One of the most charming DJs in the business. A musical ambassador and a veteran of acid house, a champion of techno, a dance music pioneer, label owner, King of Ibiza – you name it, Carl Cox been there and done it, never losing sight of his passions – playing music, breaking tunes and celebrating life.
The musical legacy of Carl Cox is well documented with some three decades of experience behind the decks, as well as in virtually every facet of the dance music industry. Of these accomplishments, Carl can count being the originator of the three turntable sound, producer of multiple chart topping tracks, A & R, curated Carl Cox & Friends festival stages, head of renowned record labels such as Intec, and, of course, prominent residencies amongst them. Of these residencies there is little doubt that Carl’s extensive relationship with Space Ibiza is his most prominent and personal.
Celebrating an astounding 14 consecutive years at Space in 2015, Carl and Safehouse Management have built their weekly “Music Is Revolution” residency into one of the Ibiza’s most popular nights, acclaimed for its adventurous and forward-thinking line-ups, musical direction and state of the art production. This, along with Carl’s highly involved and passionate role as promoter, programmer and host, is why each year has seen a growth and progression from the last, both in terms of quality and size.
Prior to Carl’s special Birthday edition of Music is Revolution on 28 July with Nicole Moudaber, Guti (Live), Christian Varela, Jon Rundell, Joe Brunning, and more, we managed to speak with the big man himself on all things Ibiza, Space, revolution, and much more.
“My night was always about making sure Carl Cox was AT Space. I’m not hiding behind any facade. ”
Being your 14th year hosting your own night on Ibiza, how would you compare the enthusiasm of fans on the island now to when you first started?
Over the many years it has changed, as you can imagine, in the sense of infrastructure. At the time, most of the clubs, which were amazing based on their production setups, were destined to be the clubs they are now. For me, to see the transformation to where we are now, started when every single DJ you can think of began to want to be in Ibiza playing. There is not one DJ who doesn’t want to play here. If all the DJs are on Ibiza, that is where the party’s at and the people don’t want to miss any of these parties. Of course, there are places all over the world you can go to experience great DJs at festivals and the likes, but this island has an attraction based on everything it can give you based on what YOU want out of it. You don’t have to go to a club on Ibiza.
That’s the thing about being here. You can go to the North. You can go fishing. You can hang with the locals. But, you can also go into the depths of musicology. If you are a clubber and really into it you can find somewhere to go during the day and night if you wanted to. It is unbelievable the actual energy from that. Can you imagine, every night and at all the clubs, there are at least 50,000 clubbers going out! That is a lot of people partying and that means in small bars and clubs without the notoriety of the super clubs. People are going out enjoying music everywhere, whether its drum & bass, dubstep, techno, jazz, old funk, or disco. Literally, every kind of music. So, we are not just talking about what I am doing or what Richie (Hawtin) is, or what Sven (Vath) is. I don’t know any other place in the world that has this kind of intensity when it comes to clubbing. That is where the energy comes from. The reason people come to the island is because they know they will have some of the best times of their lives.
You mention the diversity of the island, what would be some under-the-radar spots on Ibiza for you. For instance, do you have a favourite beach or a favourite restaurant?
For me it is difficult to actually go out and hang with everyone. Can you imagine me going out to the beach? I wouldn’t get a minute of peace, so it would be the last place I would go. If I go to Cafe Del Mar, which is definitely one of the island’s best spots, on the side where San Antonio is, it would be nuts for me. One person could ask me for a picture and all of a sudden I’ll have to do the whole seafront. So, if I go anywhere, I’ll go to the North to Pontianak, which is real quiet. Most of the people up there are tourists from around the world who don’t even know who I am.
I also go to Sacca, just before km 5 on the Ibiza Old Road. They have a really nice family run fish restaurant, which is unbelievable.
In the nighttime, I don’t really stray too far, but I did check out the new Cirque Du Soleil concept food and entertainment idea, which is outside the Ibiza Gran Hotel. It was amazing! It’s a very nice concept, with great food, tapas, and a delicatessen type ideal. They have these little shops where you get your food, but they have all the Cirque Du Soleil acts around you, which makes it very interesting as a night out. It is something completely different. It is great to see things like this happen on the island where people are free enough to have these kinds of ideas.
Moving on to “Music is Revolution,” after all these years do you have a certain protocol you go through in preparation for a gig? Do you have any superstitions to get you into the right frame of mind?
The only way I can bring people together for our night is to have a shot of Hierbas. It is a local drink on, which is a herb-based liqueor. We drink it as part of the spirit of the island so we can relax. Every night we open up it is always intense! So, before we start, we all take a shot to be in the same frame of mind. Then we can go out and do our thing. I don’t ask people to do a bottle each, but the fact we do this is a mark of knowing we are doing it together.
When I started our Tuesday night, Space didn’t have any nighttime events so it stood out based on how we worked. My night was always about making sure Carl Cox was AT Space. I’m not hiding behind any facade. If you go to the front of Space you see, first and foremost, Carl Cox at Space. I have always put Space as something which I feel passionate about. It is one of the reasons why I do it. I want people to come to the party. I don’t care about dress sense. I don’t care if its underground or overground. All I care about is if you can walk into the club, which is one of the best in the world BY FAR, where you will get some of the best production and sound you will ever experience in a club, that every room has its own flavour, based on the carefully chosen DJs. I am really happy to see all the DJs wear their heart on their sleeves at Space when they come and play for us. I absolutely love it! To me, this is the freedom of what our club night is about and the reason we are still doing what we are doing after all these years