’s music as far and as wide as possible remains my absolute priority at the moment. Anything else that happens along the way, well that’s a bonus.

A couple of years ago you played a staggering show in Rio de Janeiro to an audience of over one million people, how do you even begin to prepare for a show of that magnitude? 

It remains a very great experience. In terms of preparation, a lot goes in, sure. On that scale it tends to be more to do with the surrounding production though. In terms of the music I treat every show as being special and unique. So regardless of whether its 3000 or a million + people dancing, the same amount of effort goes into to making the music something really special.

Finally, 2012 has been the age of the superstar rock n roll DJ. What’s the most rock n roll thing Paul van Dyk has done this year (that’s legal to print!)?

Hmmm. Well I guess this is quite rock n roll. I played at a boat party recently and after some persuasion I climbed out of this cabin that I was DJing in and went for a bit of a crowd-surf, which was a lot of fun! I made it all the way to the middle of the floor, stopped off for a bit of a dance and a chat, then back (in one piece) and just in time to get the next track in. In terms of a crowd-surf, I’d say it was textbook!

Sadly that is all we have time for, a big thank you to Paul van Dyk for taking the time out to speak with us.

You can catch Paul van Dyk performing at the O2 Acadmey in Leeds (5th October) and at Electric Brixton in London (13th October) as part of his Evolution World tour, click on one of the following links to get your ticket and a FREE track:

Electric Brixton, London

O2 Acamdeny, Leeds

Check out the Evolution album below and download...

Artist:
Label: 3beat Records
Genre: Trance
Release Date: 2012-08-20
MP3 320kbs$ 11.14
WAV$ 12.81

Paul van Dyk's track recommendations:

Las Salinas is three guys from Tel Aviv, who were behind the ‘Stone Pony’ track we put out on VANDIT at the start of the summer. Against the odds I think they managed to squeeze even more ‘spirit of Ibiza’ into ‘The Ocean’ than there was already. 

Artist:
Label: Captivating Sounds
Genre: Trance (Uplifting)
Release Date: 2012-07-09
MP3 320kbs$ 1.56
WAV$ 1.85

Probably Heatbeat’s biggest to date. ‘Chow Mein’s got that spikey type of electro appeal that really sets light to the speakers and works across a variety of floors (and continents!). 

Artist:
Label: Euphonic
Genre: Trance (Uplifting)
Release Date: 2012-06-22
MP3 320kbs$ 1.56
WAV$ 1.85

DJs Supporting: 9

Stoneface & Terminal work the vocoder brilliantly here and come up with something really special. The end of the break seems to ensure that there’s not a single foot left off the dancefloor.

Artist:
Label: Air Up There Recordings
Genre: Trance (Progressive)
Release Date: 2012-05-14
MP3 320kbs$ 1.56
WAV$ 1.85

DJs Supporting: 1

Big, jacking beats, speed-stopping effects, with thrashing riffs that really tear up the bigger rooms. It might have been made in Estonia, but this definitely has some Stateside flavour about it. 

Artist:
Label: Armada Music
Genre: House / Electro
Release Date: 2012-05-04
MP3 320kbs$ 1.56
WAV$ 1.85

DJs Supporting: 11

This is a one of those tracks where you think you know exactly how its going to play out it and then suddenly it veers off in this completely different (and in this case almost Daft Punk-ish) direction. Best part is it works so well.

Artist:
Label: AnjunaDeep
Genre: House / Electro
Release Date: 2012-05-21
MP3 320kbs$ 1.56
WAV$ 1.85

Answer 42 do a great job of mixing up those European house sounds with cooler trancier elements. Another great example right here. 

Artist:
Label: VANDIT Records (Armada)
Genre: Trance
Release Date: 2012-09-21
MP3 320kbs$ 1.56
WAV$ 1.85

This track from Ali builds and builds throughout the drop, without ever being in danger of losing the floor. Pays out big too.  

Artist:
Label: Defcon Recordings
Genre: Trance (Uplifting)
Release Date: 2012-04-16
MP3 320kbs$ 1.56
WAV$ 1.85

Really liked these guys first track ‘Distraction’ and I think this might be even bigger. Pure blood trancer for the peak of the peak hour. Drops a storm every time. 

Artist:
Label: Coldharbour Red Recordings
Genre: Trance (Uplifting)
Release Date: 2012-07-02
MP3 320kbs$ 1.56
WAV$ 1.85

DJs Supporting: 31

'The Dark Knight’ starts churning out the atmosphere from its very first bar and when the drums take over in the drop, you see the crowd respond every time. Very talented guy - can’t wait to hear what he comes up with next. 

Artist:
Label: Armind
Genre: Trance (Tech Trance, Uplifting)
Release Date: 2012-05-28
MP3 320kbs$ 1.56
WAV$ 1.85

This will go down as one of the most enduring tracks of 2012. Very simple, but incredibly effective - that’s the secret sometimes. 

Keep up to date with Paul van Dyk on the following portals:

http://www.paulvandyk.com/

http://www.facebook.com/PVD

http://twitter.com/paulvandyk