The Three-Deck Wizard made a statement to The Independent about Ibiza, social media and the conversion of techno music culture.
Carl Cox is a legendary and symbolic figure in electronic music. The British artist has made a great reputation in his adventure that started 40 years ago and has become the biggest contributor to the techno-house music genre ever since. While we often see him in events such as Ultra Music, Awakenings and BPM, where he is indispensable, the artist is also involved in broadcast industries such as the BBC and Netflix. The place where he usually performs is known as Space and for Cox, this is home; unfortunately after a long period of 15 years, the artist severed ties with the club in 2016. Of course, such an important place was not for Cox to be abandoned forever. We had the chance to see him again and again at different events, such as Amnesia, in Ibiza. So today here, with Cox, we will examine his views on Ibiza, the social media effect, and what the techno world has become thanks to The Independent.
You’re performing one-night shows in Ibiza, how was it this year?
Cox stated that the island of Ibiza has never been the same since Space closed, because that club was seen as a symbolic place marking the season opening. He said since that day people have not come here for this purpose, that it is strange, sad and drear. The area, which used to be a crescendo effect, now has empty chairs and seats, like an abandoned place. However, now that it is the peak of the summer season, everywhere should be prepared, organized and look chirpy, he added.
Is this change due to commercialisation?
Cox sadly approves the question, emphasizing that it’s all basically about money. The artist complains that the prices of hotels, drinks, clubs and many others are incredibly high and expensive. According to him, the prices have come to such a point that people no longer prefer the region for these reasons, and places like Croatia are more attractive instead.
So does social media have an effect on this issue?
Carl Cox briefly summarizes the situation with his own words:
“When you went to Ibiza you never had your phone with you, you’d leave your phone at home and you wouldn’t use it, and you went away for a week and you had the time of your life. Whereas now everything is name-dropping, and where are you and what are you doing now, here’s a selfie, here’s a boomerang shot. As soon as you go on the turntables the first thing you see go up are phones. Whereas before everyone would start dancing, excited to hear some music, and now all you’re getting is wobbly videos and distortion – telling all your friends, “wow look at that, look at the great summer I was having – on my phone, which I’ve dropped now and everyone’s stomping on it, now I’ve got to buy a new phone.”
How did it feel to be back on the island again after leaving?
The artist briefly states that he never forgot where he came from, but he is also aware that things are of course not the same as before. He is aware that the reason for work, mode and the emotions have changed, thus he tries to satisfy himself as much as possible and to give people that feeling, even if it is a little on the island.
How is the audience on one-night shows compared to Space?
He states that the situation has definitely changed compared to the past. Cox said that he used to come to the area to have secret parties and gatherings and that this actually created real excitement, and that now the situation has changed and everything is shaped around a definite calendar, so it’s just a round trip to do job, so he lost his excitement. The audience, of course, comes with the same mentality.
(Back at then, 1992, Stu Allen & Carl Cox)
What is the situation with emerging artists?
Cox states that it is difficult for artists are beginning of their careers now. He emphasizes that it is no longer easy for them to show themselves, and that they need to take radical decisions and take firm steps. He believes that the trend of the period is techno, so they need to give bit more importance to it.
So what do you attribute the reason for this took off of the techno music?
Stating that it is actually EDM that pushes techno music to the forefront, that it adds many different excitements to the world of music and entertainment and that people are impressed, the artist attributes EDM to become monotonous due to repetition of itself over time and to lose its excitement over time and leave the stage for techno music.
Techno music, on the other hand, is a completely different place, like a traveler who gathers the listener and the artist at very different points and takes them on a fascinating journey. The artist conducts that people do not need anything fancy, just because the music itself has to be owned, techno music has taken over the stage over the years for that reason.
“Also with techno, you don’t need to produce main stages all the time, you can be in a club with 200 people and still play techno. With EDM there has to be arenas, and they can’t play past an hour and a half, whereas techno you can play as long as you like – as long as the crowd are there.
Recently I did a festival in London called Junction 2, B2B with Adam Beyer. Now usually in London if you’re playing techno, you’ll get 200-300 people and that’s it. We had 15,000 people for a techno lineup, which is just an insane response, where before that would be numbers reserved for EDM so really there’s a massive shift: I mean a few days ago, an event in Ibiza David Guetta was playing tech-house! What’s going on here?”
So how did this affect him on his way to becoming Carl Cox himself?
Cox states that he was a techno DJ from the very beginning, but at that time that world seemed dirty and people looked at him with disgust, but he still did his job with integrity. But today, when we look at it, we see that techno is a genre that is known for innovation, and this makes Cox incredibly happy. He adds that this transition period is difficult, but he never gives up and he has always been proud of it. Citing an example from Amelie Lens, the artist emphasizes that the BPMs have reached incredible levels and this hit the techno scene, causing the audience go crazy. Cox adds that he always supports all new artists and innovations around it.
In addition to these, he is very pleased that new artists have added new identities and that young women and men such as Lens, De Luca and Dax J can find their place on the stage because these were things that could not be seen in the past. He says that new talents came to the stage with ingenious ideas and brought this movement to an unbelievable place.
So finally, instead of the usual techno, you’re doing a house set at the 51st State Festival now?
In this part of the speech, the artist conveys in his own words what he has been doing lately and where he is now:
“Yeah, they had to mention that (laughs), “how can he be on the lineup? He’s a techno DJ? How?” – no, I’ll say, don’t worry, he has house under his name, you’ll all be fine. You know I came from house music, it’s exactly where I want to be and what I want to do. I’ve done it before with these guys two years ago, it’s really funny – I think you’re going to have some people turning up who want to see me fail! I’ll tell you now, I’m going to put one record on and you’re gonna die. They’re going to go, “Wow’! Coxy gets one tune, so that tune better be special.”
But yeah, I could do that whole festival myself with all the music I have from house music. I kind of like it, it keeps me on my toes – I’m really conscious about it, I’m not known for playing house music. Most of these DJs on there know where I came from, I can’t wait to play some of those old records. I just hope the crowd get it, because the music I grew up with, where I came from, it would be hard to see that fall on deaf ears.”
We would like to express our thanks to The Independent for giving us this beautiful interview and you can click this link to access the full article. In addition, if you want to follow the house set including Cox, you can reach and learn more at this address,