From: Brighton, South Coast, UK
DJ style: “Funky-ass house and techno music.”
Best known for: “Versatility, style and rocking the house.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Alex Mine ‘Lost (Carl Cox Remix)’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Charlotte de Witte.”
What can you say about Carl Cox? A titan of the worldwide electronic music scene, he’s a global ambassador whose effervescence and joie de vivre behind the decks is absolutely infectious.
Starting to DJ in his mid-teens, Coxy was ideally placed to become one of the UK’s acid house pioneers, his three-deck vinyl mixing wowing the raves right across the UK. By the mid-90s, with the release of his ‘F.A.C.T.’ mix on React and a slew of productions, he was already the biggest DJ in the UK — a fact borne out by his No.1 placing in 1995’s Top 100 DJs poll, and again in 1997.
Via Ultimate Base and Intec Records he cemented his position, and when he began his residency at Space Ibiza and toured his Carl Cox & Friends around various megafests, he became a globally recognised statesman for our culture. He finished his Space residency when the club closed in 2016, but is now a partner in the Space Club business as they launch into the future. “No pun intended, but watch this Space!” he grins.
Carl has also been working hard on his new label, Awesome Sound Wave, and found time to appear in the What We Started doc with Martin Garrix, with Paul Oakenfold at Stonehenge, and at assorted Resistance parties and more. Coxy is unstoppable — OHYESOHYESOHYES!
Words: CARL LOBEN
HIGHEST TECHNO DJ
DJ style: Infectious.
What’s the next new big track? “The next big track will be Cirez D ‘Backlash’ (Mouseville)’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: “Matador. Hard work and self-belief play a big part in what he has created. What a year he has had — it was so well deserved.”
We finally caught up with Carl Cox after his epic final set at Space, and while he was in transit to one of the Ultra Music Festivals. The closure of the Ibiza club is the latest chapter in an unfortunate year for electronic music, with Fabric in London also shuttering and Spanky from Phuture — as well as icons Bowie and Prince — all passing away. Cox, as ever the people’s DJ, remains upbeat about the future.
“The music will always rejuvenate itself because of new people coming into the scene with new ideas but also influenced by all the great artists and more” he says.
Aside from his Space residency, he also cites parties and festivals like “Awakenings, Tine Warp, Pure in Australia, Dream Beach in Spain and Fabric and Tobacco Docks in London” but adds that “the list is endless”.
Apart from maintaining a hectic DJ schedule, Cox also reveals some surprising plans to DJ Mag.
“It’s going to be Carl Cox Motorsports,” he says. “I love riding motorbikes; doing bike tours worldwide; drag racing and mighty mini racing,” adds the man with the biggest smile in dance music.
What have been the new frontiers for you this year?
“I am very much into my Carl Cox Motorsports. I have been putting a lot of time and effort into drag racing; side car and classic motorbike racing worldwide.”
Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form?
“Yes, I think that now more than ever that electronic music is part of many platforms in our lives.”
What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why?
“I am loving the Model 1 mixer from Richie Hawtin. I can go on all day about this mixer, but I won’t – all I can say is that the analogue sound, the filters and the controller on this mixer are by far the best I have ever used.”
If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be?
“I love drum & bass in all its forms, but the more intelligent sound pushes all the right buttons for me.”
As a fan, what is the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ?
“As a fan it should not matter – it is what you believe you should pay that counts.”
WORDS: RICHARD BROPHY
This September will see the end of an era for Ibiza techno, as legendary nightclub Space closes its doors for the last time, and with it, veteran UK DJ Carl Cox sees out the 15th and final season of is Music Is Revolution parties.
With ownership being handed over to Ushuaïa Group, Space's future will undoubtedly look very different to its past 27 years, and the forthcoming closure is naturally a sad time for any techno fan. But fear not — BBC Radio 1 are on the case! The station has released a "extra special bonus Essential Mix", recorded live at Space by Coxy himself.
Laidback Luke has taken to social media forum Reddit to bemoan the lack of DJ skills in modern-day dance music.
The Dutch veteran was responding to a question on the state of festivals in 2016 and, in typically outspoken fashion, the DJ and producer didn’t hold back. He said he’s “ashamed of DJ standards nowadays,” and that many big names “don’t have half the skills of a lot of bedroom DJs trying to make it.”
Glastonbury’s Arcadia, the fire-breathing spider that showcases electronic music amongst an immersive apocalyptic environment, has announced its full programme for the festival, which runs from Wednesday 22nd to Sunday 26th June.
On Friday, Alan Fitzpatrick, Carl Cox, Daniel Avery, Eats Everything B2B Ellis Dee, Heidi and Mella Dee line-up, whilst Saturday sees a drum ‘n bass heavy bill including Andy C, Dub Phizix & Strategy and DJ Hype B2B Hazard, who are on deck for a 20-years of Playaz set.
ELI & FUR
With even a periphery knowledge of dance music, you'd be strapped to find a keen clubber who'd never heard the name Carl Cox. Adored by loyal fans the globe over, Cox has been a guiding light in the underground for over two decades, headlining Space in Ibiza every year for as long as anyone would care to remember.
But all that's about to change. “Next year will be my last year at Space Ibiza, so please do not miss a single night if you can, very special line-ups for 15 weeks,” he tells us when we talk Top100.
Ibiza gigs aside, Cox has spent much of 2015 running his successful INTEC imprint, alongside fellow techno don Jon Rundell, with releases from Christian Varela, Ramiro Lopez, Joe Brunning, Harvey McKay and many, many more.
“I have been working on collabs and remixes with some great artists,” he promises when we hint at his plans for next year. With new material scheduled for the start of 2016, Carl says: “Watch this space!”
CHARLOTTE LUCY CIJFFERS
“I did two Cream after-parties here in 1994. The Chemical Brothers did one, and Pepe [Roselló, the owner of Space] walked up to them after 10 minutes and said ‘You have to go off… now!’ and put David Morales on instead. It took me over 14 years to convince the Chems to come back after that!” So says We Love… Space promoter Darren Hughes, and it’s one of many excellent anecdotes (some printable, some very unprintable), that we’re told over the course of an extended chat with some of the key players behind the world’s greatest nightclub, Space.
When dance music’s beloved don Carl Cox lauds your music, you can rest easy knowing two things: you’ve got real production chops and the burgeoning DJ career you were hoping for will assuredly be a fruitful one.
Nicole Moudaber started out promoting parties in her native Lebanon, before eventually ending up in London. However, after buckling down in her studio with the discipline of a monk, she exploded onto the scene almost immediately in 2009 as techno’s force to be reckoned with.