Music » Livewire

Carl Cox

Saturday, February 23, at Metropolis.


Someone should take a poll of international DJs and figure out just how many of them credit their parents' record collections with igniting their interest in the vinyl arts. We can't even begin to count how many times we've heard the near-stock answer, and Carl Cox is no exception.

But that's about where the similarities end between Coxy, as his fans tend to call him, and the competition. After over 20 years on the British dance scene, Cox has been sworn in as an official "superstar DJ," and there are few others who can boast that title. He even sets himself apart from the rest of the illuminati -- fellow superstar DJs like Paul Oakenfold, Judge Jules, and Pete Tong -- by turning his back on the British dance paparazzi. While most of these elite DJs have been resting on their laurels for years, playing whatever the British record label bigwigs throw their way, Cox consistently packs his sets with underground tracks, even allowing a fair share of American and Continental material to grace his decks.

But Cox has one more trick: his mythical mastery of three-turntable mixing. Despite all the jumping around and dancing he does behind the decks, he still finds time to sync up not one, not two, but three records at a time, which allows him to work in extra vocal parts or funky house licks while he's already got two banging techno records chugging away in rhythmic syncopation. Fans and DJs alike also love him for his preference for playing long. It's not unusual to hear him stretch his sets out over four or five hours, carefully building and shaping them in order to tell just the right story.

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