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Q+A: Carl Cox

Coxy chats about the future of Ibiza, Space and his new compilation on Intec Digital

  • Dave Turner
  • 5 November 2016

This summer in Ibiza was all about Space and, therefore, Carl Cox. After 27 years in Playa d'en Bossa, the club closed its doors for the final time in October. That also meant Carl Cox's 15 years as a resident there came to an end.

His party Music Is Revolution and Space as we know it may be no more, but all that means is that Carl's got more time on his hands to concentrate on other things. He's starting off with 'Pure Intec 3', the latest compilation on his and Jon Rundell's Intec Digital, which comes out on November 11.

Ahead of its release, we caught up with Carl to speak about the compilation, his feelings about the Space closure and what lies ahead for the island now one of the most famous clubs has gone.

This is the third 'Pure Intec' compilation after 1 and 2 in 2004 and 2014. Why are you releasing it now?

You have to collate your music based on the releases and what we’re trying to achieve with it. A lot of these records have been released or are records to be released in the future. It’s the embodiment of the music that’s been out or going to come out and putting it all together at this point. If we try to put the music out once to every three weeks, we’ll be in 2019 or 2020 before we get them all out.

Your own production 'Your Light Shines On' features on this. Have you got any more original work coming up?

Not at the moment. I’ve been working on other people’s records, with a few remixes here and there. It’s hard when you’re DJing as much as I am and out on the road as much as I am. The last thing you want to be doing is be in a studio. It’s important to have a balance between releasing my own music and getting some remixes done. It takes time doing these records. I don’t understand how a lot of artists can do their tracks on the plane. The records are a part of you, your soul and what you’re about. I don’t like the idea of knocking up a record.

Will you be more hands on with the label now your Space residency is over?

Most certainly. I can’t do everything. I put a lot time and energy into Space. For me, Music Is Revolution starts on Monday when I get back to Ibiza from wherever I've been at the weekend. I did the party on Tuesday and Wednesday was recovery. So I didn't really get to do anything until Thursday. I've basically given up my Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays for the last 15 years. At the end of the season, I end up coming back through Asia and into Australia. Then I’m not around in Europe until March or April the following year. That’s been my professional life in the last 15 years. Now I have the time off, it gives me more opportunities to be in the studio, to be hands on with the label and get behind new artists. You never know what’s going to happen around the corner with music.

It's been a month since the Space closing party. How are you feeling about it now?

I’m still in shock. I’m in denial. I cannot believe we’ve come this far, in a club that’s not over and people are not sick of it at all. That place touched a lot of people all over the world. It was really emotional. The last music, the last time of the ice cannons, the last beer. That’s it, there’s no more. There are so many people who haven’t had the opportunity to go to Space. They’ll never know what it was like. They’ll hear about what it was like, or see the videos. It’s a bit like Studio 54, a bit like Twilo. It’s a sad state of affairs that we’ve come to this point where you actually have to let something go.

How do you think Ibiza will cope next without Space?

Of course it’ll carry on, of course it’ll turn a corner. There’s just going to be a hole in the essence of what that island’s all about. It’s going to take a while for people to forget about Space and move on from it. It will change, it is changing and the now generations are going to be the ones who move it on. The new kings of the island will emerge. It’ll never be the same as what it used to be, but things never are. The people coming in now won’t have the Summer of Love, they won’t know what it’s like to have the emergent sound of house and techno music, Balearic beat and new music that was coming forward. Now, you're hearing deep house, tech house, old school house mash-ups and the sound of EDM. You’ve got these elements that will be the fruits of what will determine what Ibiza will be. Then we have the idea of the VIP situation in these venues which changes things immensely. I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know what it’s truly going to be like in the future, but I can tell you, it won’t be how it was.

The club is now going into the hands of Ushuaïa's owners. How do you think that will change things?

Apparently they’re going to keep it as a dance club, keeping the VIP to a minimum as much as they possibly can. But there will be twice as much VIP as when Space had it. That’s what they do. They’re there to make money. If someone wants to pay €250 to see a DJ with their friends, they’re going to take it. Is it all about the music? Of course not. Will it be VIP service? Well, it’s proven to be something they want. Ushuaïa is good at that. They needed a nightclub and they’ve got one now. They’ve had a daytime club for many years, that’s worked really well. Now they can double up on the DJs across the road [in Playa d'en Bossa]. Certain DJs will play there and that’ll be the end of that. It’s going to be a good business for them and I wish them well.

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