TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
Paul van DykPaul van Dyk is a German dance music producer and DJ who has played a pivotal role in shaping the trance music sound and genre in the 1990’s since starting DJ-ing in Berlin the early 90’s.  His career accelerated during the super-club era of the late 1990’s and he became particularly closely associated with the Gatecrasher franchise. From the early 2000’s van Dyk began to pursue a more commercial musical direction, producing artist albums that have gained critical and mainstream international success.  Van Dyk continues to be and in-demand headline DJ across the globe. Van Dyk has his own radio show "Paul van Dyk’s VONYC Sessions" and is associated with various political and charitable interests.
Paul van Dyk scales of success
Paul van Dyk timeline

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Amin van Buuren early years

Early Years: 1993 to 1998

Born in East Berlin before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Paul van Dyk cites relying upon Western radio stations and smuggled mix tapes for discovering music. Though he and his mother (his father left when he was three) were able to move to the west shortly before the wall came down, he returned to Berlin once it had and soon established himself on Berlin’s growing club scene, starting at club Tresor in 1991.

By 1993 he was producing tracks as one half of The Visions of Shiva (along with Cosmic Baby) and hosting regular nights at the legendary E-Werk club venue. It was here that the van Dyk along with pioneers such as Dr Motte helped draw the blue print of the trance genre. Under the guidance of his label boss and friend Mark Reeder van Dyk released his debut album 45 RPM in 1994 and follow-up Seven Ways in 1996. Van Dyk however remained a relatively unknown outside of Germany until 1997 when he found UK success with ‘Seven Ways’ (which had been licensed to Deviant records) and the single ‘Words’ (also on Deviant).

Armin van Buuren peak yearsLater Years: 1998 to Present

If 1997 was van Dyk’s breakthrough year, the rest of the decade can be considered his most important and successful within the trance genre. It was with a remix though that van Dyk truly announced his arrival. Van Dyk’s remix of Binary Finary’s trance classic ‘1998’ was a genre defining moment: its piercing kick drum, driving off beat bass and cascading arpeggios stood out from anything else at the time like a manifesto for what trance music should become. Van Dyk followed up quickly on its huge success with a similarly reworked version of his 1994 track ‘For An Angel’, which in its new guise became a club anthem. Van Dyk’s rise to prominence followed that of the super club and super star DJ era and in 1998 he became a resident at the UK’s Gatecrasher in Sheffield where he became renowned for marathon 7 hour DJ sets.

Van Dyk was by now firmly established as one of the most important figures in trance and was voted "Best International DJ Award" at the 1999 Music Awards in London. The same year he enjoyed chart and mainstream airplay success with ‘Tell Me Why (The Riddle), a collaboration with Saint Etienne. ‘Tell Me Why’ featured as part of van Dyk’s 2000 album ‘Out There and Back’. The album was significant as it saw van Dyk begin to break away from his trance and club scene routes and pursue a more mainstream and commercial sound. The approach proved successful, with the single ‘We Are Alive’ a European chart hit.

Throughout the noughties van Dyk’s musical output became increasingly distant from trance, with releases such as 2003’ Grammy nominated ‘Reflections’ and 2007’s ‘In Between’ which featured collaborations with artists as diverse as David Byrne and Pussycat Dolls’ Jessica Sutta. The shift in direction was a statement of internet and van Dyk began to pointedly position himself not as an exponent of trance but ‘electronic dance music’. Van Dyk’s DJ career though continued to flourish, seeing him voted #1 DJ in the prestigious DJ Magazine awards in 2005 and 2006. And despite his disowning of trance (which he has argued is dominated by vocal ‘crap’) van Dyk remains hugely popular with trance fans and plays major trance events such as Dance Valley and Trance Energy.

Though he remains a prolific and in demand remixer, including remixes for Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, van Dyk’s creative output now includes more diverse projects. These include creating music for video games (such as EA Games’ ‘Grand Slam Tennis’) and performing with the Hessen Rundfunk symphony orchestra. He additionally hosts a radio show "Paul van Dyk’s VONYC Sessions" which airs weekly on the Area Channels on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Soundgarden, Fritz radio, the internet (www.fritz.de) and Galaxy FM (in the UK).


Paul van Dyk’s career is intimately linked with the rise and fall of the trance genre: his style became trance as the genre sparked into life and as his fame grew he became one of the most important figures in trance, shaping and popularizing the genre. Without him the sound of trance would not have been what it became. His original trance productions were arguably less influential than his remixes and DJ sets but he has proven himself skilled at crafting more mainstream productions.
Born in Eisenhuettenstadt, East Germany on December 16, 1971, Paul van Dyk grew up in communist East Berlin and was brought up by his mother, his father having left home when he was just three. He is married to Natascha van Dyk. Since the mid 2000’s van Dyk has become increasingly involved in politics and charitable work, including the US’s Rock the Vote in 2004 and his children’s charities in Mubai, India and in Berlin. The latter won him Berlin’s Medal of Honor (Landesverdienstorden) in 2006.