Like most people, DJs and producers have specific songs tied to events throughout their lives. In Crate Expectations, we extract a playlist from their memories to tell their story. This week's subject: Carl Cox
What's the first song you ever loved?
Carl Cox: The record came out in 1976 or '77 during the time of Motown Records and was by a young lady by the name of Diana Ross. The track was called "Love Hangover" and I remember buying this record on seven inch and paying 75 pence for it on Hyde Street. That's how much I remember about that record!
What are the first two songs you ever mixed together?
I kind of came up during the hip-hop era and basically was trying to be a DJ that could cut records up and mix them quite quickly. So when I first heard Chic's "Good Times," a record which I immediately loved, I got two copies so I would be able to remix it by turntablism which is something I had been practicing day in and day out. I remember my parents saying they would trap me out of the house if I played "Good Times"— one more time.
What is your worst guilty pleasure song?
I'm always exposed to so much music whether it's on the radio or MTV, or if it comes through the post as a promo. I remember when I first heard Wham's song "Club Tropicana" which is a record that a) is really funky when you hear it, and b) when I first heard his voice I thought he was black. You can imagine the shock-horror when I found that not only was he white, but that Andrew Ridgeley was the bass player on the record—and he couldn't play the bass!
But the song was so catchy and so amazing in the sense that, no matter where you played that record, I guarantee that every single person would know it. I think what makes it one of my worst guilty pleasures is that a lot of people wouldn't think I would know and love a song like that, based on my experiences and who I am, but I do and when it gets back in my head it stays there for some time.
What song have you had on repeat in the last month?
As you know, Pharrel has really come of age lately and has been in the hearts and minds of people in the UK, througout Europe, and beyond. In his own light he has really become a prolific artist and producer. I first heard his song "Happy" in Despicable Me 2 and it was a great track then, but now to see it be released as a single and go No. 1 has been great. The track's really in a great place; it's different, it's quirky, and it's Pharrel for sure. It's just something I can't get enough of and have listened to time and time again.
Which track of your own do you like the most?
About two years ago, I made an album called All Roads Lead to The Dance Floor and there's a drum n bass track from the record called "Chemistry." What I like so much about this track is that it has a lot of power and intensity, and the vocalist on the track, Shelley Segal, did a really great job on it. But then you have a lady named Nicole Moudaber who did a remix of the track that actually got noted as one of the Remixes of the Year two years ago, by turning it into an outstanding techno track. So the elements of something great were already in that record when it was just a drum n bass track. But because i'm not known for making drum n bass, when I made this track it got a lot of props so I'm really happy I made it. Out of anything I've made, I think think "Chemistry" will be the one they remember me for.
What track of your own do you dislike the most?
It's kind of hard to dislike anything I've done or really dislike any music per se, because I think everything has a place, and I kind of try to "bend" anything I don't like so it doesn't come out.So I don't really hate anything I've done, I just think some records are best left alone and it's hard to really trounce on someone else's creativity.
Is there a specific song you've loved jamming out to while driving around on your Ducati?
It's funny, because I don't actually listen to music while I'm on the bike, but as a "backdrop" in my own head, I think I would choose "Oxygène" from Jean Michel Jarre. I say this because as you go through all the corners and turns you kind of have this riff in your head that goes on for hours and feels electronic like techno music. This for me is an amazing backdrop to when you're riding through all of the roads, valleys, and gorges, and past beautiful lakes. To hear a song like "Oxygène" is a great compliment to riding in my opinion.
What track are you most excited to drop peak time during your tent at Ultra?
When I played Joe Brunning's "Now Let Me See You Work" it became the track that defined the sound of my tent and what we did at Ultra. But Joe Brunning again has come back with an album called Soul Masses and he's done a track of the same name which is going to be the anthem for my sets at Ultra this year. Joe Brunning is back with another massive tune that is above anything else I have at the moment and he's really great at making dance floor smashing records. Listen out for that one.
What's the last song you want to hear before the lights go on?
When you hear Masters at Work and the sounds they create it's just absolutely magic. A record that gets me every single time, no matter if I'm listening in the club, or car, or after a long techno night, is a track from their side project Nuyorican Soul called "I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun." It's just simply timeless!