A decade on after his last concerted attempt to unite people through the power of trance, German dance legend Paul Van Dyk returns to his The Politics of Dancing concept for a third volume of high-energy floorfillers.
Unlike the 2001 first chapter in the series and its 2005 follow-up, this latest collection is a proper studio effort rather than a compilation of other artists’ work, meaning that the 43-year-old takes center stage on nearly every one of its 15 pulsing tracks.
Not that The Politics of Dancing 3 could ever be described as a one-man show. A staggering 23 different collaborators have been recruited to help soundtrack the party, including fellow DJ Mag Hot 100 entrants Ummet Ozcan and Aly & Fila, relative newcomers Genix, Jordan Suckley and Las Salinas, and vocalists Patrick Droney, Tricia McTeague and Betsie Larkin.
With such an extensive list of guest stars, you would expect the follow-up to 2012’s Evolution to spring at least a few surprises. However, Paul Dan Dyk’s signature four-to-the-floor sound is still the default mode, with only the trap-lite synths of “Love Is” and “In Your Arms” offering any concessions to new developments since the DJ’s arrival on the scene over 20 years ago.
This isn’t a particular problem on the vocal-led tracks, such as the ethereal “Guardian” and the skyscraping “Lights,” both of which are fronted by Beatport regular Sue McLaren, or the cinematic opener “Heart Like An Ocean.” However, by sticking to such a tried and tested formula, instrumentals such as “Come With Me (We Are One),” “For You” and Algerian producer Mino Safy’s “Around The Garden,” the latter the only Paul Van Dyk remix of an existing track to be featured here, all merge into one homogenous trancey mass.
Van Dyk may have noble intentions, but far from inspiring any major social change, The Politics of Dancing 3 is more likely to result in near universal apathy.