THIS has been a vintage year for legendary British DJ Carl Cox.
His residence at DC10 in Ibiza every Tuesday during July and August is one of the most forward-thinking on the island.
Called Carl Cox Invites, it includes his Awesome Soundwave label, which features live acts from the likes of Saytek, Robert Babicz and Mat Playford, as well as a mouth-watering selection of artists from Laurent Garnier to Danny Tenaglia.
But it’s not just about playing in Ibiza. There’s also Carl Cox’s monumental live performance on September 17 at Wembley Arena and the release of his Electronic Generations album the day before.
We contacted Carl to find out more.
YOU enjoyed playing live again, even incorporating live elements into your DJ sets. Was quarantine a call to arms?
The blockage stopped me on my way. I went from performing all over the world to nothing, sitting at home watching Coronation Street.
So, I got all my equipment. I have always had aspirations to become a live electronic artist. I did this when I worked for Perfecto Records 30 years ago based on the concept of Carl Cox. I did it with a guy named Neil McClellan and the MC I had at the time, MC Magica. And we left for a year. We didn’t have the equipment we have now. It was much more cumbersome. But we did it. But then I had to make a decision whether I would continue performing live or continue to DJ. I continued to work as a DJ.
As I continued to make studio albums over the years, I just kept messing around. And then it came to the last album, All Roads Lead To The Dance Floor, and I thought about bringing back the live elements.
I worked on this album with a lot of artists from Melbourne – singers, vocalists, percussionists and all. And I thought I wanted to bring that back on tour live. So I did two live performances in Melbourne.
I loved it, but I couldn’t take it on tour with me because of the many artists and equipment and stuff we needed. We needed the support of major labels, and at the time we didn’t have it.
Working with Christopher Coe and other artists on your Awesome Soundwave label should be a great inspiration for live performances. . .
I think I influenced him as much as he influenced me in what I do now. He is a very special and talented person. When he’s DJing, he feels overwhelmed, but when he plays electronic equipment, it’s such a groove. And I’m like, yes, cool!
But I still want to push the envelope further.
Someone like Saytek, for example, all his music is made straight out of live jams. It’s incredible. He has an amazing output, and that’s why, because he records music from his live performances. So you know, I really understand.
I went and got stems for all my tracks and I just found that every time I jammed I went to a different place with whatever I wanted to produce.
So this is how the 17 tracks come together on the new Electronic Generations album?
Yes, this album was mostly recorded live. Each track was recorded, recorded and then basically edited to become tracks.
You teased the album with collaborations with Fatboy Slim, Nicole Mudaber, Juan Atkins and Frankie Wah. But these tracks are not on the album. . .
They are going to release another concept album in the future. The album, which will be released in September, is wholly owned by Carl Cox.
On September 17th you will have a big live show at Wembley. Does it scare you?
I come from the rave culture so this will still be seen as a dance music event. Initially, it was supposed to be like this – Carl Cox plays, and here are his friends. We had a date to do something there for two years, but obviously due to what happened with the pandemic, we are here now and I have a record deal. Music comes out, I play live or hybrid, stuff like that.
But I decided I couldn’t just DJ. I have to take this day and turn it into something that I hope will be memorable and historic based on the path I took to get to this point. I’m pushing the boundaries even further. This is it. It’s all. That is all I have.
It will be visually stunning and the sound of Funktion One will be incredible.
As always, I want to give people the very best I can deliver.
Listen to Carl’s Awesome Soundwave DJ playlist below and hit the road. HERE tickets to the Carl Cox Live concert at Wembley Arena on 17 September.
Back to the Garden – An On Bast
Last Night – Saitek
Hannes Biger – A Poem for the Planet (Christopher Coe remix)
Use your mind – Julien Chaptal
Kings for a Minute – Digital Afrika
Stream – Charlie Thorstenson
Cape – Christopher Coe
Dezik – Gibrazil
Essence – Honeysmack
Ptolemy – Mat Playford