Paul van Dyke - (R)evolution - Digital Release Review

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There are only a handful of Djs who really qualify as "superstars," and Paul van Dyk (PvD) is definitely one of them. In the world of electronic music, careers are notoriously short. Not so with PvD however, his first full-length album was released in 1994, and he just seems to get better with time. Last year's Evolution was his sixth release, and to these ears at least, his finest to date. With (R)evolution, the tables have been turned a bit. The digital-only release features 16 remixes of Evolution tracks, plus the radio edit of "Such a Feeling," and a remake of the instrumental "Verano." Taken together, this set makes a marvelous companion to the original album.

One of the difficulties I have had with remix albums has been in letting go of the originals. I was so impressed with Evolution that I may have initially been reluctant to embrace any "tampering." Not to worry though, every track on (R)evolution was chosen by PvD, and he has programmed them to create an excellent set of music.

The opening track is the gorgeous "Sun After Heartbreak," remixed by Woody van Eyden. It is the first of three versions of the song, which was definitely one of the highlights of Evolution. "Such a Feeling" (aka "Verano") is another of Evolution's greatest tracks, and it too receives a dramatic revisit, in this case by Alex M.O.R.P.H. By placing these relatively lower BPM cuts first, van Dyk allows us the opportunity to slowly immerse ourselves into the project. It was a good idea, as things become far more intense from here on out.

With John O'Callaghan's take on "I Don't Deserve You," the tempo is markedly increased. This high-energy sound continues on the Maarten De Jong remix of "Symmetries." It was during the Director's Cut remix of "Love Ammunition" where I truly found nirvana though. I came to the music of PvD as a fan of trance, and the Evolution version of "Love Ammunition" certainly spun my head. Directors Cut take things even deeper here, and emerge with a powerful piece of music.

I have been listening to Paul van Dyk for some time now, and sincerely believe that Evolution is one of his finest albums ever. The public seems to have agreed, as it spawned five hit singles, and sold incredibly well. To be honest, I have always looked upon remix albums as somewhat unnecessary, even a bit of a rip-off. But (R)evolution is something different. The quality of the material is without question, but what makes this one so special for me is how well it compliments the original. If you have never really considered a remix album to be "legitimate" before, (R)evolution just might change your mind.

To download (R)evolution, go to www.paulvandyk.com