"Over the years, people have got used to labeling me a techno DJ," reckons Carl Cox. "But I've been a drum & bass DJ, a house DJ, a hardcore DJ, a soul DJ - some called me a trance DJ in my F.A.C.T. days. I just try not to be pigeon-holed."
A funk soul brother, an acid house original, a rave era icon and a ceaseless purveyor of futurist electronic grooves, it will never be easy to pin the work of Carl Cox to one place, genre or era.
Yet this year the self-confessed workaholic felt it was time to ease up and take some long overdue downtime. He started 2007 with six months of relaxing in Australia.
"It's been a revelation," ventures Cox on his hiatus. "For as long as I can remember, 80% of my waking life has been dedicated to pushing myself and the music I believe in. It's the path I've chosen and a blessing that I've been able to do it, but it was time to chillout and take some time for me - do things like fishing, biking and spending time with my family."
Recharged and re-energised, Coxy plunged himself headfirst into his more typical non-stop touring with his King of Clubs residency at Space Ibiza one of the season's highlights once more.
Again, Cox's natural musical democracy booked artists ranging from soul jazz eclectic Gilles Peterson and French maverick Laurent Garnier to electro boy wonder Fedde Le Grand and Bedrock's John Digweed.
"Space is such an amazing club with a truly international crowd," says Cox. "It's an honour to bring so much diverse and quality music to it. Norman Cool rocked it, LTJ Bukem was amazing and Marky had the place jumping. It's great to be able to bring people as leftfield as Goldie to an island not know for those sounds and watch people from all over the world go crazy to them."
Unsurprisingly, the impassioned non-purist is enthused by dance music's current verve for cross-pollination and mutation.
"The lines are blurring between genres so rapidly that they're disappearing altogether, which is great," he relays.
"We're coming to the end of a 20-year cycle for acid house music. DJs, producers and the media aren't so concerned about what genre a track is anymore and there's so much sound to be recycled. People are taking old skool sounds, blending them with fresh visions and there are whole new fusions being thrown up. It's the most exciting things have been for a while."
Highlighting the depth of Cox's own legacy, Yousef recently remixed Coxy's turbo rave detonator 'I Want You' for Cr2 Records, some 16 years after its initial Top 40 chart explosion.
Meanwhile, Carl is embarking on a soul, funk and jazz compilation project alongside friend and former Hacienda resident Eric Powell.
"Not everyone knows I started out DJing these sounds before acid house even came along," remarks Carl. "It's great to go back, dig through the crates and get back to where you began."
Then there's the issue of his fourth awaited artist album.
"I'm spending a lot of time nailing the concept down because I really want to push this on a live level," reveals Cox, hinting that the LP will be a mash-up of punk, rock, electro and techno with "that Coxy edge".
"Some people are surprised that I like the sound of a good thrashing guitar," jokes Cox. "The main thing is that I get across the live element and sound, as I think that's the next step in my progression as an artist."