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Carl Cox interview - Cox of Franga

Author: Cyclone
Thursday, February 9, 2006

The UK techno pioneer Carl Cox has settled into a happy routine that sees him spend summers on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. But this hasn't meant that Melbourne's dance community now takes him for granted. After last year's tour with the Big Day Out, Coxy, who first played Australia in 1991, will be DJing at regional events across the state. There's a buzz. "I'm gonna be full-on, doing what I do normally if I was at a big party in Holland or doing Home nightclub in Sydney or whatever."

Coxy - who's battled health problems in the past due to his strenuous lifestyle - can't stop raving about his pad outside Frankston close to his mate (and expat Brit) Eric Powell. The time out has proven beneficial. "My life is pretty crazy and hectic at the best of times and it just comes to a point now where I want to spend a little bit of quality time and actually enjoy what I have and what I've created for myself," Carl says. "A lot of people, when they're here in Frankston, don't seem to appreciate what they have here. It's amazing. I mean, I've been everywhere around the world 20 times and all over and every time I come up here I just think, Christ, this is beautiful up here."

The affable Coxy is learning to decline the occasional gig after travelling from Australia to the US and back for NYE. "I've had to start to say no, because if I say yes to everything, I'm gonna kill myself!"

Best of all, on the peninsula, the DJ isn't bugged by diehard fans. "I can go anywhere - Safeways, Bunnings, you name it," he laughs. Coxy means to eventually use his coastal retreat as a base from which to explore the country. "At the moment I'm just trying to build the home here. When I bought the house, I bought the house, I didn't buy anything else. There was nothing else in it, no furniture, no cups, spoons, nothing, so I've spent most of my time getting everything that I want to even have a glass of water - it's just been amazing but true! So it's taken a year or so to do that - and also when I did come last year, after I bought the house, the first thing I did was the BDO, so I got around to all the cities through the BDO, but that's kinda a whirlwind, really, and by the time I came back, relaxed a little bit, then I was working again."

Coxy will be visiting Bendigo, Geelong and Melbourne on his current tour - he relishes the idea of visiting regional centres. "Many years ago in the UK, when the rave scene was very fruitful, we were able to do very small towns. We went on our journeys all the way up and down the M1 motorway. We were able to turn off and do Hull, Doncaster, Bedford, all these sort of places which you would never normally hear of, and people would go mental!"

Indeed, Coxy was among the UK's first superstar DJs, yet even in the flamboyant '90s he never exhibited arrogance. Coxy may be associated with techno, but he is no purist, spinning trance, progressive house and breakbeat. He's known as the techno populist. Most of all, Coxy is respected by his peers - and supported by the likes of Underground Resistance's "Mad" Mike Banks. Coxy himself has fostered underground music by way of his label Intec.
Incredibly, Coxy has DJed for some 35 years, but he isn't jaded. "I feel like a techno evangelist, trying to spread the word of the kick drum across the country! I still have that fight in me to make people realise that this scene is one of the best scenes that's ever happened in our lifetime, purely based on what it does and how it's got people together dancing to a certain sound of what we want out of our lives. It wasn't set up by the government or anyone else to say that, 'You should be dancing to this music'. It's what we're creating and what we're still creating today after all these years. And I'm very fortunate to be one of these people who's been at the forefront of this wh