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Paul van Dyk
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Position: 
5

Questions Top100 DJs 2009 - admin - 2015-06-30 17:26

Style: 
Trance, electronic dance music.
Best known for: 
His label Vandit and 'For An Angel'.
Tune of the year: 
Barry Jay 'Infused' (Perfecto)
Gig of 2009: 
Central Park, New York
Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2009: 
Alex Morph
The track that changed your life: 
The Smiths 'Hand In Glove' (Rough Trade)
What makes a good DJ great: 
The confidence of knowing what your own sound is. And not being a snobby ass and playing for yourself.
Most underrated DJ: 
Tyler Michaud
Biggest challenge this year: 
Restructuring my company and fine-tuning things.
Top tech toy: 
My iPod. I play with it all the time.

"I'm a real homie," says Paul van Dyk. "I really enjoy being at home, but at the same time, I have the wrong job for that. So I wanted to say thank you to all the people who come out and see me, because they make me feel like I'm at home. This is something really special and I can't thank them enough for it. The best way, I thought, was to give them back a track. So he did. And as well as being a thank you to his party faithful, his latest single 'Home', he says, is also the first hint of what we might expect from his next album, following the release of this year's 'Best Of' collection, 'Volume'. As DJmag went to press, 'Home' was riding the top of the UK dance music chart. His album now beckons. "I'm busy with the preparation at the moment, the writing, and some collaborating," he says, though he won't be drawn just yet on exactly who will be helping him out (Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and Jessica Sutta of The Pussycat Dolls pitched up for his last set, 'In Between', in 2007). "We also finally gave in to the pressure to re-release 'For An Angel', which has been really successful." "We had a phenomenal Ibiza season too," adds Paul. "Even with the economic and financial climate worldwide, it didn't really affect us as much. Numbers were down on the island, I'm pretty sure, but at the same time, people chose a little more carefully where they were going. Luckily enough, when I played in Ibiza, they chose to see me and I'm very thankful for that." These days there's little to separate PvD's live sets from his DJing. The last time he played a vinyl record was at the Miami Winter Music Conference in 2002. A bad experience with an early incarnation of Final Scratch saw him bin off the vinyl in favour of CDs, and he's never looked back. But things have since moved on. "I'm as excited about this music as I have ever been. I don't use CD players anymore or turntables; I have two computer systems on stage. I developed the same passion for making music as I had for DJing, and with this set-up I can do both at the same time. For me, that's the ultimate thing. It's so exciting to play. Every night, something new happens, and I'm pretty much making a new track. It's really inspiring." Equally inspiring is Paul's rise to international superstardom. Born Matthias Paul behind the Iron Curtain, he grew up in Communist East Berlin, just he and his mother. When the wall fell, he abandoned plans to become a carpenter and they moved to the West. Within a year, he was playing at Berlin's legendary techno stronghold Tresor and the now defunct E-Werk, alongside the leading lights of the German techno and trance scenes emerging in the early-'90s. Since then, he has sold an astonishing three million records, held residencies around the world, including his feted stint at Gatecrasher, and released five artist albums, as well as remixing everyone from Underworld and Depeche Mode to Justin Timberlake and U2. Politicised and aware that he can make a difference, his work for charity is well documented. Later this month, he is handing over the ticket sales from an event in Manila as aid for the floods that killed hundreds just weeks ago. "That show is going to be something that is really emotional," he says. This year, he played his seventh annual outdoor show in New York (returning to its original site after a brief stint relocated to Pier 54 by the Hudson River) on the West side of Central Park. Clearly it's something that has become a very important date in the diary for PvD. "It's difficult to describe. It's special," he says. "Not just for me but for the whole team. We established something on the global map of electronic music that as soon as we announce the dates that we're going to do it, people start booking their flights. It's the most international crowd. It's phenomenal, really."

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