Paul Van Dyk: Global

Aspect ratio: 4:3. Dolby Digital 5.1 (English). Two discs. Mute 92189. NR. $20.98.

Picture **
Sound ***
Film ** 1/2

Paul Van Dyk, a Berlin native, began spinning in the late '80s, and shortly became a prominent remixer of electronic music artists such as New Order. His trance music, as electronic music becomes ever more popular in America, is never more relevant than it is today. And now, when actually paying for music seems almost ludicrous, it appears that record companies need to give consumers a bigger incentive to shell out the moolah. Paul Van Dyk's 2-disc DVD-CD set, Global, gives faithful listeners of this trance-music master just that. The set features a full-length documentary of deejay extraordinaire Van Dyk's musical journey around the world, along with the bonus audio CD soundtrack to the film. The studio, Mute, saves you the trouble of downloading Van Dyk's extensive discography, much less buying all the individual CD tracks compiled in this greatest-hits compilation.

Global shares Van Dyk's whirlwind tour of the international club scene with the audience. The DVD features an anthology of his work that spans more than a decade. The documentary comprises tour footage, film trailers, music videos, and remixed tracks. In just under 90 minutes you trot the globe, dancing to the ambient beats of Van Dyk's expertise in digital spinning and mixing––all while in the comfort of your home. You'll be convinced that you're actually clubbing in Tokyo, Ibiza, San Francisco, Berlin, New York, London, Mexico City, and Bangkok. The music and the eye candy put you in such a deep trance that you'll find yourself dancing in the middle of your living room. Even I couldn't help myself.

The superior 5.1 soundtrack outshines the picture quality, which lacks sharpness and detail and has slightly dull colors. The street scenes look no better than your ordinary home videos shot with a run-of-the-mill camera. The only exceptions to the poor picture quality are the music videos, which exhibit near-flawless detail and a clearer picture.

The extra features aren't bad. Viewers can enjoy a good 30 minutes of original video clips, an interview with Van Dyk, feedback from his international fan base, and trailers for One Perfect Day and Zurdo, two independent films for which he provided the soundtracks.

Global is Paul Van Dyk's musical travel itinerary, ideal for both the trance connoisseur and the dance-club rookie. The viewer catches the occasional glimpse of the spin master—something that until recently was a rare treat, as club deejays are only just beginning to gain celebrity status of their own. We get to see Van Dyk in action, which helps fans develop a closeness to him. The visual representation may not be all that great, but when it comes to Paul Van Dyk, it's all about the music.—AG