No one interested in this article needs an explanation of who Paul van Dyk is, but I'm gonna tell you anyway. The German electronic music legend has produced some of the most uplifting and enduring dance anthems (don't let him catch you calling them "trance") of the modern era, such as "We Are Alive," "For an Angel" and "Time of Our Lives." His compilation mixes, most notably his "Politics of Dancing" series, aren't half bad, either. Pick up his greatest hits collection, last year's "Volume," for a quick retrospective on PVD's career, and check him out at Space Friday and Saturday nights, where he'll perform to celebrate his label Vandit.
You usually close out the Ultra festival every year. Why are you skipping it this year?
First of all, it is the 10-year anniversary of Vandit, and we wanted to celebrate this in a very special way, because this is our own label and our musical family. And obviously being part of a festival that has its own agenda wasn't really possible. So what we do instead is take over Space for two days and celebrate with a lot of guests and Vandit artists.
The other thing, in terms of this being a conscious decision not to perform at Ultra this year, is the policy of the festival itself that it has taken now. I remember 10 or 11 years ago, it was like, the Winter Music Conference was a very cool and vibrant thing, and the DJs had the bookings in the clubs. And then it kind of changed, and the Ultra festival was doing exclusivity deals and all sorts of things, and many of the major talents have to choose - they could either play the festival, or be part of the actual Winter Music Conference. And I don't agree with that. It is about the music, and about the people, and not the single festival.
The great thing about the conference is, you could see your favorite DJ playing a beach party, or an afternoon slot somewhere else, or at 9 in a great club. That's all not possible anymore, because they have those exclusivity clauses, and you either do it, or you don't. And I decided I'm not. I prefer to actually play with my crowd, in a way. I think I'm not the only one thinking that way.
What does Vandit mean?
Vandit is a fictional name for our record label, and there's quite a cute little story about it. We played Scrabble one night many years ago, and we had a bottle of wine and a friend of mine whom I started the label with, said "VANDIT" is a word - that's the name of our label. So he won the Scrabble game and we got a great name for our label.
At Space, you have two nights there - will your sets be mostly different?
The thing is, we have different guests, and of course because of that they're going to be two very different nights. At the same time, we all represent our sound. I'm the only one who's playing both nights, and for me, it's always about interaction with the crowd, and the crowd is going to be somewhat different from Friday to Saturday. So the set is going to be somewhat different. But at the end of the day, it's going to be a big birthday bash for the label, and a big celebration with a lot of great new music and a lot of classics from the past 10 years. So it's going to be really cool.
Paul van Dyk