It’s been almost two decades since the release of Paul Van Dyk’s iconic trance hit ‘Let Go’, and, in many ways, the track still feels as fresh today as it did then. Featuring vocals from Rea Garvey of the Irish band Reamonn, ‘Let Go’ was one of those songs that swept through clubs, picking up new fans wherever it was played. It was precisely the kind of dark club theme people crave; it’s become an unforgettable classic in the years since.
Today, we’ll look at the inspirations behind this timeless hit and how it helped change trance music forever.
The Origins of The Track
German DJ/producer Paul Van Dyk has been active in the EDM scene since the early 1990s, and during that time, he’s found quite the reputation and fanbase. Over the years, he has become known for his uplifting, melodic, and emotionally resonant brand of trance music.
“Let Go” is this style at its peak. With soaring synth melodies, a pulsing baseline, and Garvey’s heartfelt vocals, the track feels raw and emotional while also being charged with the energy a significant dance track needs.
When asked in interviews about the inspiration behind “Let Go,” van Dyk has often said that the track was partly inspired by his experiences traveling the world and performing for audiences from various backgrounds and cultures. The track aimed to create something that would speak to the universal human desire for freedom and release. Garvey’s voice, he felt, was the perfect vehicle for that message.
Creating A Trance Classic
You can’t get much better than this regarding trance production. After all, there’s a reason this track has inspired so many musicians, and that’s because it’s an absolute masterclass in subtlety and style.
The song opens with a simple, haunting piano melody, setting a mood for what’s to come. The bassline then kicks up the tempo, and the track builds in intensity from here. Now the vocals come in, and suddenly everything gains a new richness and intensity.
One of the most striking things about “Let Go” is how it combines different musical elements to create a cohesive whole. The track features elements of classical music, with its soaring strings and dramatic piano flourishes, while also bringing in more modern electronic sounds, like the pulsing bassline and driving beat. This fusion of styles is a hallmark of van Dyk’s approach to production, and it helps to give “Let Go” its timeless appeal.
Reception, Reputation, and Legacy
“Let Go” was an instant hit when released in 2003, reaching the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart and earning van Dyk a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. The track quickly became a staple of van Dyk’s DJ sets and a fan favorite, with many fans citing it as one of their all-time favorite trance tracks.
Over the years, “Let Go” has remained popular as a classic of the trance genre. It has been remixed and reinterpreted by countless artists and continues playing on dance floors worldwide. To this day, its legacy can still be felt in the work of countless producers and DJs who have been inspired by van Dyk’s dynamic, uplifting sound.