On Filling The Festival Gap

1 March 2016 | 3:16 pm | Bryget Chrisfield

"My sideshows, I felt, were better than the actual show that I was doing at those events."

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Following on from the announcement that Carl Cox will launch a new dance music event, Pure, in Sydney and Melbourne, the legend who champions techno and house music has also managed to squeeze in a Perth date at Red Hill Auditorium, his first headline show there since 2014. An honorary Australian, Cox has spent every southern hemisphere summer living on the east coast "in Frankston South", for how long now? "I've been here 11 years," he marvels before chuckling, "I haven't become a fully fledged bogan yet, but gettin' there, slowly but surely." Cox makes his annual pilgrimage outta here "by the third week in March", flying via America ("to do my first festival of the year, which is Ultra") to base himself in Brighton, England. "That gives me the ability to do all the parties I need to do in Europe and especially, of course, Ibiza," the DJ tells.

"I'm not gonna do any bush raves or anything else like that, it's not for me."

According to Cox, more than a decade of summers spent in our country means he can "really, truly see what's missing" in our dance music scene and, in turn, wants to "add [his] element to keep the vibe alive". As a permanent fixture behind the consoles at numerous Australian festivals over the years, Cox recalls, "I always found that when I was doing Big Day Out — or was playing at Stereosonic, or even Future Music [Festival] — that my sideshows, I felt, were better than the actual show that I was doing at those events." Now that "Big Day Out's diminished and gone and Future Music is gone", Cox observes, "There is a gap and I'm hoping that I'll be able to fill that gap.     

"I'm not gonna do any bush raves or anything else like that, it's not for me," he clarifies. "What I wanna do is use elaborate venues." With 2016 his last residency at Space Ibiza, he will be giving Perth audiences a preview of what's to come there. Then as well as giving us "a pure taste of exactly what it's like to be in Europe, right here in Australia", via his forthcoming Pure shows, Cox also expresses a desire to utilise our local talent. "There's a lotta DJs here in Australia that also love this music but are not able to play in such a way," he states. Cox is "looking to basically be here full-time in a few years to come", which will translate to more quality parties for us.

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Given his vast experience manipulating the ones and twos the world over, we wonder whether punters have been known to hold their mobile devices up in the air to request tracks from Cox. He answers in the affirmative, adding, "I just laugh and I think to myself, 'Why would you go with your iPad, right? — to a club night and then decide that you wanna hear a particular record, so therefore you're gonna put it on your iPad and then dance with it in front of me until you hear that record?' And I'm just like, 'I don't even have that record to play! And, to be honest, if I had it I probably wouldn't play it 'cause it's not what I'm about,' you know?" Cox has obviously given it a lot of thought and offers, "I think a lot of people, when they hear a lot of music that they don't know or haven't heard before, they're not really experiencing a true night by the reason why they went in the first place so they wanna justify it by hearin' Justin Bieber... [If] they wanna hear that record to have a good night, they're still gonna have a bad night 'cause they're not gonna hear it," he laughs. So we shouldn't get our hopes up that he'll drop Bieber's Sorry into the mix during any of his upcoming Australian dates? "Definitely not, no," he promises.