Paul van Dyk

The Politics of Dancing

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Before this epic double-disc set for Ministry of Sound, the most respected spinner in progressive trance circles had never released a mix album (barring only a free CD given away with copies of Muzik magazine). While inside the booklet, Van Dyk discourses on the social ramifications of dance music as youth culture (therein the title), the music has a bit more energy. Trance fans will immediately gravitate to the driving one-note basslines, unmissable breakdowns, and occasional vocal tracks from appropriately ethereal females, though The Politics of Dancing isn't at all dance-by-numbers. Besides venturing into breakbeat and even house territory, Van Dyk also indulges in much post-production of his mix. Though often considered a sin in DJ circles, it's wholly welcome here. Most listeners here are playing along at home, after all, and a few well-placed effects are all that's needed to keep attention up. He crafts a nice transition from "Killin' Me" by Timo Maas to "B.W.Y." by Maji Na Damu and plays with his own remix of U2's "Elevation," working it into the own-production "Autumn." As difficult as it is for any trance mix album to rise from the rut of inferior product, The Politics of Dancing accomplishes at least one of the missions in the title (yes, the liner-note essay is a bit daft).

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