Paul van Dyk

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About Paul van Dyk

Since the ‘90s, Germany has been one of global dance music’s key hubs, and Paul van Dyk was one of the scene’s original ambassadors. Born in the former East German town of Eisenhüttenstadt in 1971, the young van Dyk first encountered electronic music on the radio, and he began DJing in Berlin’s fertile club scene after the fall of the Wall. His early single “For an Angel,” the enduring centerpiece of his 1994 debut album, 45 RPM, paired synth-pop melodies with the pumping grooves of trance and techno. As electronic music became a worldwide phenomenon, van Dyk became a trance superstar, but he didn’t stop there: Collaborating with musicians like Saint Etienne and Curve’s Toni Halliday, he branched out from trance music’s linear, arpeggiated form to embrace more melodic pop sounds. He’s remained just as versatile over the years—with, for instance, the pop-EDM of 2012’s “Eternity,” featuring Owl City’s Adam Young—but the trance pioneer has never turned his back on the genre that made him, continuing to release a steady stream of uplifting, hypnotic, blissfully psychedelic club anthems.

Eisenhüttenstadt, East Germany
December 16, 1971

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