Music Reviews

Paul van Dyk



You can imagine the scene: Paul van Dyk and BT, sitting around the dining room table, knocking back a few and fiddling with their Korgs. Suddenly, one says, “I should make a Greatest Hits CD!” The other enthusiastically agrees. “I’ll do one too,” he says. And then the brainwave hits: “I know,” the first says, “let’s take our acclaimed compositions and make shitty continuous mixes out of them! I mean, we are electronica artists.”

Here, then, is the jumping off point for Global: it’s inevitable that this disc is gonna suck. The point of a DJ mix is to find songs that form a cohesive yet varied whole; so, as a general rule, taking a dozen tracks by one artist and making a mix from them is not a recipe for success. The resulting mix will either be too samey to be enjoyable or too forcefully stitched together to take into account the mix as a separate piece of art. Global is both these things. Van Dyk can mix, but this set feels forced. More than that, it’s rushed – even sloppy – in some places.

The second disc in this package is a mix of the same tracks accompanied by a film of van Dyk “going global.” Yes folks, welcome to the age of the DVD bonus. For a staunch anti-drug campaigner, it’s hard to see the relevance of this hour-long movie’s inclusion when its only obvious purpose is to provide spaced-out viewing for a drug-addled mind. It’s like a travel show with a very rave-inclined producer and no narration or dialogue.

The DVD actually proves itself on the ‘extra features’ front, with five music videos, a brief interview and trailers for the (unwaveringly shocking) films to which van Dyk has put his name/music. Less essential is the collage of interviewees who extol van Dyk’s virtues – utterly boring, frankly, and not the best way to sell his fans to viewers.

In the end, Paul van Dyk’s Global falls flat. A far cry from the sequencing prowess evidenced on his 1998 release, Vorsprung Dyk Technik, and a dismally inadequate way of showcasing the music that he’s unleashed on the trance scene, this Greatest Hits package is an exercise in frustration.

Mute Records: • Paul van Dyk:

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