We traveled virtually to Virgin Media’s Club Rewind event, the UK’s first connected long distance club experience that took place in two cities 400 miles apart on September 22.
The live-streamed event saw Pete Tong make headlines at London’s Ministry of Sound, where he joined Ibiza icon Carl Cox for a back-to-back set, who performed from Barras Market in Glasgow.
We spoke to Carl Cox about his experience and perspective on the dance music industry, reviewing some key periods and his career.
Carl, thank you very much for interviewing with us! We’re big fans of everything you’ve done for the stage. How does it feel to be recognized as the Godfather of House Music?
“I always seemed to pick a name or two – it started as the ‘People’s Choice’ before it became the ‘Three Deck Wizard’. But if you ask me who the godfather of the house is, I would say the late great Frankie Knuckles.
When you look back to the early ’90s when it all happened, did you ever think the scene would become what it is today?
“No luck. As things shifted from a small movement to a small stage and raves and club nights started to emerge across the country, we couldn’t imagine things would end where we are today. hui with a global industry that spans nationalities, genres and generations. There were a lot of obstacles after Second Summer Of Love, but we were doing what we loved. Looking back, it couldn’t have happened. pass otherwise as people need to get together, share music and dance, but at the time, we didn’t realize we had uncorked the genie bottle – and it contained unlimited wishes .
DJing over the decades, playing in front of new generations of ravers, what’s it like to see different people and the community grow over time?
Unbelievable. As a DJ, I get my energy from the audience, so we bounce off each other. As artists we grow too, so even people who have their first clubbing experience today get something new. Despite the size of the industry, we are truly a community – as we said at the time “our unity is our strength”.
With Virgin Media O2’s Club Rewind, their research into the connecting power of music and bringing generations together helped them build the idea for the show. Are you looking forward to playing back-to-back virtually with Pete Tong?
Over the past year, I’ve streamed over 100 shows including a weekly Cabin Fever, so the idea of being able to connect in real time B2B was always going to be exciting. I streamed all over the world but never in real time with a live audience in front of me and a live audience on the other end – both listening in real time. Having a monitor so I could see the other audience and use Virgin Media’s gigabit broadband made the 600 km distance nonexistent. Taking this next step forward with Pete made perfect sense, his Essential Mix paved the way, opening up new genres and exciting artists to a wide audience.
Have the queues diversified lately?
“Queues are just queues. They have always been diverse – from the very beginning all races, genders and genders have always been welcome. I think people today like to label things and people, but in reality music should always speak for itself and come first.
Do you think that Ibiza is still globally at the heart of dance music? Where else in the world do you like to play?
“Ibiza is definitely in my heart. It is a focal point for many people – a small island where people come together from all over the world and a very special place to play. We had our own little Ibiza vibe at Club Rewind in Glasgow, with the crowd enjoying Ibiza’s timeless hymns. I love to play everywhere, but I think Burning Man has an extra magical quality that makes it just a little bit more amazing each time.
Do you have a favorite club that you love to play at that is still open now, or a club that you enjoyed playing before it closed?
“So many clubs to choose from with so many different positives. I should say Ultimate BASE which was my first night in the West End that I could really call my own. A few hundred people there for some techno, sweat pouring from the ceiling, and a pumping sound system.
Heard your Disco Knights sets at Burning Man are legendary, what makes them so special?
“Burning Man is what makes things special on the Playa. The energy of the people is amazing. Dust blows everywhere but who cares – you end up with a love of life together and that brings out something more in me when I play there.
Besides Pete Tong, is there anyone else you enjoy hanging out with the most?
“I’ve played so many phenomenal back-to-back sets that I couldn’t tell there’s a person to play with. It all comes down to what’s going on in the room, where we are and why we are doing it. At the end of 2019 I played a full B2B set with Fatboy Slim which was very special. There were 1000 people in an art gallery in Chelsea in London who were all there to dance. The crowd was in a hurry to the stage, there was no opening act and Norman and I went straight on and had a lot of fun together.