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Sunday, September 02, 2007


ModMusic: Paul Van Dyk

Despite his Grammy nominations, acclaimed recordings, and legions of dance-floor adherents, I must admit that I've never been much into DJ/producer Paul Van Dyk. The German-born guru of synth is undoubtedly a superb technician -- near-perfect production values, exquisite instrumentation -- but his songs always seem to lack the musical chops and toe-tapping hooks that make great dance classics. Talented, but groove-deficient. Creative, but soul-less. That's been my take on Dyk, in a nutshell.

Until now, that is. In a year that has offered a number of musical suprises, Dyk's new disc, In Between, has to register as one of the biggest. In place of his signature trance excursions and atmospherics is a slavish new dedication to the beat...and a funky one, at that. Moreover, there's a compelling pop sensibility at work in tracks like the new single "White Lies" (featuring Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta) and its certain follow-up, the lush collaboration with Lo-Fi Sugar called "Haunted."

Alright, let's not overstate the case; there are still moments that are way too Euro-trashy for my tastes ("Far Away", "Dolce Vita"). But I'll gladly sit through them all for urgent, danceable experiments like "Fall With Me", co-written and sung by the one and only David Byrne. Like Junior Senior's equally surprising disc earlier this month, In Between has got to be considered a candidate for Most Improved in 2007.

Watch The Video:
"White Lies", Paul Van Dyk ft. Jessica Sutta
"Haunted", Paul Van Dyk ft. Lo-Fi Sugar
"White Lies", Paul Van Dyk ft. Jessica Sutta
Visit: Wikipedia, Official Site, MySpace
Then Buy: In Between, Paul Van Dyk

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