For over forty years, legendary DJ Carl Cox has continued to pave the way for dance, house and electronic music around the world.
This Friday night, Carl is joining forces with another veteran DJ, Eric Powell, bringing their Carl Cox and Eric Powell’s Mobile Disco to the after-race concert at Vailo Adelaide 500.
Carl sat down with Glam Adelaide to discuss the after-race concert, the changes to electronic music over the years, and what it is about electronic music that led him to pursue a very successful career in the industry.
“I think just the interest of where music could take us all in some way interested me. Traditionally, listening to music was always band related and song related. When you look way back, there was no such thing as true electronic music at that particular time, unless it was musicians playing synthesisers and all that sort of stuff in the beginning. I loved to see all that happened in the early days of electronic music; I was right on the cusp of all of that. And that, I suppose, is what’s kind of led me to where I am now. We are living in an electronic age now where everything is technology driven: cars, your air fryer, your phone, your watch — everything’s electronic, and I love it.”
Over the years, Carl has produced and recorded countless albums and racked up an extraordinary number of live performances. He shared with Glam where he draws his inspiration from.
“It really stems from America. A lot of the sound is driven from the sound of disco music – the four four beats. And my initial idea of traditional techno or house music sound is from Detroit, so there are a lot of soul elements. I love drawing ideas from many of my Detroit heroes: Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson…the list goes on. They all have a great element of soul and jazz to their music, which I really enjoy as well as a form of music, and I think these genres actually are being a little bit ignored at the moment. But this is where I’ll take all my inspirations from.”
Technology has certainly evolved over Carl’s career. We asked Carl if he adapts and uses the latest equipment when he performs, or if he likes to keep it old school.
“I still have an affinity for old school. Anything that’s recorded on analogue tape always sounds beautiful and warm. If you’re playing a record, there’s something so organic about it — needle on the record and you’re playing that track with affinity. You smell the vinyl and everything that goes with it. When you have a download from a Spotify playlist on your phone, you lose all of that. Unfortunately, we have come to a point now where it has become a throwaway commodity. You just delete it off your phone when you have finished with it. That’s how easy and quick a lot of the industry has become. There’s so much music now that’s being created, which has been made in such a way that you kind of lose all of that ethos of how music was made in the first place, the purpose, and why it was made. I always try to balance the idea of music as purposeful. It comes from the heart and soul, kind of like flying the flag.”
Cox and Eric Powell’s Mobile Disco is part of Friday night’s after-race concerts at the Vailo Adelaide 500. They will be joined by Robin S, Melanie Williams, Saeeda Wright and Christine Anu.
“I think because Eric Powell and I are both old school, we still want to give people an understanding of why we do this. It’s about the music, but also, rather than us playing a whole bunch of music from producers and studios, we’re going to work with Robin S, Melanie Williams, Saeeda Wright and Christine Anu. These are performing artists at the top of their game. Eric and I will be weaving ourselves in and out of their performances, so you’re not just seeing two DJs playing music. There will be a lot of love on the stage.”
Catch Carl Cox this Friday, 24 November at the Vailo Adelaide 500 after-race concert.
Tickets and further details can be found here: https://adelaide500.com.au/concerts .
Full after-race line-up
Friday, November 24
CARL COX AND ERIC POWELL’S MOBILE DISCO with the House Divas –
Robin S (US), Melanie Williams (UK), and Saeeda Wright (MFC – US) – and special guest Christine Anu
Local artist – DJ SVVLO
Saturday, November 25
with special guests William Barton and The Brewster Brothers
The Screaming Jets
Australian Rock Collective including Talei Wolfgramm
Local Artists – Purée and Mum’s Favourite
Sunday, November 26
Sneaky Sound System
Local artist – Rob Edwards
Photo credit: supplied