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Oh Yes, Oh Yes: These are the best Carl Cox sets ever

Relive some of the king's best sessions

  • Funster
  • 25 January 2018

Is there a DJ that's as universally adored as Carl Cox? We'd go as far to say he's one of the most beloved selectors on the planet and clubland would be a very different, sombre place without him. His energy, track selection, technical precision and beaming smile has captivated audiences for over two decades and the big man isn't letting up anytime soon.

Despite Space's reign in Ibiza coming to an end, Coxy still managed to keep the island dancing last year and his Pure Carl Cox night at Privilege was one of the hottest tickets in town.

Here's a 55 year-old man, actually no, a 55 year-old god, who rocks clubs and festivals like it's a walk in the park and whose profile only seems to be rising, even after all this time. It's not the first time we'll give it up for Carl and it won't be the last so we thought we'd run down some of his best sets ever.

All hail the king.

1992
Starlight 2001, Leicester

Urgent rave tunes, frantic vinyl scratching, razor-sharp cuts and a bunch of classic, fun-loving MC's, Coxy's 1992 set from Starlight 2001 in Leicester is an instant nostalgia hit. Before the terraces and festival main stages, Carl was known for his breakbeat hardcore sets. No mercy and a whole lot of energy, you won't hear the pioneer play like this now, so savour this 90 minutes of pure XTC.

1993
The Leisurebowl, Stoke-On-Trent

From Leicester to the dizzy heights of Stoke-On-Trent, Carl Cox's early years were spent rolling out 135bpm monsters and this set from The Leisurebowl brings similar levels to his Starlight 2001 gig. It's more of the same really, the MC's are back with a vengeance and whether it's pounding kick drums or furious jungle percussion, it's here in abundance. It's rare to see Coxy's name so low down on a line-up and alongside DJs like (puts on fairground operator voice) MC Robbie Dee, Daz Willmott, TJ and Ratty. Oh, the good old days.

1994
Mayday - The Raving Society, Berlin

Finally, some actual footage of Carl working his magic across a set of 1210s. Judging by the size of that crowd as well, it should come as no surprise that Coxy is so well-versed when it comes to catering for such a big audience. Mayday is a similar-sized event to Love Parade and is a German staple, one that aims to represent the style of techno being played at the time. Watch our Carl break a sweat as he tactfully blends together techno weapons.

2004
Space, Ibiza

Ok, so we've skipped ten years but it's about time we brought in the big guns. Space was Carl Cox's home, his palace, his undisputed stomping ground and no-one played that club quite like him. To have seen him play on the White Isle at that club is like having a piece of dance music history engrained in your memory for eternity. Although he served up monumental sermons in each room, the Discoteca was his big draw, so this 30 minute segment of his set outside on the terrace in 2004 is a real treat and closer to the funkier, groovier sounds he's known best for today.

2013
Boiler Room Villa, Ibiza

One of Coxy's most infamous online sets, his villa party takeover in Ibiza for Boiler Room is an instant classic. It's the perfect mix of stomping and cheeky and boy does he look like he's having fun. Arguably one of the best things about the video is the crowd, they're dancing like nobody's watching, although it's the opposite, everybody is watching. He jumps on the mic, wears a sailor hat and provides the perfect summer soundtrack that you'll be watching again and again.

2015
Time Warp, Mannheim, Germany

Three hours of Carl Cox from Time Warp, arguably the greatest dance music spectacle on the planet.

We really don't need to tell you why this one is unmissable, do we?

2016
fabric, London

In June 2016, Carl Cox graced the Mixmag cover. Not that we ever needed a reason to put the king back on the front page, but 2016 was to be Space's final year and it felt apt that we celebrate the legacy of Ibiza's greatest star. To celebrate his cover, Coxy played a very special two hour set at London's fabric, an institution more than worthy of the selector's presence. He slammed through bumping house and a slew of rave classics and it was a very special night for everyone involved

2016
Space, Ibiza

Emotional, bittersweet and absolutely insane. All ways you can describe Carl's last ever set at his night Revolution. Although the final time he'd ever play at Space would be in October at the Closing Fiesta (he'd go on to play the last track from the last set ever), his nine-hour marathon would be the last time his night would take place at his clubbing home. Some say that's it's the best set he's ever played there. Judging by the video evidence, he put in a fucking sterling performance. Sorry, we need a sec, there's a lump in our throat.

2017
DJ Sounds, London

At the end of last year, Pioneer's DJ Sounds show welcomed a very special guest indeed and you can see the king roll it out across four decks with front row seats (a camera pointing down towards the setup). Every action is filmed and every hurtling beat and drop is witnessed real time, offering a rare insight into what goes on in the booth. He's still got it.

2018
Essential Mix

And here we are, back to present day and we're all eager to see what 2018 has in store for us. BBC Radio One's Essential Mix has always been a one-stop shop for extended mixes from the biggest and best DJs in the world so when Coxy stepped up this year, it meant we had the most up to date incarnation of his DJ sets right now. It's current, it's pulsating and it shows just how far Carl's sound has developed over the last two decades. Never change, never stop and always keep smiling Carl. The world would be a much sadder place without you DJing in it. Can we get an 'Oh Yes, Oh Yes'?

Funster is Mixmag's Digital Editor, follow him on Twitter

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