This is a mix compilation that's has been in the making for quite a few years and has some big shoes to fill following on from the previous releases. It's one I've been anticipating for well over a year from Paul van Dyk, the question is does it live up to the expectations?
It’s not that often Paul van Dyk releases a mix compilation. If you look back to all his previous mix releases you won’t find that many. There would be one though in the previous back catalogue that stands out as one of the finest of all time. That would of course be ‘The Politics of Dancing’. It was released on the Ministry of Sound way back in 2001 and featured two mixes, both tweaked and edited by Paul to suit his banging style. It was, his first ever mix compilation ever and one which sits very highly as one of the best of all time in my music collection. He followed that up with a second edition in 2005, this time released on Positiva. While maybe not getting the status of his first mix the follow up was still a very tidy two disc mix. It’s been ten years since the second and after a few years of teasing the third, it’s finally here!
:: Listen to the sneak preview on Paul's YouTube page here!
01: Paul van Dyk and Mark Eteson feat Tricia McTeague – Heart Like An Ocean
02: Paul van Dyk feat Sue McLaren – Lights
03: Paul van Dyk, FKN and Mohamed Ragab feat. Jahala – My World
04: Mino Safy Around The Garden – Paul van Dyk Remix
05: Paul van Dyk and Michael Tsukerman feat Patrick Droney – What We’re Livin For
06: Paul van Dyk and Giuseppe Ottaviani feat Fisher – In Your Arms
07: Paul van Dyk and Ummet Ozcan – Come With Me (We Are One) (Paul van Dyk Festival Mix)
08: Paul van Dyk and Aly & Fila feat Sue McLaren – Guardian
09: Paul van Dyk and Las Salinas feat. Betsie Larkin – Love Is
10: Paul van Dyk and Genix – For You
11: Paul van Dyk and Stoneface & Terminal – Follow Me
12: Paul van Dyk and Jordan Suckley – City Of Sound
13: Paul van Dyk, Jessus and Adham Ashraf feat Tricia McTeague – Only In A Dream (PvD Club Mix)
14: Paul van Dyk and Roger Shah feat Daphne Khoo – Louder (PvD vs Ben Nicky Remix)
01: Full compilation mix from Paul
I must say that before I’d even heard this mix, I had my doubts on it. Paul has had a few single releases over the past year or so but none have really got my attention much. Maybe, like a few others, I’m used to the Paul van Dyk banging of old. His style has changed a little in recent years, while he still does bang out a beat, he has moved into more vocal stuff with that tendency to focus on the drop, if you know what I mean. Perhaps I’ve been listening to his sets from early 2000 a bit too much. So, the name excites me, but the tracklist and format did not. Just the one disc this time around, with all Paul van Dyk stuff on featuring collaborations and vocalists. Those amongst the collaborations include Giuseppe Ottaviani, Genix, Jordan Suckley, Aly & Fila, FKN, Sue McLaren, Betsie Larkin, Ummet Ozcan, Rogar Shah, Ben Nicky and Fisher. Paul has some very high profile company for the third editions of Politics.
Being a bit of a traditionalist I of course went for the CD edition, there is something about having the finished article in your hands rather than just a file in a folder. The thing with traditional media is though; it’s easily tucked away in the collection and forgotten. The CD edition comes as a twin pack, the first disc with just the singles on their own line a stern. The second, is a full on mixed edition blended together by Paul. This is where you want to focus your attention as all my misconceptions on how this compilation would be, were a little off the mark. It’s actually rather good! Maybe I’ve just not really settled down and listened to Paul’s tracks over the past year or so but the tunes in here take you to a very good place.
Approach this mix with an open ear and wash away pre conceptions of what you expect it to sound like and I think you will enjoy it to. There are some nice vocal moments, sweet melodies and uplifting sequences that keep your interest. While it might not be the banging club set fro start to finish it displays the variety in sound Paul has in his armoury today. Does it compare to the editions of the last decade? It’s impossible to compare as music evolution has come a long way since then. If you to make one comparison, you could say the album back then was more club focused, the edition today has a little bit more mainstream influence on it. Don’t get too concerned, Paul van Dyk is a long way from turning into a Tiesto and babysitting every weekend.
Trance is still there within his electronic dance music spectrum, but I feel his own sound is spreading out further than it ever has. I really enjoyed this mix, it put aside my concerns I had when reading about it. I still don’t know why it took so long to come out, especially as a year or so ago he went on the ‘Politics of Dancing 3’ tour, that’s usually after the album’s released.
This was a very enjoyable journey from start to end from Paul and his many contributors. It takes you through a broad spectrum of the PvD sound and not just the banging club stuff you sweat it out to every weekend. Tens years on from the last, the politics have begun a new chapter.