Hailing from London, Carl Cox is one of the most well-respected DJs in the world. He’s earned many labels over the years— acid house and techno pioneer, label head, and King of Ibiza, just to name a few. Cox has done it all, from performing on main stages around the world to holding record-breaking residencies in Ibiza.
Active for nearly five decades, Cox’ first gig was at the age of 15 when he bought a set of turntables and began working as a mobile DJ. Originally captivated by disco, the young DJ found his place performing rare groove, New York hip-hop, electro, and soul in the early 80s. This aligned with the beginnings of Chicago house music, which Cox has been heavily influenced by his whole career.
As a pioneer, Cox was at the head of the exploding British rave scene in its earliest days, and continues to be to this day. Some of his earliest accomplishments include playing opening night at Danny Rampling’s legendary Shoom, held a residency at the Zap Club in Brighton and at the Sunrise rave in 1988, co-promoted The Project with Paul Oakenfold, hooked up a third turntable for his dawn-breaking set, and so much more.
Over a decade into his music career, Cox made his original production debut in 1991, releasing his first single via Paul Oakenfold’s Perfecto label, titled “I Want You.” This track made it to the top 30 and earned an appearance on Top of the Pops. His following tracks also hit the charts. However, Cox leaned more into his humble beginnings in the club and underground techno world, rather than continuing on the path to becoming a mainstream pop star— although his popularity level has reached that level over the decades.
"Techno drives home somewhere," Cox says. "It takes you to an element of surprise, not knowing where you're going. It's scary but wonderful at the same time.”
Some of Cox’s most notable releases include the 1995 techno benchmark mix CD ‘F.A.C.T,’ selling over 250,000 copies, as well as the 1996 EP ‘Two Paintings and a Drum’ and single “Sensual Sophis-ti-cat,” both adding to his list of top 30 titles. Cox’s third album, 2005’s ‘The Second Sign,’ also gained critical acclaim. Other noteworthy singles, “Dirty Bass” and “Give Me Your Love” were both released on 23rd Century Records, his own label created as an outlet for his consistent releases.
Cox has performed all around the world with countless residencies and events under his belt. He’s known as a legendary resident in Ibiza, celebrating fourteen consecutive years at Space in 2015. His weekly residency is one of the island’s most popular nights, with always impressive lineups and state-of-the-art production. Beyond Ibiza, his Carl Cox & Friends stage has been a highlight of Ultra Music Festival for over a decade.
Aside from performing and producing, Cox is deeply involved with the business side of the electronic music industry. In 1999, he formed his own industry-leading label, Intec Records, staying at the forefront of the genre for eight years. It closed in 2006 but eventually relaunched in 2010 as Intec Digital.
And still, Cox somehow fits in his ‘Global’ radio show, breaking records. He reaches 17 million weekly listeners worldwide across 60 stations throughout 35 countries, and is the number one most followed DJ on Mixcloud.