From the quirky techno of Dan Curtin to the hard jacking Chicago house of Green Velvet's Relief label, Carl's chart draws mostly on artists on the other side of the Atlantic. He's just wrapped up a tour of the US and Canada and his top ten also includes several producers who came along to his gigs and handed him a CD. Check now, it could be you!
Carl has been in the biz longer than most, but even he is not immune to the occasional oddball gig. Carl on a recent gig in New York:
"They told me not to bring any techno, house or music with a kick drum so I ended up mixing it up with David Bowie, Phil Collins, M.A.N.D.Y, 'Mr.Brightside' etcetera. I just downloaded a bunch of tracks from iTunes. It was great, but some people were like, 'Is that Carl Cox?'. But I just sat there sipping my cocktails thinking this gig is so easy. I got to play a lot of music that I wouldn't normally play. And Drew Barrymore and Ewan McGregor were there."
2006 has been another busy year for Carl with the release of a new single 'K'Pasa/Spoon' and two new compilations: 'Carl Cox at Space' and the just released 'Global' on Resist. Next up for Carl is a short time-out in Australia where he hopes to spend some time in his new studio before returning later for some big gigs in on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
RA tracked Carl down to his hotel in L.A. and he happily turned over the loot.
Dan Curtin - Your Little Fantasy [Pnuma]
Carl: “Dan's been really underground for many years. He's always had a funky, kind of electronic edge to his music. But again, it's always been quirky and I like the quirkiness. It's more like new wave funk to me. Dan's always been out there. I can't really lump him in anything. That's what I like about this music. It's something to do with his individuality. This is definitely a record people wouldn't associate me with. But I always have an open ear. My mind is always open to new sounds and music and Dan for me has always been the one that's inspired me to follow a record like this. I usually play this as I'm building up into the night - usually early on in the set or after I've done four or five hours."
Juanjo Martin & Saul Rein - Skylight [CDR]
Carl: “This record was thrust into my hand but actually I have no idea when that was. It was definitely in the US, maybe Texas. It's really funky, pumping tech house from a Latino point of view. I still love that sound. Sometimes when people give you a record you're kind of inclined to play it but then you think, I won't play it now, I'll wait until later. But I had some time on the tour where I was able to listen to a whole bunch of stuff. So I had this CD and I put it in and I thought, "Oh. This is awesome!". It's great to hear that people still believe in the tech house, techno kind of sound of the Latin spirit."
Dean Milicevic - Epizoda [OmegaRitam]
Carl: “I've had this record for quite a while. It's from a very small producer in Croatia. I have no idea what it means. This is Croatia's answer to electronic house music. He's done a really good job with this. He's definitely come from an Eastern Bloc kind of view. The sound is really quite rigid in its creation. But I actually quite like that because at the moment there are a lot of electronic house songs which sound the same. So this really stands out. This label has actually been putting out some quite good tracks based on its local talent. I've had this record since March or April and it's been slowly creeping more and more into my set. It's really pumping, electronic sounds but not cheesed out or winced out on its energy. It's about 128 BPM but quite quirky in its movement and in its music.”
Estroe - Bellismore [7th Sign]
Carl: "I really like this. It's very funky, very downtempo. It's one of those records that creeps up on you. I just like this record a lot because it's something that people wouldn't associate me with. I want people to realise that I'm not just techno DJ/artist. I've had this for quite a while and I've used it on my radio show because I like the funky energy of it. I haven't seen this record label before but as you know, I made an album called 'Second Sign' soooo..."
Jerome Baker - Move them Hips [Relief]
Carl: “Now when it comes to techno or something of that nature, this is it for me. Relief haven't really put out a lot of tracks over the years. They've kind of slowed down a bit but over the last few months they've put out a plethora of artists, and this is one of them. When I heard this it was just like putting Chicago back on the map for me in the initial kind of jacking sound. But this is kind of like 21st century jacking house or jacking techno. I really like Relief because they haven't really followed anybody. They've always just done their own thing, especially when it comes to Curtis "Green Velvet" himself because he's really out there. When I play this record, half the crowd get it and the rest of them are thinking, "What is this?". It goes clean over the heads. It's really pumping, and it's just jacking really. I just love that sound.The record is very aptly titled too because I'm always just moving my hips as it's smashing the dancefloor."
Marco Bailey - Deep & Fried [Intec]
Carl: “Marco's always been known for rip-roaring techno and some of it is enigmatic in its sound. Over the years he's started to think about his releases a lot more these days and he's begun to become a bit funkier and a lot more interesting within his music. I think he's got his best productions coming up now and I think this is a really good start for him in a way. He's been putting out some really weird and wonderful stuff on his own record label. This is not the typical Marco Bailey sound but it's a very interesting, new way forward sound for him.”
Ali Wilson & DMF - Emanation [Tekelek]
Carl: "I've been following these guys for a good couple of years now. They're from England. This record is kind of like party techno but it's got a really good emotional edge to it, which I like. And the breakdown is incredible. It's got really easy chord lines to it as well but it really appeals to everybody. It's kind of like intelligent progressive. It could be perceived as a record I would play commercially to get people to react to it but if you listen to it, musically there's a lot more to it. Every time I play this record I nearly have the whole room in tears. It's really really emotional and love the idea how it builds into this, drops down into this break and builds back up. Then when the record comes back in, it completely annihilates the place. It's unbelievable. But these guys have been making some brilliant records this year and this is just one of them. I think it's outstanding."
Tattoo Detectives - Il salto fuori (Crazy Mix) [Playloop]
Carl: “These guys gave me a CD called ETC before and I signed it to my Space compilation this year. So they came down again to Pacha in New York with these tracks and I said, "Yeah, man. I'll check it out later.” Then when I did I check it out, I just thought "This record is storming". It's kind of like techno but with a Dave Clarke chord stab edge to it and it's got the words, "This DJ's fucking crazy" in it. It's pumping techno in its fury and again, it's been really full on in my sets. [listen]
Johnny Fiasco - Hallucinator [Ovum]
Carl: “Something I really admire about Josh Wink is that he still puts out music that he believes in and he still gets behind people who he feels have something to say. For me, this is the kind of record Josh could have made. It's house music but it's nu-skool acid house style. Johnny actually gave me this record at the closing party of Space. It's really funky and it's got these acid overtones to it. And I just love it. It's a fun record but has the element of making people move on the dancefloor from a real funky groove point of view. I think is one of the best record's Ovum's put out in a while. A lot of the records on Ovum can be too deep for me but this one really dominates the dancefloor. I played it at Pacha in New York and people were just, like, getting down."
Greg Gow - The Warning [Restructured]
Carl: “Greg gave me the record while I was in the US. This record really has the essence of techno and traits of progressive. It kind of breaks down into warm chords but the backing track is just pumping. I think the pumping track is part Joey Beltram, kind of like in 'Energy Flash' it smashes the dancefloor to pieces. It's kind of tough but warm. It's just beautiful and melodic at the same time. When I put this on, people instantly get into it."
Carl Cox 'Global' is out now on Resist Records in the UK.