Paul Van Dyk: Influences on a Superstar

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Date Submitted: 06/02/2008 12:23 PM

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Burak Ahmed

Music 235

Final Paper

Peter Traub 3pm disc.

Paul van Dyk: Influences on a Superstar

It’s difficult to believe that only 20 years ago, techno was considered an underground movement. Today, countless individuals around the world are listening to techno at any given moment. One explanation to techno’s popularity today is the growing number of people who use computer technology as an integral part of their lives. Techno really began with the German band Kraftwerk in the 1970’s, and has progressed drastically with the rapid development of technology. One artist who has helped move techno into what is today considered mainstream is Paul van Dyk. Coming from a feeble situation growing up in a communist dominated East Berlin, van Dyk has established himself at the top of the techno world along with other elites such as DJ Tiesto and Paul Oakenfold. Paul van Dyk’s tours around the world are the most influential reflections of his music. Van Dyk applies the latest in computer technology along with his listener’s responses to motivate his music. He was also influenced by his visit to India, and listening to Western artists such as Smiths and New Order. Van Dyk is one of the innovators of the trance genre by performing live in nightclubs and parades, remixing hit songs, and as a producer by putting out his DVD in 2003 called Global. He has changed the image of electronic music to sounds that move his audience, and relate his lyrics to important world issues.

Van Dyk grew up in East Berlin before the Berlin Wall came down. The East Germans were dominated by Soviet communism and there was no underground club culture at the time. ‘“The music in Berlin was very hard and not covering the emotional aspect of human beings. Technically, we weren’t supposed to be listening to the radio stations of West Berlin, but it was something that everybody did,’ van Dyk recalled while speaking to Michael Paoletta. ‘My friends and I would record West Berlin...