“I haven’t stopped since 1988,” Coxy tells DJ Mag. “Can you imagine if I mapped out every single party I’ve ever done, the map would be riddled with pin-drops everywhere — it would be a complete rash of events that I’ve done.”
For someone who’s meant to be slowing down a bit, it still sounds like Carl has had quite a year. “Can you imagine my life? I’m trying to kick back, put my feet up and drink some pina coladas and here I am breaking up a fight on the dancefloor,” he says, referring to a recent incident at an Athens club-night. “My life is absolutely amazing in one sense, and crazy in others. But it’s all about the music at the end of the day, as far as I’m concerned.”
He has a kind of global ambassador role these days, but that’s not to say that Carl isn’t still bang up to date with all the latest techno sent personally from producer friends from around the world. Being voted the Highest Techno DJ in the poll once again is testimony to a DJ still absolutely at the top of his game. Carl talks enthusiastically about his new label Awesome Soundwave, for which he’s only signing live electronic acts. “There’s a million DJs now,” he says, “but I want people to see that in our electronic world, there are people who can actually perform live, can actually play the things you see in front of ’em. So I’ve created an outlet, a platform. I want to see more live artists — we may see the next Prodigy out there.”
Do you submit your DJ setlists to the relevant royalties collecting society?
“Neighbouring rights has started to happen, this works better for me than [Pioneer DJ] Kuvo.”
What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?
“Keep making people aware that the job we have is fantastic, but it comes at a cost... Speak out... it helps people to understand.”
Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?
“I’ve always chosen DJs on their merits — man or woman. The time is now for female DJs to bust the door down. It’s awesome to see that times are changing.”
What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?
“Plastics has been a big thing this year, putting your rubbish in the trash is always a good thing.”
What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?
“It was always car related, probably Scalextric.”
What’s your guilty pleasure?
“Riding motorbikes. Having the helmet on, nobody knows who you are… you’re just a fellow biker with everyone else.”
Kappa Futur has confirmed the after parties and set times for its 2019 edition.
The legendary Turin festival announced its full line-up back in March, including the likes of Carl Cox, Nina Kraviz, Richie Hawtin, Jamie Jones, The Black Madonna, Ricardo Villalobos, and much more. Now, the festival, running on 6th and 7th July, has locked in Ge-ology for the opening party.
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.