As if we needed an excuse to celebrate the big man, but Carl Cox is 60, and what better opportunity to reflect on his legendary career. He's been present through all the seismic shifts of dance music, from the beginnings of rave culture to the gargantuan festivals the industry has sparked. And throughout it all, he's stayed humble and focused on the music, rightfully earning his place as one of the best ever. Read on for 60 reasons why — and we could have gone on and on...
1 STARTING A MOBILE DISCO BUSINESS AT 16
Coxy’s first ever lean-in as a DJ came after the purchase of a mobile soundsystem costing all of £2.50 per week in instalments which he used to perform at weddings, bar mitzvahs, and pubs alongside his regular supermarket and grass cutting gigs. You could argue this is what made our favourite DJ’s career, but that could well be down to his contagious grin, too.
2 HIS PIONEERING THREE-DECK MIXING
An innovator with skills beyond belief. The three-deck-wizard adopted, curated as well as shared this style with the world. This holy-grail skill from our Saint Cox can only be performed by the most-skilled DJ and when he was first caught breaking it out it also broke the waves in the djing scene.
3 HIS LEGENDARY 15 YEAR SPACE IBIZA RESIDENCY MUSIC IS REVOLUTION
The greatest residency Ibiza has ever seen. Coxy’s commitment to making it great is exemplified by the conditions he put in place when offered the opportunity. Rather than just leap at taking a residency at the best-loved club on the island, he coyly said he’d think about it, and made some key demands: “First, I want to change the DJ booth because it’s in the wrong place. Second, the toilets smell so you need to sort that out. Third, the soundsystem sucks, so you need to change it.” And when he returned next year ? “Boom! – they’d done it all. I thought, ‘I’d better do this then!’.” What followed was legendary — right up until the very last tune, when many tears were shed to a remix of Angie Stone’s ‘Wish I Didn’t Miss You’.
In his book Oh yes, oh yes! Coxy writes: “The level of quality we delivered at Space might be equalled one day, and I hope it will be. But I do not believe the magic we created at Space will ever be bettered.” Not many who experienced the magic would disagree.
4 STARRING IN CHANNEL 4 DOCUMENTARY SPACE IS THE PLACE
Carl has made his fair share of TV and film appearances over time, and in 2016, his loveable face popped back onto the box documenting his time at Ibiza’s iconic Space. His legacy here needs no words, but this 30-minute doc perfectly captures those raucous days leading up to Space’s closure, and the end to his 15-year residency.
5 HIS “OH YES, OH YES!” CATCHPHRASE
We dare anyone to try and think of four words (or two words repeated) that are more synonymous with our Carl. From his early career until present day, Coxy has been delighting crowds with his penchant for picking up the mic and uttering “Oh yes, Oh yes!” over an expertly timed drop. In an interview discussing his memoir Oh Yes, Oh Yes! (duh), he admits that the saying came out accidentally during his early rave days. In an attempt to connect more with the dancefloor, he picked up the habit of talking to the crowd using a mic, mostly asking “are you OK?” he’d be met with a barrage of requests such as “play harder” or “play faster,” to which Carl would reply “Oh yes, Oh Yes!”. The rest is history!
6 STARRING IN ELECTRONIC MUSIC DOCUMENTARY WHAT WE STARTED
You know you’ve really made it in life when the premise of a whole documentary, which went on to be a worldwide hit, focuses on you and your career. What We Started, a 2017 documentary that chronicles the phenomenon of EDM heavily featured Carl Cox and his influence in shaping the very popular genre. It shows his European influences and narrates the tale of how a humble, British house and techno DJ took influences from Europe over to the USA. It also stars Paul Oakenfold, Martin Garrix, Louis Vega and even Ed Sheeran - all of whom make a nod toward the incredible influence of Cox himself.
7 WHEN HE MADE A CAMEO IN HUMAN TRAFFIC AS CLUB OWNER PABLO HASSAN
There’s a multitude of reasons why Carl Cox’s appearance as Pablo Hassan in 1999 rave classic Human Traffic is so iconic. For one, Coxy playing a hardened, mean club owner — oscar worthy. For two, the cringey performance of a genuinely intimidated looking John Simm as he stands before Pablo/Carl and claims to be writing an article for Mixmag as a reason he should get into a club for free? Identifiable. His performance has become so beloved in dance music circles, that in celebration of the film’s 20th anniversary Carl reprised his role as Pablo for a special NYE mix. Assuming Carl’s BAFTA got lost in the post?
8 OPENING HIS DEBUT BOOK BY OWNING AN EXPLOITATIVE CHILDHOOD NEIGHBOUR
It’s something we all dream about, isn’t it? Holding onto a petty grievance against someone who’s slighted us in the past and taking the best revenge of living well and successfully. That’s exactly what Carl Cox had the joy of indulging in with his book’s Welcome chapter. In it, he recites a tale of a childhood neighbour who offered him £1 to cut his hedge then refused to pay up after letting young Carl labour away in the rain — jibing “Save it for your book, sonny!” when he complained. “Well, here’s the book - say hello to karma from me!” writes world-conquering legend Carl Cox some 50-odd years later. The second-hand smugness is a joy to bask in.
9 PLAYING THE OPENING NIGHT AT SHOOM
Shoom is one of the parties that changed dance music forever. And naturally, Carl Cox played its first ever set and even providing the soundsystem, after being picked by Danny Rampling to hold down warm-up duties. Unfortunately there’s a sad tinge to this story — he was dropped after two weeks, and even his soundsystem was replaced by Norman and Joey Jay’s. “It was a real blow,” said Coxy. Fortunately, as we all know, this didn’t stop his rise to top. See next point.
10 PLAYING AT PRETTY MUCH EVERY LEGENDARY PARTY UNDER THE SUN
M25 orbital raves, era-defining parties such as Fantazia and Dreamscape, Fabio & Grooverider’s Rage at Heaven, The Haçienda, fabric, every Ibiza superclub, Glastonbury, Burning Man, Ultra, Tomorrowland, ADE, parties on every inhabited continent, the list goes on and on.
11 PROTESTING AT THE FREEDOM TO PARTY RALLY IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE, 1990
Carl Cox has never been shy to fight for his right to party. When the establishment started to crack down hard on rave culture he was there on the frontlines — despite being harassed and labelled as a “kingpin” in the mainstream media. “Telling us we couldn’t party was like telling us we couldn’t breathe,” he recalls.
12 CLASHING WITH THE PAY PARTY UNIT IN A FIAT PANDA
Another way the establishment targeted rave culture was the formation of a police task force called the Pay Party Unit, who stalked rave organisers in the hunt for trophy busts. Carl Cox was identified as someone to track on the weekends, which meant he had to move covertly and talk in code. But that didn’t stop him ditching the hire van he used - a branded Fiat Panda. “Whenever you saw the Panda van you knew it was Carl Cox. Thinking about it now, I should have probably hired a different van every so often,” he wrote in his book, alongside a chaotic anecdote involving a rave in Abergavenny, which turned out to be a big sting operation filled with undercover cops. “It went from hands in the air to ‘hands up’,” Cox spent that night in jail, but luckily he got away with no charge.
13 STILL STANDING UP STRONGLY AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT FOR DANCE MUSIC IN 2020
When the UK Government said that dance music is “not viable” during a Q&A at Brighton Music Conference, 2020, Carl Cox quickly shut them down. Dance music is in his blood, and he’s never afraid to stand up for his community and for the industry. “It’s not right that the government thinks that we’re unviable,” he said. He then called the government “100% wrong”, which is very correct. He’s been in the game for long enough to know it better than anyone, and he made his point clear. Making reference to his many years in the field, he hammered home that dance music continues strong and dance music won’t be going anywhere.
14 PLAYING MIDNIGHT SETS AT TWO DIFFERENT MILLENNIUM NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTIES ACROSS CONTINENTS IN 1999
Experiencing the turn of the millennium not just once, but twice, is flex in itself. But Carl didn’t just experience it twice, he DJed into the new millennium twice on two different continents by utilising the time zone difference to his advantage. He first played at Sydney’s Bondi Beach, before flying from Australia over to Honolulu, Hawaii to help the people of the tropical island party into a new millennium and celebrate a new year. Now, you can even hear the recording of the set he played in Hawaii and relive it like it’s 1999.
15 MAKING THE FIRST EVER MIXMAG MIX
Did you know that Carl Cox was the first person to ever head up a Mixmag mix? In January of 1992, the DJ went up alongside former Mixmag editor Dave Seaman to create The Essential Mixmag Live tape which consisted of house classics from himself, Rhythm Section, Tech Noise, and more. The mix now lives on over on YouTube and in a long-forgotten drawer under the beds of a handful of very lucky people.
16 HIS RESPONSE TO A LENGTHY CRITIQUE OF HIS DRUM ‘N’ BASS SET
Having started DJing in the late 70s, Carl has seen — and played — it all. Chicago house, techno, jungle, disco, minimal, drum ‘n’ bass, tech house, old school hip hop, funk… you name it, he’s probably had it on his triple deck at some point. So it’s a bold move by any standard to try and give Carl some tips, and it seems commenter Theta Burn didn’t get the memo after leaving a lengthy critique of Carl’s Edible Beats drum ‘n’ bass guest mix last year. “Overall a decent mix, but it needs improvement” they wrote,”It’s obvious to me that most of the issues in your mix are due to the fact that you’re a house DJ and not a DNB DJ.” Classy as ever, Carl replied: “Thanks for your input, I will try to improve on my transitions for my next D and B outing. Nobody is perfect, just respecting the music and the people who make it.” Never change Carl!
17 HIS CHARITY WORK
He’s not just a superstar DJ - but a generous one too! Coxy’s humbling charity efforts haven’t gone unnoticed in his 40-year career. Carl has helped to feed Ibiza’s music scene during the first struggling winter of lockdown with a charity stream, added to Last Night A DJ Saved My Life (LNADJ) initiatives, collaborated with Warchild aiding children in need, and played a gig in partnership with Mencap raising awareness for people with learning difficulties, as well as plenty, plenty more.
18 CO-FOUNDING A DJ ACADEMY WITH PETE TONG
He may look like a bad boy behind the decks but he’s a cuddling chap backstage. Something that proves this is that earlier this year Cox teamed up with yet another legend, Pete Tong on a “game-changing” djing academy. The Pete Tong DJ Academy is made up of over 90 lessons covering every aspect of a DJ career in a “comprehensive programme” with everything from technical knowledge to industry expertise.
19 THE CARL COX SCHOLARSHIP
Look, we don’t like to gatekeep electronic music - and neither does Carl Cox. He partnered with Brighton-based music college WaterBear to provide scholarships for students wanting to do a bachelor's degree in Electronic Music and Business and gave them £15,000 for music equipment. The financial barrier in place for young people is a great deterrent from an industry that tends to favour those who come from privileged, well-off backgrounds - and big ups to Carl for breaking harmful cycles. He’s passionate about the industry, and he’s always sure to keep it thriving and accessible to younger generations.
20 WHEN HE APPEARED ON TOP OF THE POPS IN 1991
Before you had Spotify Best New Music playlists, before you had SoundCloud “for you” lists – there was one sure fire way the British public discovered the hottest new music — it was by tuning into Top of the Pops on a Thursday evening. A true testament to Coxy’s influence as well as the domination of TOPT on the national zeitgeist, your favourite DJ and mine was invited onto the show in 1991 as his single ‘I Want You (Forever)’ hit Number 23 in the UK singles chart. In his book Oh Yes, Oh Yes! Carl describes the intimidating prospect of heading on the band-heavy TOPT: “I didn’t think I was a TOTP act” he says, “but something about a national institution like this calling you makes you come running.” Carl’s performance not only gave some the viewers at home their first taste of an electronic act, but also a preview of his slick moves.
21 HIS 16-YEAR-LONG GLOBAL RADIO RESIDENCY
Coxy is the master of long stints - just look at that 15 year Space residency - but he one-upped that with a 16 year slot on Global Radio during the first few decades of his career. From 2001 until 2017, Coxy took on a resident slot on the show which, at its peak, had around 17 million listeners - oh yes! Coxy played a monster 2-hour finale in 2017 spanning three decades of his career in music.
22 THIS 30 MINUTE CONVERSATION COVERING 30 YEARS OF DJING WITH CHANNEL 4’S KRISHNAN GURU-MURTHY
As one of the few people who are qualified enough to talk us through 30 years worth of dance music and DJing history - Carl Cox has done our community proud in this video made with Channel 4. He eloquently explains the history of DJing itself, how it has changed over time, how technology has impacted the industry, and the sometimes daunting reality of being a DJ. He also predicts what he thinks will happen in the future of dance music. Filled with anecdotes and with nods toward his contemporaries in the scene, this is the best quick introduction to show anyone who wants to know more about Carl.
23 WHEN HE HEADLINED THE FIRST EVER MIXMAG LIVE PARTY AT FABRIC
Look, if we do say so ourselves, it can’t really get much better than a Mixmag party at fabric? Right? That is unless a certain Mr Cox comes down to delight the masses with a Naughty mix of acid, 90s house and booming techno. For the first ever Mixmag Live stream from the epochal London nightspot in 2016 we enlisted the help of none other than Coxy himself. The full mix is on YouTube, we dare you to watch more than 50 seconds and not cluck for a mind blowing night in Room 1.
24 PLAYING THE LAB’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY MEGA B2B
It was with a heavy heart that we couldn’t invite the masses into our world famous office party to celebrate its tenth (!!) anniversary last year, and to make up for not being able to welcome you all into our workplace we knew that to mark the occasion the only choice was the most epic B2B imaginable. So for a “global” lab we enlisted the help of Charlotte de Witte, Fatboy Slim, SHERELLE, Jamie Jones, Kerri Chandler and of course, you’ve probably guessed it due to the title of this article… the Cox man. Opening up our B2B live from his home Down Under, Carl showed us his gigantic stack of records, his jazz hands and most importantly some slick vocal house that got us all ready for our big relaunch to the outside world. Cheers Carl! We’ll see you for the 20th!
25 WHEN HE BECOME (ONE OF) THE FIRST DJS TO PLAY AT STONEHENGE ALONGSIDE PAUL OAKENFOLD
A time-defying example of human ingenuity, a source of national pride and inspiration and a continuous, bewildering enigma – Carl Cox really is something isn’t he. Guess Stonehenge is alright too. Back in 2018, Carl joined Paul Oakenfold in becoming the first DJs ever to play at the 5,000-year-old stone circle for a crowd of just 50 guests. The pair had joined forces for the special sundown set to raise awareness for English Heritage — donating all proceeds of the event to the preservation of landmarks. You rock Carl!
26 DJING IN FRONT OF THE CHÂTEAU DE CHAMBORD IN FRANCE
Dressed in a tee printed with “sunrises, house & techno”, your royal highness Carl Cox, performed a genius set at Château de Chambord, a castle in France. This iconic set is not only beautiful to the eye but also the ears. Oh oui, oh oui!
27 PLAYING B2B WITH FATBOY SLIM IN THE SAATCHI GALLERY
Carl’s beautiful blossoming friendship with another Mixmag favourite - Fatboy Slim - has proved many incredible collaborations over the years, one being the pair’s back to back set at London’s iconic Saatchi gallery for Mixmag. How many DJs can say they’ve performed amongst world famous artwork?
28 DJING AT THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
When we say Carl has DJed everywhere, we really mean it! In 2016, he DJed in the House of Commons. In aid of the charity Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, he played a set in the House of Commons to raise awareness for the charity’s cause and show the good work the electronic music scene does. VICE reported that he played “banger after banger”, and we expect nothing less from our legend who always knows how to cater to the masses - even those who walk the halls of the Houses of Parliament. Despite none of the “big name” politicians reportedly being present, Carl got the room full of government workers happy and swaying to the music - something that he’s never failed to do before.
29 HIS SET AT PARIS’ 1998 TECHNO PARADE
30 HIS SET AT LOVE PARADE BERLIN, 2000
The turn of the new millennium was a huge moment for our Cox, who managed to squeeze a hefty amount of gigs into that first year. And he wasn’t just playing in the UK - Carl appeared overseas at one of Europe’s largest events at the time, Berlin Love Parade, for what would later go down in history as one of the most attended festivals this side of Europe. Coxy’s set at the 2000 edition of Love Parade was certainly a fan favourite.
31 HIS MANY, MANY ESSENTIAL MIXES
Possibly one of the only DJs let alone artists to have done over 50 BBC 1 Essential Mixes, the man is forever sharing and caring with fresh new tracks from 1994 when it began till his most recent mix going out last year. Having many b2bs with the likes of Moby, DJ Sneak, John Digweed as well as Pete Tong himself. They never get old and we want 50 more.
32 THE FACT HE CONSTANTLY EVOLVES HIS DJ SET-UP
One of the secrets to Carl’s lasting power as one of the world’s best DJs is the fact that despite having spent the most part of five decades behind the decks — he is constantly learning and adapting his set-up. The “Three Deck Wizard” learned to mix using vinyl, but is now just as comfortable on a four-deck digital set-up and Traktor. Indeed there’s something incredibly satisfying about watching a (very) seasoned pro losing his mind at filters. You keep getting funky Coxy.
33 THE CARL COX CONCEPT LIVE SHOW
The Carl Cox Concept was a short-lived idea that Coxy put together with the hopes of taking his show live - although it didn’t quite pan out this way when he hit the big time. It was one of his first envisioned live gigs, which he dropped shortly after its inception to focus on DJing. “My biggest problem then was that my popularity as a DJ was so extensive, and to take on the live show, as well, was like battling between two elements,” he told Mixmag. “I had to basically do one or the other - I decided to DJ and drop the live.”
34 BEING DR. DRE AND NAOMI CAMPBELL’S FAVOURITE DJ
That’s right. The Dr. Dre. As Coxy revealed in 2016 once while playing Space Ibiza: “My tour manager Ian tapped me on my shoulder and told me that Dr. Dre was in the house and wanted to come and say hello. I laughed at him and carried on DJing thinking it was some look-a-like trying it on. The next minute Dre is standing in the DJ booth with some of his family. He said he just wanted to shake my hand and congratulate me for such a great night and that he had been a huge fan for a long time. Dr Dre? I couldn’t get my head round that one."
As for Naomi? This one’s a corker. “Apparently she had been trying to get hold of me for ages to ask me if I could come and play at her birthday party with George Clinton. But it was that night. I was like, ‘Naomi I am mid-set with thousands of people here, I can’t just walk off.” Nice try.
35 SHOWING OFF MAJOR DANCE MOVES ON AN AUSTRALIAN QUIZ SHOW
If you’re this far down the list, by now you already know that Carl can bust out some serious moves if the occasion permits. For an appearance on music-themed Aussie quiz show Spick and Speck in 2006 Coxy let them have with some light footed choreography to Michael Jackson’s ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’ — wowing comedian Adam Hills, who would later make a move to the UK to head up The Last Leg. Gwarrrrrrn.
36 THIS PHOTO WITH SHAQ
37 AND THIS PHOTO OF HIM SWIMMING WITH RECORDS
You know what they say to digital DJs: sync or swim? Whereas we all know real vinyl heads ride the wax wave whatever the circumstances.
38 THE TIME HE HELPED A TURTLE NAMED COXY
After three Ibiza locals discovered a dying turtle floating near Conejera island just off San Antonio, they immediately rescued the animal and nursed it back to health — lovingly naming the reptile “Coxy” after their favourite island resident DJ. When Carl heard about the rescue of the loggerhead sea turtle he agreed to become its “godfather” and helped release it back into the wild. A friend to not only ravers, but also, the animals — a veritable Snow White of the White Isle.
39 HIS LABELS INTEC RECORDS / INTEC DIGITAL
Beginning in 1998 between Cox and DJ C1, Intec Records before relaunching at Intec Digital in 2010. It’s gone on to work with big names such as Sébastien Léger, Pete Tong, Paul Oakenfold and Richie Hawtin as well as sign Robert Babicz, Jim Rivers, Adam Sherdian & Mark Maitland, Carlo Lio, Yousef and many more. Working with established artists to launch the next producer, Intec Digital is making the stars of tomorrow. As Cox says himself: “We just want to put out reliable and solid releases in a cool, understated way. If a hit comes along, we’ll go with it but we’re not going to push it – it just needs to happen naturally.”
40 FOUNDING PURE FESTIVAL IN AUSTRALIA
Debuting in 2016, Pure Festival is the only place you can get pure techno. Handcrafted by Cox, the Australian festival has had talent including Nastia, Eric Powell, Christopher Coe and plenty more. Since its launch, the festival has spread from his home in Australia to New York in 2019. This year, Pure hit up Prague alongwith Lucca, Misa Salacova, Subgate and DJ Nuff.
41 BRINGING GOOD MUSIC TO THE WORLD’S BIGGEST EDM FESTIVALS WITH CARL COX & FRIENDS
Carl Cox & Friends is a world-conquering festival mainstay, but even when landing at the biggest and most mainstream festivals in the dance sphere such as Tomorrowland, Ultra and EDC, Coxy keeps it credible. “I’ve been really luck that the organisers give me free rein (and a healthy budget) to programme with, and I use the opportunity to introduce a new generation of EDM-following Americans to the music I play,” he’s noted. This includes programming such as Laurent Garnier at Ultra in 2011, who was given an extremely rare (at this type of festival) five hour set, blowing the minds of the crowd with flawless techno and reshaping their minds for what dance music is.
42 ALWAYS UPLIFTING NEW ARTISTS
As well as programming the greats to new ears, Carl Cox has always stayed committed to bringing through the new generation and helping to create new legends. “He’s the one that discovered me,” said Nicole Moudaber, for instance. “He played my music on his radio shows. He was one of the first people to invite me to Space and I’ve been playing the club ever since.” While in our recent Anfisa Letyago cover feature, she revealed one asking him for a photo at a gig and slipping him some music, which he checked out and thern released on Intec Digital. “He was the first DJ or producer who supported me. I will always remember it and I am so grateful. I always will be for the rest of my life,” said Anfisa.
43 GETTING 15,000 PEOPLE BACK ON THEIR FEET AT SUNRISE IN 1988
Truly there are moments that change everything for not only the individual, but for everyone. Isaac Newton had the apple falling from the tree, Neil Armstrong had his one small step for man and Albert Hofmann had his bike ride. For Carl Cox? It was being given the monumental task of rousing thousands of ravers as dawn broke at the infamous Sunrise free party in 1988. The moment has gone down in rave history, Carl wanting to just add that little extra oomph to get everyone dancing again decided to plug in a third turntable — banging out complex, high energy acid transitions and getting a 15,000-strong crowd, who had been idly coming down, straight up on their feet. The set cemented his reputation as the “three deck wizard” and an icon of underground dance music.
44 BECOMING A FULLY BLOWN BURNER AT HIS BURNING MAN DEBUT IN 2008
Considering Carl has played just about everywhere, we imagine it must take a lot to phase him at this point. So it’s pretty charming to read through his account of his first time playing Burning Man in his book Oh Yes, Oh Yes!. Describing having attempted to get to burning man for the better part of a decade, Carl finally made the Black Rock City jump in 2008 — arriving at the festival with “nothing but a rucksack.” In true burner style, Carl was adopted by a San Francisco crew and earned his keep by, what else? DJing — giving his new family “the full Coxy.” The experience moved Carl so much he decided to set up his own Burning Man area: “Playground.”
45 THIS B2B SET WITH ADAM BEYER AT JUNCTION 2
This trippy set at Junction 2 with Drumcode boss Adam Beyer was a mesmerising one, and three million people seem to agree going by our 2018 livestream. Cox was on top form as he went toe-to-toe with Beyer, who acknowledged: "It's a dream come true,” he told Mixmag. “Playing back-to-back with one of my absolute heroes will be one of the highlights of my life personally as well as professionally".
46 DOING MIXMAG’S ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS KING’S SPEECH IN 2016
Ho Ho Ho, Merry Coxmas! In 2016, Mixmag had the honour to get a Christmas message from Cox himself. Noting on the highs and lows of the dance music year reflecting on the sad deaths of David Mancuso, David Bowie and Prince. Noting on his own highs he mentions the success of Intec Records, Pure Festival and his closing night at Space Ibiza. Screw the Queen’s speech, this is the King’s speech!
47 ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO GET VACCINATED TO PROTECT THE CLUBBING SCENE AND COMMUNITY
"What we don't want is clubs to not work at the end of the day, we are all on the frontline now. So the only thing we can do is protect ourselves, to be able to enjoy our moments,” he said, and he’s absolutely right. Now as we’ve fully returned to normal, we can thank Carl, in part, for his effort to restore trust in the nightlife scene and in keeping our vulnerable club community members safe.
48 HIS LOVE OF COOKING
When he’s not rustling up a fiery mix, Cox can cook up a spicy dish as he told Mixmag back in 2020: “If I wasn't a DJ, I'd be a chef. I've always said that.” Prior to our interview with Chef Cox, we had a peek into the kitchen to follow him create a ‘Coxy Shepherd's Pie’ which made us scream “Oh yes, oh chef!”.
49 PICKING OUT SHARING A SLICE OF PIZZA WITH PAUL MCCARTNEY AT STELLA’S 18TH AS A LIFE HIGHLIGHT
One moment Cox thinks about a lot was when Paul McCartney asked him to join for a slice of pizza at Stella’s eighteenth. “I still feel a huge sense of pride at that point in my life,” Cox recites in his book, relfecting on the taste of oregano. Emotional.
50 HIS LOVE OF MOTORBIKES
DJing isn’t Carl’s only great pastime, he also has a deep fondness for motorsport. Not only has he featured in yet another BBC documentary - this time recounting his love for motorbikes - Coxy even owns his own motorsport team that he checks on just as regularly as he keeps up with the music. And, on top of that, Carl also runs a motorsports themed cafe in Australia’s Cape Woolamai - talk about a jack of all trades!
51 BEING IN A DRAG RACE WITH A CAR CALLED ELEANOR
Did you think Carl just enjoyed racing from a distance? Coxy loves getting up close and into the action, too, as proved by his very own personal drag racing car he’s coined ‘Eleanor’. You can evenwatch Carl skidding around the tracks for yourself.
52 DESIGNING THE CARL COX TIMEPIECE
Wanna look like the legend? Well then, it's “time to reach your star” with Cox’s very-own watch. This ain’t no ordinary watch, this carbon fibre timepiece has a miniature vinyl record as a seconds indicator as well as being GLOW IN THE DARK! Rolex could never. Cox said on the partnership: “I feel very proud of this, firstly because it shows me how far dance music has come that a luxury brand like this can recognise our industry and secondly, on a personal level, it shows me that my unswerving passion for what I do and the way that I do it is recognised by a company like this.”
53 ADVOCATING FOR THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH
In his book ‘Oh Yes, Oh Yes’, an entire chapter is dedicated to taking care of mental health, knowing what resources are out there to help, and explaining the importance of community in maintaining good mental health. Using anecdotal experience and narrating stories from his youth in Brighton, Carl describes how he’s always taken care of himself and hopes that the same tips may help some readers. He also stresses that he knows life is not always easy and says that he always wishes people have a fun time and can experience bliss on his dancefloors. He’s here for his community and its well-being, “it’s okay to ask for help, we are a community” - he says frankly in his book.
54 SAVING US IN LOCKDOWN WITH THE CABIN FEVER - THE VINYL SESSIONS LOCKDOWN
Eager to keep smiles on faces and the tunes spinning - Carl Cox started his own solo vinyl mix stream session dubbed ‘Cabin Fever - the Vinyl Sessions’ over lockdown. This was a great opportunity for fans to learn more about Carl, his eclectic music taste and see the more personal side of the DJ as we see him at home spinning vinyl and not just behind the turntables on the dancefloor.
Some of the episodes were incredibly personal, including one which was dedicated to his father, Henry Carlilse Cox, who passed away in July 2020. This show featured all of Mr Henry Cox’s own records, ranging from soul, disco, calypso and everything in between. Carl was even joined by Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley for that episode of the stream.
55 AND THE CABIN FEVER JAZZ FUNK PLAYLIST HE STARTED
With this, he’s also created a Spotify playlist full of jazz funk tunes that he rates. If there’s anyone’s taste we trust, it’s Carl Cox. This 218-track-long playlist features everyone from Marvin Gaye to Patrice Rushen. For funky vibes all mixed in with eloquent jazz - we know we can count on Cox to provide the sophisticated vibes. Check out the playlist here.
56 HIS ENDLESS LIST OF AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS
As we already see the man as a legend it comes as no surprise that he’s an award-winning DJ. Winning awards from 1996 up until 2020, he’s talent that has been appreciated by generations making him walking, talking, djing gold trophy icon.
57 PLAYING B2B WITH CHASE & STATUS ON A FIRE-BREATHING INDUSTRIAL ARACHNID
Glastonbury's Arcadia spectacular is a favourite fixture of the festival with his spectacular lasers and incendiary pyrotechnics. Its first appearance since 2018 at the latest edition was a very welcome return - not least because Carl Cox went B2B with Chase & Status with an absolutely ferocious set of high-octane sounds.
58 HIS NEW ALBUM ‘ELECTRONIC GENERATIONS’
It’s an exciting surprise that this is happening, since Cox previously said his fourth album, 2011’s ‘All Roads Lead to the Dancefloor’, was going to be his last, feeling annoyed about it being misunderstood. “My music is as well-produced and thought-out as anyone else out there,” he said, “But as soon as you put the Carl Cox label on it people go, ‘No, he can’t be a DJ and a producer’.” We’re glad he’s back because this new offering looks a real treat, featuring a bunch of collaborators from Fatboy Slim to Juan Atkins across 17 tracks. And he’s gone in. ”There are no apologies for the album if it's too hard,” he said back in June. Bring it on.
59 BEING MORE POPULAR THAN HE’S EVER BEEN AT 60
Who else has that staying power in the dance music world? “Realistically, when I'm 70, I won’t still be at it!” he said to us back in 2021. We wouldn’t bet against it.
60 HE’S JUST A REALLY LOVELY BLOKE!
Ask anyone who’s ever met him and they’ll attest, he truly is an absolute diamond. And what a winning smile! Coxy forever.