De vorige 'The Politics Of Dancing' zag alweer tien jaar geleden het daglicht als mix-album. Dit was al een tweede deel van een serie Inmiddels is er een derde deel. Welke filosofie zit er achter de titel van de serie? Maatschappijkritisch? Wij vroegen het Paul van Dyk...
Let's start at the beginning. Why was 'The Politics Of Dancing' originally named 'The Politics Of Dancing'?
Well, I became interested in politics, across a wide range of area's fairly, early in my life. It had to do with being raised in East Berlin, during the communist times. There was a natural crossroads where the worlds of dancing and politics met and I decided to highlight that through the album's title. It's important to clarify, though, that when the title says 'the politics of dancing', it's not a statement about politics-politics. It's more an observation on the diplomatic aspects of politics.
In Ibiza, many years ago, I watched a friend from Tel Aviv and another from Beirut bond over club music. Had it not been there, they otherwise would never have met. And they said, 'look, we are just like any young people. We want healthy, peaceful living. If we're able to dance side by side, why can't we have this with our countries being so close?
In 2015, the need for this type of club or dance diplomacy is even greater than it was in 2001. In a very personal respect, I see what sort of potential electronic music has for uniting people who otherwise would not normally be united. It's tremendously powerful in that way and that's what 'the politics of dancing' really means to me.
I guess the first thing that people will see is that this album is very different in nature to the first two. Why is the reason for that?
'Politics' 1 and 2 were mix-compilations. I've now moved the series to the format of an artist album. I wanted to challenge both some conventions and myself, but it was also out of necessity. A lot has changed in the music industry since 2005. The way we make and produce music, how we release music and how every one of us consumes it. Back around the time of the second album, it was normal to have exclusive music up to 9 months ahead of an album, which is no longer the case. The third 'Politics' had to work around that and have a different methodology from the first two.
How long was the album in production?
Two and a half years, or somewhere around that mark. People began to anticipate the third 'Politics' album around 2008, which was right around the time more and more of my projects began to race for position. From that point people were asking less 'when will there be another one?' and more 'if there'll be another one?' After EVOLUTION's release in 2012, I was drawn back to the idea more and more. It built up until one day, my mind became set and I thought 'Yes, really, why not?' It's my first ever exclusively collaborative album, working alongside 23 other producers, singers and songwriters. There were a lot of 'moving parts', so it relatively took a long time to draw these threads together. We got there in the end, though.
Two and a halfseems like a long time. What was it like to sit down and listen to it from start to finish at the end of that time?
The third 'Politics of Dancing's sound is more of what I'm about than even the first two albums, so that felt good, of course. With 1 and 2, I took music from other people and mixed, remixed and articulated it into a mix-comp. Now, barring one exception, we're talking about tracks that I've written and co-written with other artists. This is pretty much my idea of what electronic music should sound like now. 'Politics' is, in essence, a 'sound dictionary' of where I'm at musically. For me, it continues the theme/thread of the first two, whilst acknowledging the passage of time between the then and the now.
Can we expect another 'The Politics Of Dancing' from you in the future?
There is no advantage in saying definitely 'yes' or definitely 'no' at this point. I really don't know. After the incredible experience this has been, I would 'never say never' to doing another in the future. Politics 3's arrival was an equal outcome of the fans' desires and mine.
What is your world view on the state of electronic music in general at the moment?
Electronic dance music is in good shape and has a very positive future, I think. Electronic pop music – so often camouflaged as electronic dance music - considerably less so.
Are there young artists you hear who are inspiring you?
Certainly, and a good deal of them, I've worked with on 'The Politics Of Dancing 3'. People like Genix, Jordan Suckley and Las Salinas.
What were the earliest musical experiences of Paul van Dyk? What music did you listen to before you before you became professionally involved in the music scene?
I was inspired by groups like The Smiths, Depeche Mode, New Order and others – people who broke new ground.
Do you have one song that defines, represents or maybe was your greatest Inspiration from your younger years?
'Half A Person' by The Smiths... When I was a kid, I was a massive Smiths fan. I didn't speak English, so I didn't know what they were singing about, but I felt they were a very special band.
Let's talk a little about VANDIT. Why did you decide to found VANDIT Records?
What I originally wanted was my own label home where I could have complete freedom to do what I wished and control over my own music. Once I had achieved that freedom and control, it became something I could offer other artists whose music I liked.
It's quite a special year for the label in 2015, isn't it?
It is. Its VANDIT Records 15th anniversary this year.
With the 15th anniversary, how are you choosing to celebrate it?
It's a very exciting time for us, so we're celebrating with a lot of exciting releases and events. The first is our 'Best Of VANDIT Records' music-compilation, which is out now. Many tracks on there are from artists like Armin + Tiësto, Gareth Emery and Lange, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Alex M.O.R.P.H. and myself, of course. That's really just the start of it though, so watch this space!