Dance Manifesto

Paul van Dyk calls on DJs of the world to unite

Van Dyk takes time out from his artistic credo to converse in German with a caller. Now a valuable commodity, his time is allocated in 15-minute segments for media, friends, and business associates.

Passing the phone to his manager, the DJ continues his unrehearsed manifesto. "Moby used to be electronic, but what he's become famous for is more modern rock," he points out. "It's not really what we call electronic music. Music that's really big on the U.K. charts that sounds like electronic music is more like danceable pop and would never be played in the clubs."

He reserves his opinion on the comparative state of DJ nations, however. "I think it's very arrogant to say the American scene hasn't caught on," he avers. "I mean, who's making the definition and at what point is one scene being considered ahead of another? I never compare these things. I've been coming to the States on a regular basis since '94 and there are so many people here creating this scene. Guys like Taylor and Christopher Lawrence. It's certainly not for any European DJ to say, 'This is how it goes.'"

Olaf Heine
Paul van Dyk: A master at adapting contemporary pop sounds to electronica.
Olaf Heine
Paul van Dyk: A master at adapting contemporary pop sounds to electronica.

The diplomat's hat fits very well. He could grandstand on his own behalf or flat-out refuse interview requests, but he takes the time to wisely clarify all the noise coming from a fledgling movement. But now our time is up. The DJ rises from the couch and sums up his hope for a lasting impression.

"If a few people remember some of my work, fine," van Dyk concludes, "that would be good. I'd like to have caused some excitement, some fun. Music does so much for me. If I can just pass on a little of that on one of my tracks, then I'm glad."

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