In 1999, the readers of the English magazine "DJ" voted Paul as the "Best Music Maker", ahead of DJ legends Fatboy Slim (2) and Paul Oakenfold (3). Then at the 1999 Music Awards in London he received the "Best international DJ award". The "Ministry of Sound” Magazine elected him as the "Best international DJ", and his regular 6 hour set at “Gatecrasher” was voted as the "second best club night ever" by the readers of the English magazine "Muzic".
His hit singles "Another Way and Tell me why" and "We are alive" spent serveral weeks at number 1 in the German Dance - charts, and also reached number 15, 13 & 7 in the UK Sales - charts. He continuously moved-up in “DJ Magazine’s” annual list of the "Top 100 DJ´s worldwide", then in September 1999, "Mixmag” Magazine elected him as "Man of the year" and "Muzik Magazine" named him as "Leader of the Trance Nation".
Paul van Dyk himself, however, isn’t so happy with the label of "Leader".
"I wouldn’t call myself a leader" he says. "Of course a man making music is (literally) standing in publicity. But the main thing for me is the music. I don’t want to lead people, I want to tempt them, to create a new world for them, just for that very small moment when they are losing themselves in my music. I want to inspire them.”
And this is from a man who regularly works both sides of the turntable, as recording artist and performing DJ.
“I mean, simply spinning or producing some tracks without feelings, without communication, without inspiration, …this isn't enough. My music grows with the reactions of the listeners, there's communication between us.”
…And in regards to “Trance” ?
"I don’t create ‘Trance Music’, I really don’t like to give my music a name, I don’t like to categorize it. If I had to, I’d call it ‘Electronic Dance Music’. For me, this is my language.”
…A universal language, understood by people of every nation in every part of the world. Simply put, Paul van Dyk creates music that simply captures one’s emotions!
Born December 16th, 1971 in Eisenhuettenstadt, East Germany, Paul grew up in communist East Berlin. Prior to Germany’s reunification, he at least had an early window to the capitalist world via the cross-border airwaves.
"We were able to see Westside - TV and listen to western radio stations. We recorded the music and replayed it at our parties, because in the east we didn’t have something like a club culture. In those days I listened to the radio show of Monika Dietl. I was really captivated by the music of ‘The Smiths’ and ‘New Order’. It (the music) was very strong and emotional.”
Then in 1989, as the wall finally came down, a broad Club culture sprung up throughout all of Berlin. "Mainly they played that hard Detroit - Techno. I liked this energetic spirit, but something was missing. I (was looking out) for something else."
That search would never leave him. Stemming from two crusty old turntables, the first remix tapes of his musical ideas were created. And only a bit later, in March 1991, his unique style of dance music was played for the very first time to the public at the embryonic Berlin club "Tresor".
Around this same period, Paul also started making his own original compositions. His first production "Perfect Day", put together with Cosmic Baby as "Visions of Shiva", was released in 1992. "I was pleased like a little child, holding my own very first record in my hands!,” Paul remembers. "Perfect Day" was published by the Berlin underground label “MFS”, and launched a promising career, which aimed without pause or hesitation for the top !
In 1993 Paul created the club hit of the year with his remix of Humate’s "Love Stimulation". The following year, his first album "45 RPM" was recorded, while he was also regularly spinning sets at the legendary club “E – Werk”.
Over the next few years Paul garnered further respect by remixing tracks of many renowned artists such as Inspiral Carpets, Sven Väth, Curve and New Order. This was of course until the release of his second album, "Seven Ways", which firmly established him as one of the world’s truly great electronic artists.
“Seven Ways” unleashed a frenzy of national and international interviews, and many globe-roaming DJ - sets as well, as Paul was catapulted into the Top 100 - Salecharts. Even the English music media, typically protective of their own homespun DJ artists, unanimously praised the record. Readers of "DJ Magazine” – voted “Seven Ways” as the Number 1 album of the year. Bellowing singles such as "Beautiful Place", "Forbidden Fruit" and "Words", featuring remixes of Salt Tank, Quattara and Curve, fully secured him a place as a major player in the British and European dancecharts.
Before the club closed, Paul became an institution at Berlin’s “E – Werk”, regularly spinning new musical magic, with guest appearances by fellow superstar DJ’s Nick Warren, BT, Dave Seaman and Sasha.
In 1998 his first album "45 RPM" was released in the UK, and the new remix of the single "For an Angel" attacked the worldwide dancefloors. The album buzzed for two weeks at number 1 in England and four weeks at number 1 in the German dancecharts, and also achieved major postings in the American, Australian, Dutch, Belgian and Scandinavian dancecharts.
However, Paul’s core sentiments are not as a producer, to be shuttered away in some stealthy studio, but as a performing DJ very willing to be seen, and with a deep desire to have contact with his audience, whether it be 500 people or 1.5 million…
"As I began my career as a DJ I discovered that there is a really deep communication between DJ and people. I learned to observe the different vibrations, learned how to move the crowd, and how to create atmosphere." Paul remembers, "…because while spinning, an interaction takes place between the people and me. I never come into a club and spin just a ready set. It is also a very new experience for me every time, and nobody knows in advance how it will end.”
Now he creates that experience regularly, as resident - DJ in New York’s "Twilo" club, at the acclaimed "Gatecrasher" in Sheffield, and in his hometown of Berlin.
In 1999 Paul was divorced from his former label “MFS” and started up, together with his team, the new label "Vandit" – Records. This label presents both Paul’s releases, as well as other new and innovative dance/DJ artists.
In England, “Deviant” - Records are taking care of Paul’s creative output, whose brainstorm was the 1998 Triple - CD "Vorsprung Dyk Technik". Combining 33 tracks, it is the most exhaustive collection of Paul’s remixes to date, containing classics like Humate’s "Love Stimulation" and Joe T. Vanelli ‘s "Playing with the Voice in Germany" as well as Binary Finary’s clubhit "1998" and Paul’s own chart single "For an Angel". A year after its release in Nov 1999, "Vorsprung Dyk Technik" was officially declared "Silver" with over 60,000 UK sales, a very rare feat indeed for a Triple - CD.
Paul´s third album „Out There and Back“ was released in summer 2000 and went straight in the Top 20 album sales charts in the UK and Germany.
Singles like „We are alive“ and „Tell me why“ entered the sales charts with top positions in the UK on number 15 & 7 and 14 in Germany.
In October 2001 was the release
of the Columbia EP. This record is rounding off with the new remixes from
the „Out There And Back“ album as well as the 3 new tracks „Movement“ & „Out There“ & „ A Different journey to Vega“.
Today Paul’s touring diary is incredibly hectic with regular globetrotting stops at major venues in London, Melbourne, Mexico, New York and Singapore. Between all that, Berlin is always there and waiting – if not for the interviews and local club dates, then for looking after his own label, recording studio and radio show (not to mention his friends and family as well!).
"It isn't the success or which place I take in the salecharts that is important for me. (What’s) most important are the people, the family, friends, ..and everyone, (especially) where I’ve changed something. I am really pleased when someone tells me: ‘Hey, by hearing your song something changed in my life!’" Paul says, "I’ve never made music for being trendy or making the fat money. I make music for myself, …it (the music) comes directly from my stomach, my music springs from an intense feeling. And every track has its own little story…"
On the 5th of November 2002 Paul`s first mix CD since 8 years was
released on Ministry of Sound. “The Politics of Dancing“ is a new mixture of artist album and mix CD.Paul reworked most of the tracks in the studio before he started mixing. “The Politics of Dancing“ is the first compilation that was released on the same day worldwide.
“Remember the beginning of the 1990´s ? We all said that this was as much a political movement as it as a cultural one. But now clubs are getting closed by the authorities. They don´t understand and accept it as a global youth culture. That´s what I wanted to make aware off that´s for me „Politics of Dancing“.
Flanders Expo, Gent
Recreatieschap Spaarnwoude, Velsen Zuid
Paard van Troje, Den Haag
Paard van Troje, Den Haag
Long Marston Airfield, Stratford upon Avon
The Bowl, Hampshire
Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam
Hotel Arena, Amsterdam
Old Liverpool Airfield, Speke
Raketenbasis PYDNA, Hunsrück
Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam
Floriade terrein, Haarlemmermeer
Statenhal Den Haag, Den Haag