To most dance-music fans, the name Paul van Dyk needs no introduction. The Grammy-winning German electronic artist has been creating beautiful, exhilarating trance-kissed tracks for more than 20 years, and is one of the very first to be dubbed a “superstar DJ.”
Van Dyk has been prolific in churning out remixes and compilation mixes over the years, but it’s his composing that truly sets him apart, most notably the tracks “For An Angel,” “Tell Me Why (The Riddle),” “We Are Alive,” “Another Way,” “Home” and “Time of Our Lives.”
He returns to Miami Music Week with dates at Dream (for his label Vandit Records’ showcase), Club Space, the Musette Yacht Party and, of course, the Ultra Music Festival.
You’re down here for a few gigs – I imagine your sets will be different at each?
Dream obviously is not that much about me – it’s more about the whole record label. We have a lot of our artists performing, and it’s like giving an overview of what’s going on with the label. And there will be special guests, but I can’t say much more. I don’t think I am gonna be playing in the way that most people expect [laughs]. And of course Friday night playing at Space is always something special – it’s a very electronic, very dedicated, punchy room, so it’s gonna be a longer set than I get to play at Ultra. And the other thing is the boat party, and it’s gonna be somewhat different because as soon as you’re on the boat it’s a very different vibe and a very different feel to it.
So will you be playing at all at Dream, or just not how people might expect?
Ummmm – I didn’t say any such thing [laughs]. Let’s put it this way: It is my record label, and I’m on my record label. And I’m part of the Vandit family, and I’m definitely gonna be there.
Space is inside, and Ultra is outside – do you tailor your sets differently to fit each?
Well, it kind of automatically happens this way, because of the way I play. It’s always down to the occasion and the feel and the vibe, and of course playing at Space, which is a dark, confined room, versus downtown Miami outside, it’s a different flavor and probably a different kind of energy as well.
Will you be focusing on your new compilation mix and new artist album?
Well, both. The thing is, I constantly get tweets and Facebook messages: Please play this, please play that. So I’m gonna play some of my classics like “For An Angel” and “Home” and “Time of Our Lives” and things like that. And a lot of the very, very new material from the album. There’s more of the new album as part of the performance at Space and probably on the boat, because a festival is always there to present an overview of what’s going on. Of course there’s gonna be new music, but it’s also about everyone having a good time at the festival. So it’s a variety of things.
How would you characterize the sound of the new artist album, and when will it hit the streets?
As we speak, actually, the record label is starting a meeting in New York, so after that we’ll know more about the release. Musically it’s pretty much finished. And I’m not a journalist – you guys have this really difficult responsibility of finding words for music. I can’t do that. I’m always amazed at how much talent you guys have to kind of do that. To me, it is electronic music, and it has a very melodic element to it as much as it’s very energetic. It’s not a stereotype EDM sound – it’s kind of like a logical progression further on from what I do. To begin with, I’m an artist, and my favorite thing to do is music, and my favorite music is electronic. And this is where I put all my passion.
Ultra is only for one weekend this year, after being stretched to two in 2013. Do you think two weekends was too much?
Well, I don’t know – I had fun on both weekends last year, so I think it’s down to the organization of Ultra why they went down to one. Maybe they felt it is all much more compact if they have it together as one. Maybe it also has to do with the city officials in Miami, because obviously closing down the city center for two weeks is very different from one week.
Do you feel that the city of Miami is still the best place for the conference?
Well, the Winter Music Conference is still a very important music convention where people meet from all over the world, listening to new things, to new trends, sort of seeing new technology that is being used to produce and perform this music. I think it’s still a very amazing place – it sits at the right spot geographically. And it’s very well put in terms of the date. So yeah, absolutely.