By electronic music standards, Paul van Dyk is, at 48, old school — but, some might say, the best school.
Emerging as a trance producer during the early 90s, the German-born and Berlin-based van Dyk has been on top of the EDM scene since his remix of Humante’s “Love Stimulation” in 1993, and with is subsequent hit “For An Angel.” van Dyk has released eight albums of his own — with a ninth, “Guiding Light,” coming in March. He’s scored the films “Zurdo” and “Into the Blue” and the TV show “What’s New, Scooby-Doo?,” and his music has appeared in myriad video games.
He’s been at it a good long time, but van Dyk sees no reason to consider stopping, or even slowing down…
• van Dyk, by phone, describes the “Guiding Light” album as “very personal,” some of the music still inspired by his recovery from a 2016 stage fall that caused brain and spinal injuries and put him in a coma for a time. “I had love in my life — my wife — and that love was the guiding light for me to find my way back into life after the big accident and stay strong. Musically, that’s what the album is all about. The biggest inspiration is life itself — everything I see, everything I experience. Obviously the last three years have been very different from life before the accident, therefore I see things differently.”
• “Guiding Light” has also provided a new concept for van Dyk’s live show, though he still approaches performing much the same way he always has. “This is what my name stands for — electronic music. It’s energetic, straightforward, it’s melodic, it’s banging and it’s musical. On stage I have pretty much, like, a mobile recording studio with me with computer and controllers and keyboards, all kinds of stuff. Every show is somewhat different, just from the nature of how I approach playing my music. We have completely new visuals; There’s a trilogy of music videos that’s coming with the album, and some elements of that that aren’t proximately featured in the videos will also be part of the touring visuals.”
• van Dyke embraces his status as an electronic music elder statesman — though he also doesn’t spend much time thinking about it. “The thing is I’m just Paul and I make music and I make my music as good as I can do it. How people put it in perspective is for them, not me. I’m the same geek when it comes down to the music as I’ve ever been, as passionate about it as I’ve always been. I wanted to hear a certain kind of music when I was a teenager and that music didn’t exist, so a bunch of people, including me, just started to make the music we wanted to listen to and bring it to other people. It still means a lot to me.”
Paul Van Dyk performs at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1 at Elektricity, 15 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. $25. 248-599-2212 or elektricitymusic.com.