VONYC Sessions 2011

Paul van Dyk

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VONYC Sessions 2011 Review

by Jon O'Brien

Whetting the appetite for his long-awaited sixth studio album, VONYC Sessions 2011 is the third installment of Grammy-winning German DJ Paul van Dyk's compilation series, featuring 30 tracks that have been in constant rotation on his weekly syndicated radio show of the same name. Unsurprisingly, the two-CD collection is chock-full of trance favorites, from Cosmic Gate's chopped-up cover version of Jurgen Vries' "The Theme" to Ralphie B.'s lush Chicane-esque "Bullfrog" to melodic vocal-led offerings from Protoculture ("Sun Goes Down") and First State ("Skies on Fire"), while the superstar DJ gets in on the act himself, with both his own material (the squelchy robotics of "Rock This," the pulsing "We Come Together") and remixes of tracks by Hurts ("Sunday"), Moby ("Lie Down in Darkness"), and Rea Garvey ("Can't Stand the Silence"). While the latter reworkings disappointingly fail to build on the originals' floor-filling promise, there are a few more inventive offerings for those who feel his progressive trance sound is starting to become slightly stale, whether it's Jon Rundell's skittering electronica retooling of Carl Cox's "Family Guy," the hypnotic buzzsaw techno of Giuseppi Ottaviani's "Go on Air," or Adam K. and Addy's "Late Night," given the authentic acid house treatment by Criss Wave's Tech-Nautical Remix. Overall, VONYC Sessions 2011 lapses into generic territory a little too often, while van Dyk's contributions are unusually flat, but there are still enough anthemic moments to explain why 52 stations across 23 countries still choose to showcase his talents.

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