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PVD and Trance

10:10 pm PHT

So far, my biggest musical discovery this year is Paul van Dyk. He’s an East German DJ/producer smack dab in the middle of the trance music genre. I encountered him through his well-known track, “Nothing But You,” as part of a DJ mix CD. In many circles, he is acknowledged as the King of Trance.

So what is trance music? Trance music falls under the very large umbrella genre of dance/electronica music. Some electronica musicians you might have heard of include The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, and Moby. My music genre of choice is, however, dance music.

To clear up misconcepcions, dance music does not include songs like “The Ketchup Song” or “Macarena.” These two songs are actually flamenco fussion pop music. Dance music is the music you typically hear being played in clubs. It is subdivided into a bewildering number of subgenres of which the biggest three are house, trance, and techno.

Trance music is characterized by hypnotic elements, anthemic and ethereal qualities, and is more melodic and has less vocals than either house or techno. However, unlike New Age music, which, on paper, shares the same qualities as trance music, the latter is completely danceable.

A negative connotation associated with trance music is its link to recreational drug use, most notably, ecstacy. Ecstacy is particularly popular for trance music since the music’s anthemic and hypnotic properties serves to heighten the high feeling brought about by the use of the drug. Not that I know that from experience—illegal drug use is a big no-no for me.

So let’s go back to Paul van Dyk.

Paul van Dyk, or PVD, as he is also known, is one of the most popular trance DJs in the world (he is currently ranked #2 in The DJ List). He was born in 1971 in Eisenhüttenstadt, which was in communist East Germany. Before the German reunification his only access to western music was through the airwaves. When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, PVD finally got real access to the club culture and his career took off in 1991.

Among the tracks of his that I like are the aforementioned “Nothing But You,” “Crush,” “For An Angel,” and “Rendezvous,” which he co-produced with Tiësto. (Tiësto is another popular DJ, ranked #1 according to The DJ List, and has played at the opening ceremonies of last year’s Summer Olympic Games). You might’ve catched some of Paul van Dyk’s music on Studio 23’s Club Myx show.

PVD has actually played here in Manila thrice. The last one was at the NBC Tent at The Fort just last December 9, 2004. Had I known about him and the event that time, I would’ve loved to attend the event and listen to his music.

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