Paul Van Dyk has been creating trance music for a damn long time now, and he's fittingly earned quite a reputation both for his DJ skills and his track production. I first heard his work probably 8 or more years ago on one of the excellent Trance Europe Express compilation CDs, which plopped tracks by the likes of everyone from Aphex Twin to Mouse On Mars to Irresistable Force and Meat Beat Manifesto next to one another. It was with some of those releases that I had my earliest introduction to both trance music and electronic music as a whole, and although many of the artists featured on those releases dropped out of the spotlight to never be heard from again, some of them are still clubbing right along.
Paul Van Dyk is one of those people, and although I would have never guessed it at the time, he's built up a huge following of fans around the world. Global PVD is a fancy, DVD/CD package retrospective of his nearly decade of work, and it gives you a downright overdose of material. Interestingly enough, the audio compact disc is loaded with his newer material, barely dipping earlier than his two previous albums (Seven Ways and Out There And Back), leaving off what is quite possibly a period of his more inventive and interesting work (which is the work that I first heard by him on the aforementioned TEX comps).
Of course, by leaving off much of that earlier material, the disc is mainly a focus on Van Dyk's progressive trance output of the past 5 years or so, punctuated by crisp beats and waves of lovely arpeggios (that border on downright cheesy at times). He keeps things light (or lite) and uplifting, and because of that has become a staple on decks in the global trance arena. With each subsequent release, it seems that Van Dyk has taken the edge off his music just a slight bit, resulting in his more recent work that is nearly impossible to seperate from that of the scores of other trance producers on the market today.
The DVD portion of the set culls clips from sessions in New York, Tokyo, Bangkok, Mexico City, Ibiza, and others. He makes his rounds on all the big festivals, including Love Parade, Gatecrasher, Amnesia, and others, playing to crowds that number in the thousands. Like Underworlds Everything Everything DVD, the focus of the DVD is mainly on the audiences eating up his DJ sessions, but somewhat annoyingly, the tracklisting of the video portion of the DVD is exactly the same as on the Audio CD. There are optional camera angles and short intro segments filmed at each stop to keep things a little more visually interesting (as well as a very nicely-designed interface), but unless you enjoy sitting and watching 75+ minutes of clubbers raving it up, it's not the most exciting time (unless you know someone on it). It's the extra bits on the DVD that make it a little more worthwhile, from the interview snippets with PVD himself to the interviews with fans talking about him. There are also full videos for 5 different tracks, as well as an anti-ecstacy commercial that he did the music for and a couple movie trailers as well. In the end, it remains a document only for the hardcore fans, as most of the musical material is recycled from the most recent releases, and you can only watch so much footage of people dancing without wanting to shut it off and go do it yourself.