Based solely on the votes of dance music lovers, the Top 100 poll is an example of democracy in action. Which is something that genuinely pleases Paul van Dyk as he has been voted into the upper echelons of the chart again, but he also knows not to take the word 'democracy' lightly. "The reason I'm engaged in politics and charity work is because I grew up in a dictatorship," he states. "I know that for democracy to function people have to get involved." For what distinguishes van Dyk from other DJs almost as much as his musical prowess is his dedication to charity work and politics, as well as the dancefloor. An active advocate for charities, Paul consults with German politicians on issues such as poverty and education, making him an unusual figure in the often apolitical world of dance music, but for a man born in Communist East Berlin politics and music have always been inextricably linked. "That cultural revolution of the 1990s wouldn't have happened without the Berlin wall coming down," he believes. "Suddenly there was this explosion of creative energy where what had been a tiny subculture developed into the biggest youth culture in the world." A story which was part of the background to his recent 'My City, My Life' documentary for CNN, where PvD led a camera crew around his old childhood haunts in the former East Berlin. The fact that an international news channel chose him to represent his home shows how respected he has become since beginning his DJ career in 1991, something also apparent from the sheer scale of his international 'In Between' album tour and the fact that he was forced to move his annual New York show from Central Park to Pier 54 in Manhattan simply to accommodate the enormous crowds flocking to see him. And whilst he's one of the few European DJs to crack the notoriously dancephobic American mainstream, he's also a legend in Ibiza, where he's just completed a season as Cream's resident and mixed the club's 'Ibiza 2008' compilation. "It's a great honour but it was also quite a challenge mixing the CD because you have to predict what the Ibiza anthems are going to be in March so the CD's ready for release in summer," he says. Having said that, the fact that Paul is playing them is often enough to make a tune an anthem by itself, and his endorsement is an undoubted boon to artists like Jon O'Bir and Giuseppe Ottaviani who he has signed to Vandit. "I'm so proud of all our artists and the bright future ahead of them," beams Paul. "Vandit is just about putting out all the electronic music I love, ranging between elements that are deep and tense to punchy and energetic." As for PvD's own productions, he's recently released the 'In Between Hands On' EP of remixes on vinyl, even though he plays his own sets purely from his laptop these days. "But I still believe there is space for people who love vinyl even if I don't use it myself," he explains. But what's most exciting him for the future is the forthcoming series of chillout compilations inspired by various cities, especially since the first 'New York' edition features exclusive artwork from van his idol Lou Reed. "Who would believe he would agree to do it?" he says of the notoriously obtuse rock star. "But I explained that this wasn't going to be just another background chillout CD but something beautiful and intense that needed something worthy to be looked at whilst you're listening. He loved the music and has provided some photographs, and what better way to see New York than through his eyes?"