Paul van Dyk — Politics of Dancing. Brief story behind the compilation

George Palladev / 15.10.2021

Paul van Dyk — Politics of Dancing. Brief story behind the compilation

This compilation dates back to the days when van Dyk celebrated one creative victory after another. In 1999, his releases on his own new label Vandit Records went beyond the borders of his native Germany. His album Out There and Back was selling like hot cakes. Trance music itself captured the world, and van Dyk’s name was on everyone’s lips. The UK Muzik Magazine put the foreigner on the cover, calling him the “Leader of the Trance Nation”. In 1999, he was one of DJ Mag’s top five DJs, and in 2005 and 2006 he became the first, pushing back even Tiesto. Van Buuren and others came later.

Listen Paul van Dyk —— Politics of Dancing • 2001

“Electronic music is all about dancing, of course—but politics?”, van Dyk was asking himself. And he immediately answered with a manifesto. “The last five of six years, we have all been very lazy about one aspect of dance music—that this is a huge youth culture. Yes, clubs are full, there are good record sales and we have many talented musicians, promoters, DJs and producers but we are all really lazy when it comes to one thing. Remember the beginning of the 1990s? We all said that this was as much a political movement as it as a cultural one. There were things growing around it like interior design, fashion design and graphic design—so many things that are relate to this whole movement, which is now a global youth culture. I can’t stress enough that this is youth culture although authorities view it as just entertainment—going out, having a party and enjoying yourselves.

This obviously is a big part as this music is there to give you a good time, but having this free mind means we are always looking for something different. Yet we haven’t brought this across in the last couple of years; and that is why we have suffered at the hands of the authorities as they closed clubs everywhere.” Van Dyk claimed more than the right to dance. He claimed the right to a broad outlook, the right to have a free mind and search for new things, including new music.

He called Politics of Dancing his first (serious) compilation, disregarding several compilations that he had recorded before. Here, he attempted not only to bring together three dozen tracks by other people but, having received the originals, to reassemble them anew. “The main idea was that most of the records would be reworked—not re-edited but properly ripped apart. I would be taking the essential things from the track and in effect remixing rather than re-editing it so there might be new basslines for examples. That’s why it’s rather from a normal mix CD; it’s taking things a step further.” Inside, there was house, trance, a bit of techno (unexpectedly from the compilator himself), a few original remixes, and a couple of unreleased works, for example, Autumn in the classic van Dyk arrangement of the early noughties.

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