Carl Cox

Carl Cox

The legend bids farewell to Space Ibziza after 15 incredible years


In years to come, people will look back at Ibiza from days gone by and there will only be a handful of nights that will REALLY stand the test of time. Music Is Revolution at Space is one of those nights…quite simply an unforgettable musical journey with the greatest soundtrack of your summer. In it’s final season at it’s beloved home before the new owners pick up the keys, Dan Prince speaks to the man responsible for one of the greatest dancefloor parties of all time. Good god we’ll miss it.

I call Carl at his home in Frankston, a suburb of Melbourne as the clock ticks towards midnight. The last time I spoke to him down under he was in full BBQ mode with a garden full of crazy people, this time it’s all serenity in the background as he picks up the phone…

“Just as I like it Dan! The calm before the storm as I’ve got a big one this weekend for the Electric Gardens crew. It’s my first time in Perth which I find remarkable as I spend so much time in Australia.”

Ah you are playing for Damien Gelle, the guy who helped start SW4 in London all those years ago, how is he doing?

“Yeah he seems to be doing well, Sunday sold out ages ago and Norman Cook was here for him a few weeks ago. Australia is such a tough nut to crack though, there are so many festivals going on – most of them rock based and there is such a fine line getting dance music events just right. The sound systems have to be spot on, the line ups have to be extraordinary – they don’t suffer fools gladly down here. But Sunday looks great…”

We keep reading about the whole Keep Sydney Open campaign that is going on at the moment. How much of a problem is this new Lockout Law that is causing so many businesses to close down thanks to these insane new government licensing laws?

“Oh it’s a massive problem and simply another case of people in power not understanding the younger generation. They are trying to enforce venues to close around midnight and get people in bed all tucked up by 2am. It’s crazy. This is the time of night when we all want to go out, not go home. They are trying to solve the problems that alcohol is causing in certain areas by pushing everyone out into the streets at the same time after they have drank as much as they can before closing time, well it’s just asking for trouble.”

It was a major milestone in the Intec history last week with your collaboration with Jon Rundell’s – the ‘Intec100 EP’, the 100th release and dedicated to your mum who passed away earlier this year…

“To reach a goal like this in our industry is a great achievement. None of the tunes have been massive sellers but we feel proud of the fact that we are putting music out onto the dancefloor which is representative of what a lot of our favourite DJs and producers are into and also creating. We strive to make the best underground music possible at all time and keep the clubs pumping with our tunes. I love supporting this vibe…and yes this release is in memory of my dear mum who left us a month ago. It’s funny how life works out sometimes, our 50th release was of course ‘Spoon’ which we dedicated to Mark Spoon who had just passed away. Intec100 is a fitting tribute to my mum as I know she’d have wanted me to carry on doing what I do best.”

She’d have been proud of you spinning at The Houses of Parliament in May as part of the Last Night A DJ Saved My Life Foundation in aid of young people living in war zones. Is this your first time DJing in Britain’s corridors of power…?

“Yes it is and I have absolutely no idea what to expect. I called Norman the other day as he played there a while back and he told me to just “go and do your own thing”. It’s for a great cause, I’m looking forward to it and I’ll be taking loads of different music as I think there will be all sorts of ages there. I love playing weird venues like this though, it’s a real buzz.”

Well young man. Ibiza 2016. It’s upon us dude. Music Is Revolution – The Final Chapter at Space. I bet you can’t believe you’re only a few months away?

“You know what? It’s been really hard for me this past year or so since we made the decision to leave just how this was going to affect me emotionally…”

It’s funny you say that as I saw your video on Facebook recently where you were urging your fans to hurry up and buy tickets as every week was heading to sell out status. Mate, either the sound on the camera was playing silly buggers or there were a couple of moments I thought the Coxy tears were coming…

“You noticed? What you have to remember is that before my 15 years as Revolution resident I had played at Space for six years before that. If you would have told me back then that I would be rocking Space for over 20 years I’d have thought you were mad. It’s unfathomable.”

There are so many rumours flying about regarding Pepe looking for a new Space venue on the island, if he finds a corker is there any chance you’ll sign up?

“No that’s it Dan. Our night has run it’s course and we are going out with a massive bang. I have told you before, I really want to kick back in life a bit now. I never wanted a midweek night in the first place but that’s how it panned out, I’ve always been a weekend person. Think about it. I land in Ibiza on the Monday and make sure everything is set for Tuesday, I do the party, Wednesday is a wash out and then I am off to the airport flying off to somewhere else around the world. And then repeat it all! There have been so many occasions when I have woken up in Ibiza on a Wednesday and thought to myself…‘well Carl you’re alive, let’s go again…!”

You’re going to miss it though…

“Oh without a doubt. It’s been part of my life for so long, but I am so happy to be leaving a legacy at the perfect time knowing you and thousands of people have had the best times of your life.”

15 years. 15 weeks. What can you tell us about summer 2016 in Ibiza…?

“We are still finalizing the line ups, what I can tell you is that I will be playing most of the night on the Opening and all night long at the Closing. We will have a lot of your favourite DJs that we will announce in due course and a couple that you’ll say ‘blimey I thought they were long gone’…

Of fuck me, you haven’t booked my dad have you? I had Pikes on the phone yesterday asking whether he’d come out of retirement for a special party?

“Ha ha ha! No Dan, I haven’t booked your dad. But he is more than welcome to come down and party with us…”

Thank god for that. What do you think of the new Dance 88/89 night at Sankeys starting up this summer? Lots of your old friends such as Danny Rampling, Adamski, Trevor Fung and Fabio & Grooverider flying in…?

(long pause)

“I love the idea of all these DJs together, David Vincent has really nailed the ultimate line up who made such a difference to all our lives nearly 30 years ago. But would I have played if asked? No I probably wouldn’t. This is how I see it. If you play for instance something as seminal as 808 State ‘Pacific State’ it isn’t going to have the impact of when it was first played back in the day. A big one off with all of these DJs? Great. But every week? I’m really not sure, there are so many styles of DJs and different records, I think it could get a bit confusing. Asking young kids to understand the vibe, asking 50 year olds to come who don’t take drugs anymore? The jury is out on this one, but as I said, the line up is phenomenal.”

I have been on the dancefloor at Space when you have dropped a classic though…

“I love dropping the odd anthem in for sure, but most of the time the young clubbers on the dancefloor think it’s a new track! Let’s take last summer for istance. I played LFO for the very first time and just before the bassline came in I had nearly stopped the whole of Space dancing. A few kids from Manchester came up to the booth wanting to shake my mind for playing a tune they loved from back in the day, but most of the people in there weren’t sure what they were hearing.”

I gotta ask, Naomi Campbell was in the club last summer and the world’s press were all over the moment taking photos. Was she asking you out or something?

“Ha ha, nah. Funnier than that. 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!”

You have had some cool celebs down though over the years though…

“Ah it’s been so nice to get people coming down who just aren’t interested in the whole ‘roped off, air conditioned, bottle service VIP thing’. A while back 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. Then we had P Diddy come down, he jumped into the booth and said ‘Carl, I just had to come down and feel what it’s like in the middle of the Space dancefloor during a Coxy set’. And with that with a towel around his neck he made his way onto the dancefloor and rocked it out for half an hour with his hands in the air. That was pretty awesome. We also had Slash down, another cool dude.”

And finally, looking back at the last 15 years…what are some of your proudest memories…

“Getting Giles Peterson in the club and smashing it, DJ Marky and all the Drum & Bass guys tearing it down, Pendulum were off the Richter Scale, playing back to back with Laurent Garnier, Richie Hawtin always unbelievable, seeing Marco Carola play Space for the first time and just loving it, nobody rocks it like Norman Cook, Francois K doing his dubstep, hippy house crazy shit…and as for my back to back sets with Loco Dice? Space just gets into a real mess when we go head to head! It has been a real privilege to host my night at Space for such a long time. I always get really emotional at the Closing Party every year but I am reassured in the fact that I am going to be back the following year. I haven’t got that safety net this year., every last record throughout the summer is going to hit me hard. But boy we’ve rocked it…”