Carl Cox; his House is your House!

Carl CoxCarl Cox, een levende legende. Een man die alle uithoeken van de wereld al heeft gezien en overal een feestje weet te bouwen. Toch heeft Nederland (blijkbaar) een speciaal plekje in zijn hart, gezien het feit dat hij vaak in Nederland te vinden is. Acht april is dat weer zover: Carl Cox & Friends! Met een line-up die behalve de grootmeester himself bestaat uit onder andere Darren Emerson, Marco Carola, Trevor Rockcliffe en Valentino Kanzyani gaat het dak er gegarandeerd af. Tijd voor Partyflock om wat vragen te stellen aan ‘Ome Karel’, zoals hij wel eens liefkozend wordt genoemd.

Carl, you’ve been performing in the house-scene for many years. Most of that time you spent in the spotlights, in the upper class and between the crème-de-la crème of DJ’s? What is your secret?
I can talk to you all night long about the scene, music and artist. But it just comes down to enjoying what you do and being happy with where you are and who you are. I see it as having a mission and for me that is telling people I’m happy and thankful and that I still love music and doing gigs.

Is it hard to keep motivating yourself?
Both artists and visitors have a story to tell about tracks they play and tracks they hear. New tracks are coming out and new stories want and need to be told. That goes for me too. I want to play music that touches myself and most of all the public.

Now this will be your third ‘Carl Cox in concert’ in this form. Will it still be something special or is it just another gig for you?
It’s way too much work to be just another gig. Over ten months of preparation goes into this show and it’s a creative process.

Ten Months! Thats quite a long time! What can we expect then on the 8th of April in Ahoy?
This year we go even further with technology, light production and visuals. Because it is the third Carl Cox in concert it needs to evolve from what we’ve done before. I have always had an interest in electrical works which I combine in this concert with lights, sounds and music (red: Carl started a university degree in electrical engineering, but quit after six months to become a professional DJ. So we take the technological production even further this year. I want it to be fresh! The emphasis however is of course also on the music. “It’s all about the music!”

Talking about technical aspects: what do you use for spinning your records? Are you an ‘old fashioned decks man’ or is cd or mp3 (like Ableton) your thing?
Well, I actually haven’t spun a vinyl in two years to be honest. My performance hasn’t changed though. In my opinion you can do much much more with mp3. The most important advantage of using cd decks is that I can bring much more music with me. What also happens is that stuff gets stolen during traveling. With mp3 I don’t have that problem and there’s never a chance of not being able to do a set simply because your records got stolen. And, if we talk about technique I have to say I find working with cd-decks much more challenging. The biggest advantage however is that with cd’s you have no feedback, so you know you’re always able to play the song.

You just said you wanted Carl Cox & Friends to be ‘fresh’. How do you achieve to make something that has been done before as fresh and different?
At the moment I am in Australia. I have a visa based on the fact that I bought a house in Melbourne and for three months this is where I feel at home and can be creative. Over here it is summer so I spent time at the beach and most important: the people have happy faces!! In Europe everyone is miserable when the weather is miserable. Weird, isnt it? I have my own recording studio here and because I take time to relax and because Melbourne is such a vibrant place to be, I create a fresh outlook on things.

So, there’s a good reason for people to go to Carl Cox & Friends this year and it’s not going to be ‘been there done that’ and let’s go to Awakenings which is in the same weekend?
Haha …no definitely not. I want people to just stand and stare at the visual aspect. I’m treating it as if it was my first in a sense of the reason why, you know? Show them what we can do as a collective. We can still show people what can be done as in creating an event that people want to go to and justify the money they’ve spent and also show them we’re still there and we’re not going anywhere.

The theme of this Carl Cox & Friends is “My house is your house and your house is mine”, a line out of an all time classic house track. What’s your thing with this theme?
The house is an embodiment of the music. People are welcome in my house and the intimate experience that music can be. I want people to feel as though they are part of something creative that is taking place. That’s why I did not want a secondary room but just one area. That way it feels as though everyone is part of the same thing and that it’s not massively big.

What does Holland mean for you in your career? Is there a special bond between you and Holland?
Oh yeah, there’s been a bond since my time at the Roxy. However, in Holland I have always done events and not the club scene like Chemistry and the Melkweg as such. Holland has a great crowd though and you guys celebrate dance in a great fashion with events like Dance Valley with which you show the world how Holland can party. I like to pay those people back by being at events like Dance Valley 2006.

You may have heard about the problems UDC has been facing with Dance Valley this year. They had some trouble getting permission for it and because of that had to change the date to the weekend in which 5DaysOff, Extrema Outdoor and the Love Parade take place as well. What will be the consequences of this do you think? Will people abandon Dance Valley?
Oh I’m sure there’s going to be a decrease in number of visitors. But Dance Valley has a great reputation. I mean last year it was absolutely pouring down with rain and I ended up in the concept tent still playing for thousands of people. It’s just something that you get on with. The festival has been lucky with getting sunny weather for years. And also it’s about the quality of the people that are there and not the quantity. More people does not mean better.

Something completely different: There is a video of you on the internet dancing your ass off somewhere in Eastern-Europe on the ‘Cultura Rave’ in April 2005 See the movie here). Some DJ’s, like John Digweed for example, just stand there and do nothing except mixing during their gigs. What do you have to say to those inert / not moving DJ’s?
Well, you wouldn’t say but I used to be a dancer. So it comes natural to me. If I see ten thousand people go all out to the records I put on I just can’t stand still. Also I want to feel what the crowd is feeling. I want to move them with music that moves me. So dancing to it brings me closer to their experience.

What is your opinion about the whole ‘minimal hype’ lately in the techno scene?
It’s cool. It’s not for everyone. It’s a genre and there’s a special set of people that enjoy minimal. It’s sort of like the music has gone back on itself but people see it as new. It’s an evolution like drum and bass. It’s there, doesn’t get played for a while and then artists start playing those records again and people think it’s a brand new thing. But like you said it’s a hype and those things go up and down.

Last question to get you in the mood for your upcoming visit: what’s the weirdest thing about Holland?
Ah that’s in terms of food and that’s chips with mayonnaise. I can dig the wellknown part in Pulp Fiction where Samuel L. Jackson is talking about mayonnaise. I mean you take food that is bad in itself, health wise, and what do you do? You put mayonnaise, which is just fat, on top of them!!!

Thanks for your time and enjoy Carl Cox & Friends and of course Dance Valley. Give us a call when you’re in Holland and we’ll take you to the Febo for a nice bag of fat.

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