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Carl Cox - Interview

He has to be heard to be believed, Carl Cox, the man who became a scaffolder to international DJ star has not always had it easy. One year he made a loss of £40,000. We caught up with him in Knightsbridge to find out what a nice bloke he is.

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What did you used to do?
I used to be a scaffolder many years ago on building sites. Also I used to be heavily involved in the sound system side as I ran my own mobile DJing service. It started by setting up the whole sound system for the Dungeons and because I had a good sound system, it was taking over my DJing side. So I decided to put this over to someone else so I could carry on DJing. I could never do both, even though friends helped.

Why did you want to become a DJ?
It was something that just came to me, I used to play for my old man and his mates. He used to have parties and I used to stick the old records on, I used to get them rockin, from then Iíve had the bug to do it. As long as everybody enjoys what I do, I will carry on Ė thatís what I enjoy most, pleasing the crowd. I try to play a balance between new and old tunes.

What made you start playing music on the current rave scene?
Well as we all know the rave scene started back in Ibiza, and was brought over here by people like Paul Oakenfield, Spectrum Crew, Danny Rampling, Nicky Holloway with Sin, etc. At the time I wasnít there, I was doing my own parties still playing heavy duty Hip-Hop, Funk and Soul and mixing it together. Then there was some house music coming from New York and Chicago. I jumped straight on it, but when I started playing it, people thought it was freaky music, gay, didnít want to hear it, but I knew at the end of the day that this scene would come around and I wanted to be near the front.

What has been your favourite music scene?
I enjoyed the early funk and soul scene, like Steve Harrington, and even the Communards were quite good in their day.

Where and how did you get your big break?
When I was playing down at Sunrise in 89, I got up there and there was three decks set up with one spare in case one went down. So I thought sod it, Iíll just use it and it worked really well. Lucky enough the right people where there to witness the crowd go mental again with the tracks I mixed and it made me stand out from all the rest. Thatís how I got my big break.

What made you use 3 decks?
Well that was only a progression anyway, thereís only so much you can do no two decks and with a third it give you more scope to remix records and cutting rhythms live which I knew a lot of people could not do on three. As a DJ it does make you work a lot harder, not my personal choice.

What do you think of the music around at the moment and how do you see it going in the South East?
I like it at the moment, thereís a lot of Ragga-Beat and an influx of break beats, but all of it is being over played. Thereís nothing really behind it though because, a) itís probably a studio band or b) itís somebody in their bedroom whose cut it and there is not real feel about it. The raga tends to go to more of a black crowd because they might understand it a little better obviously. If DJís played more music other then Ragga, then the punters would get a much wider scope of whatís going on.

You recently went to the States Ė what did you think?
Completely different is New York. I didnít DJ there, they are not ready for the break beat styles yet, there into more the Belgium sound. For once they are behind us.

What do you have planned for the future abroad?
Iíve signed a contract with Perfecto for 5 years. It was nice to create my own sounds first, which a lot of other DJís have not done, there have been remixes, but they have not created their own sound, so that was a bit of a step ahead for me. Now I have a record out on the 27th July with no vocal samples in it Ė all new live vocals on it. The whole idea of music is to create something original. Also Iím on an album called Hardcore DJís, all the tracks on this are unreleased and made by DJís. To accompany this there is a tour starting on the 25th July at Dance 92 in Brighton. Then on September the 11th, I have something totally mental coming out, watch out for it.

How do you feel about being listed on flyers even though your not booked?
Well thereís not a lot I can do about that, people will want to know why I wasnít there and at the end of the day when they come to do another event people wonít believe them. I feel sorry for the punters.

Whatís your favourite current record?
Well thereís a track called Fuck You Mother Fucker by Joey Beltram. Also a white label, The Alpha EP, Seductions new traxs Ė I could go on and on.


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