We knew Paul van Dyk‘s landmark tenth studio effort was ready for release for some time, and after delaying the album, Guiding Light is finally available.
As the architect of millions of memorable nights and the creator of some of the most time-tested pieces of electronic music in the genre’s history, many could see Paul himself as a guiding light. However, the title’s meaning couldn’t be more contrary.
“‘From Then On,’ ‘Music Rescues Me,’ and ‘Guiding Light’ – these releases belong together, says Paul. “I think the ‘trilogy’ aspect of my last three albums is currently more on the implicit side. In years to come ,though, as they’re revisited, their ‘one-two-three’ nature will become ever more clear to people. These releases are all part of the same subject matter (and time period), but reflect different phases of it. Dealing with what happened in February of 2016 had to be done on a number of different levels. ‘From Then On’ was largely about the physical recovery, while ‘Music Rescues Me’ had more to do with the rebuilding of mental abilities. ‘Guiding Light’, however, is about spiritual recuperation – the coming-to-terms with what took place. If that hadn’t been achieved, says Paul, I think conquering the first two might have ended up as hollow victories.”
So Guiding Light is inherently about others, and to the greatest possible degree, one person in particular.
“People often ask what my first memory following the accident was, which is tough as I really don’t have one. What I recall though, and vividly, were feelings. The first time my wife held my hand in the hospital, trying to give me the power to open my eyes is somehow a feeling so strong, its almost physical. What I had is that impression of warmth and of love. This was my guiding light, the force I believe that gave me spirit and began supplying the strength to fight my way back. In essence love brought me back, the strength of connection to another person that whatever hole you’re in is your best chance of making it through. It is that guiding light that becomes a compass that shows you the way and simply won’t let you give up. For me that person and connection was my wife.”
Paul continued, “For others though, I believe it’s what’s most essentially & vitally important to you. So I feel whatever your particular circumstance (and I’m in no doubt that the world is going to require a lot of guiding lights in the near future) you have to look in the direction of whoever or whatever you have the strongest love for.”
Through the albums musical pieces, the likes of Deep Within, Remedy, Awakening, First Contact, You Found Me, and Guiding Light speak volumes to the spirit and feelings Paul’s fed into them.
Among its fourteen tracks, there are collaborations with artists for whom Paul has been a major musical inspiration. Eugenio Tokarev, Danny Eaton, Kinetica, and Elated are just some of the newer Trance names that have made the jump to co-write on the record.
There are also first-time production encounters with more established names. On Covered In Gold, Paul and English singer/songwriter Bo Bruce have found a piece that plays flawlessly to each other’s artistic strengths, delivering an immeasurably moving, soon to be timeless number.
Sue McLaren marks the fifth contribution in as many albums to Paul’s long-playing history. The title track is set against his mid-tempo, melodically draped studio work as Guiding Light moves effortlessly between the ethereally drifting and emotionally earth-shifting.
There are other album returnees too, with classical pianist Vincent Corver back to collaborate on album overture Deep Within, Saad Ayub finding that floor-force again on You Found Me, and Chris Bekker contributing to the album’s closeout track, Velvet Sky.
At its heart, a tribute to his wife, and indeed all those who helped bring him back from the brink, Guiding Light is out now through VANDIT Records and is available to stream/purchase here.
Guiding Light Tracklist:
01. Paul van Dyk & Vincent Corver – Deep Within
02. Paul van Dyk & Sue McLaren – Guiding Light
03. Paul van Dyk & Saad Ayub – You Found Me
04. Paul van Dyk & Shedona – Exhale
05. Paul van Dyk & Will Atkinson – Awakening
06. Paul van Dyk & Danny Eaton – Remedy
07. Paul van Dyk & Elated – Parallel Dimension
08. Paul van Dyk & Kinetica – First Contact
09. Paul van Dyk – Duality
10. Paul van Dyk & Eugenio Tokarev – Resource
11. Paul van Dyk, Steve Dekay & VISION X – Impact
12. Paul van Dyk & Bo Bruce – Covered in Gold (PvD Club Mix)
13. Paul van Dyk & Vini Vici – Galaxy (PvD Club Mix)
14. Paul van Dyk & Chris Bekker – Velvet Sky
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