Carl Cox: I love the fact that I can push the boundaries of the music

Whether it’s his unparalleled knowledge of music, his technical prowess, or his unwavering dedication to the beat, if you want to get an idea of the history and development of electronic music, just look at Carl Cox’s career.

From his 16-year-residency at the legendary Space Ibiza to his Global Radio show that had over 17 million weekly listeners, to headlining every club and festival you can think of and consistently being at the forefront of electronic music’s sonic progressions, he is easily one of the most influential electronic musicians of the last 30 years.

In his interview with, Coxy shares something more about his first techno steps.

“Everything was of the time. I used to play jungle, like proper dark, underground drum and bass sounds. And I used to play that sound with techno on top of it. So it’d be drum and bass with the kick drum of techno between the two elements. There’s no DJ that ever went between drum and bass and techno. I was the only DJ that ever did it, and I just loved the fact that I could swing between those two things.

I love the fact that I can push the boundaries of the music. A lot of DJs go so far, I kind of go past it and then if I find that the crowd is struggling, then I’ll pull it back again and take them in another direction. So it’s just because I’ve been doing this for so long I can feel it, I can tell where I’m going with the music and how much people can take. And I try to push that as much as I can in any set that I do.

But nothing’s been a conscious decision to play the harder music or the softer music. It’s always playing the conditions. I always feel like if I know they can’t take the techno or hard techno, then don’t play it. Because you want people to have a really good time. You still do want to be slightly educating them, but also you still want to have that party vibe – the reason why we still go out and have a good time.

You can imagine as an individual, you go to work all week and then here’s the weekend and you’ve chosen to go to a Carl Cox event. So you choose your attire, you choose your friends to go out with, you jump in your car or train or plane, you fly all the way over, you stand in the queue with your ticket and you eventually get in and I’m playing and what you get from me is exactly what you’re expecting. That is what your good time is about.

That’s what makes the party for me. Because I know the process people have to go to to get to me. So if I’m playing something for myself and I’m being selfish and not giving the people an ability to enjoy themselves because I’m playing, say, hard techno because it’s trendy to play right now, then I just won’t do that because I know what it’s like to be a punter.”