To say Paul van Dyk has influenced the course of electronic music over the past two decades would be like saying the sky is blue. The East German DJ headlines countless clubs and festivals all across the globe year-round, and he continues to push the trance envelope with The Politics of Dancing 3, out now on various formats from Ultra Music.
He’s also aware of the benefits of hi-res audio. “I’m proud of the convenience of the MP3, but when you listen to my music as an MP3, especially ‘Heart Like an Ocean’ on the new album, it seems like two of the bass lines are missing,” van Dyk says. “The thing is, we have to look at the reality of the way most of the people are listening to music — via their phones or via their iPads. That’s what it is. Still, I’m producing everything in the highest quality possible for the people who actually listen to it in a finer environment. That’s what comes out of the machine.”
van Dyk feels there’s a disconnect from quality in current popular music, something that has its origins in production standards — or the lack thereof. “To me, as an artist, the original composing of the idea is even more important these days,” he explains. “If you listen to some of the most successful tracks on radio now, they sound horrible. It makes you wonder, ‘How can people not hear that?’ But that’s what it is. The overall thing is what needs to be right to me. And,” he says with a chuckle, “I also understand I’m not your average music consumer anyway. The most time I listen to music outside of working on it is either in the car, which is not the ideal surrounding, or on the plane with my phone via some headphones. I have good headphones, I have to say — Sony HD7506 professional-grade headphones.”
Read more of my interview with van Dyk on Digital Trends.