Carl Cox - Autobiography
I can't remember a time without the strains of soul music drifting through our house. With both parents coming from Barbados I was brought up very much in tune with a natural party ethos that went hand in hand with a love of good music. My earliest musical memories are of Booker T and the MGs, Aretha Franklin and, of course the great Elvis, and I used to hijack my parents collection of 70's soul 45's and get the whole family grooving round the lounge! I guess the early signs were there - my passion for music combined with an over-whelming desire to entertain as many people as possible.
By 10 I had well and truly caught the bug and was spending every bit of my pocket money on soul and funk records. I got my first pair of decks (just the 2!) by the age of 15 and I started to play as many parties as I could, discovering that I could buzz off a crowd whilst funding my habit at the same time. As the 70's became the 80's I followed the musical trend from soul to disco to hip-hop but it wasn't really until I moved to Brighton in 1986 that I discovered, along with so many others, the pure thrill of acid house.
The 'Summer Of Love' was special for me in more ways than one. It was at the Sunrise rave on the outskirts of London in 1988 that I had had my biggest breakthrough yet. I was already something of a regular on the infamous M1/Orbital rave circuit but it was at Sunrise that I had the idea to hook up a third deck. At 10.30am on a hazy Sunday morning I managed to tempt 15,000 partied out ravers back onto their weary feet and kick the party back into action - it was an amazing experience- and since then my phone has not stopped ringing with offers for 'The 3 Deck Wizard'. I was fortunate enough to participate in many of the events that have gone down in history as defining moments in the history of UK club culture, such as playing the opening night at Rampling's legendary Shoom, running The Project with Oakie as well as holding a residency at Brighton's ZAP club.
With my reputation as a DJ well and truly secured I was able to turn my attentions towards producing. Initially signing to Perfecto I had my first hit in 1992 with 'I Want You' and, believe me, no one was more surprised than me when I found myself performing on Top Of The Pops when my record peaked at number 23 in the UK charts!!
Despite the fact that the follow up 'Does It Feel Good To You' also charted in the top 40, commercial success was never what I had been aiming for, it was all somewhat too far removed from the reality and buzz of setting a dance floor alight. Whilst fellow spinners such as Grooverider and Fabio moved from raves into Jungle, choosing to focus on a very UK and London orientated sound, I couldn't escape the American and European influences that had always been there whilst I was growing up. I have always been very globally minded which comes across in my choice of music, which I use to cross physical and cultural boundaries to bring people together. Essentially my heart lies with house and techno and it was for this reason that I chose to take a back seat from my impending career as a pop star and be true to myself by going underground and re-discovering my roots.
I started by setting up my first imprint, MMR, for Techno productions. I found that my popularity as a DJ gave me an opportunity to take techno to the masses and my first album FACT (Future Alliance of Communication and Technology) has to this day sold 250,000 copies. I spent 5 years under my own Ultimate Music Management which spawned club nights and tours alike and set up the forward-looking Worldwide Ultimatum to encourage the creative talents of more DJ's such as Josh Abraham's, Trevor Rockcliffe, Earl Gray and DJ Dan. In 1996 Nicky Holloway approached me to start a new night based on the style of music I was playing at the time and Ultimate Base was born at Velvet Underground along with the help of Jim Masters. Over the last 5 years Ultimate Base has showcased some of the world's finest techno DJ's, steered by a futuristic ideal, which very much reflects my own way of thinking.
The last several years have been absolutely mind blowing. In between jet-setting between gigs as far afield as South Africa, Israel, Tasmania and Asia I kick-started my acting career in the classic UK clubbing film 'Human Traffic' and somewhere along the way I found time to start new labels Ultimatum Breaks and Intec to focus on providing quality purist house and techno. I have regularly contributed Essential mixes for Radio One and I followed up the success of FACT (1&2) with several more mix albums including 'Phuture 2000'. My career has been marked by a number of awards - I was awarded IDA 'DJ Of The Year' 2 years in a row, Muzik named me as the Best British DJ and I've had more honours from NME, Dancestar and countless other organisations all over the world.
The time is now
Out of so many highs it is difficult to pin-point the peak for me - it is a close call between The Love Parade and the dawn of the millennium. Playing for a crowd of 1,500,00 up-for-it clubbers in Berlin was the ultimate DJing experience in terms of seeing how wide reaching music can be but then being lucky enough to see in the millennium not once but twice - first on Bondi pavilion, then hopping on a jet over the timeline to Honolulu, Hawaii, was also pretty special.
More recently I have given up my residency at Base in order to concentrate on spreading myself even further afield. But don't worry, in between producing, writing, remixing, presenting, TV appearances, managing, not forgetting DJing I will still be making regular appearances at Base and hanging with the very people who got me where I am today.
Formally trained in drums, percussion from a young age, Mat also had stints performing clarinet and classical piano. In fact, a young MJ played in the under-18 drum concert band at the age of 11, a feat made spectacular by his early ability to improvise in lieu of reading music. Through his father’s interest in early electronic music and instruments, Matt discovered a new form of sound and musical composition, a form he began to tweak and fiddle with at 10 years of age, utilising keyboards, basic sequencers and sound modules. Between 12 and 17 years, Matt began experimenting with computer-based sequencing and sound—programming being the logical extension of his early box instruments.
A visit to the monolithic Vancouver World Fair in 1986 catapulted the youngster into a world of compu-based generation and musical exploration. The focus of this globally influential event was the transmission of humans and information in the digital age, a catalytic theme for the young Jonson and his already burgeoning sense for production. During his late teens and early twenties, Matt could be found performing regularly in Vancouver, Victoria and environs throughout. An increasingly personal interest in live performance prompted Matt to focus again on outboard equipment, old 70’s anologues with a primarily hands-on usage.
Mat’s deeply moody solo performances, combined with his impressive session playing in the Modern Deep Left Quartet and Cobblestone Jazz, served to build a reputation for masterful composition, riveting and intensely emotional musicianship and, ultimately, national and international acclaim. His solo productions for Itiswhatitis and a collaborative Perlon recording have brought him broad international attention and exposure, evident in his travels to Geneva, Switzerland to work with Luciano, Germany and his performance at Mutek’s Micro 7—a prelude to Mutek’s 3rd edition were he played with Cobblestone Jazz. Although Mat’s Itiswhatitis releases have been licensed by such luminaries as Dan Bell and Carl Craig, attracted the praise of Richie Hawtin, Laurent Garnier and Larry Heard, Mat’s understated modesty speaks through the deeply personal nature of his work, a testament to his artistry and genuine character.
They started being commissioned to create several dense and progressive soundtracks for such twisted short films as “Warming Safari” and “Gone Golfing” (both directed by Maxi Dejoie), which received awards and notable mentions at numerous Italian and international film festivals.
The high demand generated by the motion pictures dragged “The Original Fakes” into a long and intense series of live DJ sets before the insatiable audiences of Torino’s club scene.
At the beginning of 2009 they enlisted the services of a seasoned drummer and bassist duo adding a new energetic breath to their live performances during an extensive tour that ended in a sold-out blow-out show at Torino’s legendary indie club (Hiroshima Mon Amour) in order to promote the release of the “We Steal Music” EP and its single “Au-dio”.
The EP served as a conceptual foundation and sonic basis for the five-part mini-series also entitled “We Steal Music”; an introspective socio-commentary exploring the symbiotic relationship between music and the digital era which deserved success from the critics.
It was released in september 2009 by the Turkish label 21 Recordings.
Concurrently focusing on electro mixing and production, the Fakes enriched their remix portfolio with an original version of “We All Want to Be Prince” by Felix Da Housecat and the good word on the duo’s remix styling spread like a virus spurring more recording/remixing throughout 2010.
The indie label "RiotMaker Records" was desperate for an official remix of the single “Your Kisses” performed by Italy’s popular indie rock scenesters, Amari. Other prominent bands from the Italian indie scene, such as Oh No Its Pok, DiD and the EQIQ label, became proud customers of “The Original Fakes” remixing services fully satisfied with the duo’s fun and professional collaboration capacities.
In July 2010 Torino indie-rock up-and-comers, Maniaxxx just needed to know how much awesomer “Disquiet” and “Disco Sewer” would be if recorded, produced and mastered in "The Original Fakes" studio, deserving a special mention on the famous italian indie magazine “Blow Up”.
The final tracks are a reflection of the endless sound design possibilities that “The Original Fakes” have imported to Berlin’s sonic landscape where they are now producing and DJing in legendary electronic clubs such as “Tacheless” and at open air events like “Spazzmajazz”.
Lorenzo Maria Gianeri aka Lollino, born in 1984, grew up in the heart of electronic music's maximum expression, and today has become one of its most important exponents. He started working in the music scene as a young boy: initially in the field of public relations, and later in the role of resident dj during memorable nights such as "the Plug" and "Popkiller" in the main room of the Centralino Club, and subsequently in the acclaimed Krakatoa night at the Beach club. Both nights have seen the best djs and producers in the international scene.
Some of his most significant experiences as a dj involve playing at several festivals, in many italian clubs, and in some of Europe's capital cities: Ibiza, Berlin, Formentera, Minorca, Bilbao, Lisbon, Barcellona, Madrid, London, Amsterdam, and Vienna. At the moment he is resident dj at Doctor Sax, Turin's most underground night, where his mix of sounds and sets makes people dance until late morning.
He has been involved closely, as resident dj, in every event labelled Movement for the past two years, which has brought him to play in front of more than 20.000 people.
As a producer, he has had considerable success with releases on labels such as Carnival Records, Tuamotu, and many others.
Step grows together with the new underground electronic scene in turin. In 2001 he joins the most important sound factory in the city,”the plug”, where he begins to play in a short time. In 2003 he becomes resident at the coolest after party i town at DoctorSax, historical and well known club in Turin and today in Europe as well! Here rises step's artistical side so he lays the foundations for his future projects. In march 2007 his first digital ep “Savannah Heat”, out on Esperanza, receive very good feedback from producers like Brothers Vibe , Ryan Crosson, Chris Carrier, Kreon and Agnes. In Fall 2009 his vinyl debut with Rills: "Bye Bye" EP on Esperanza, receive again many good feedbacks from established artists Chris Carrier, Technasia, Raresh, Karotte and more.
If you’re not an avid follower of dance music but are tuned into popular culture at all you’ve likely experienced music touched by the hands of John Digweed. Originally hailing from England but having clearly arrived on the global scene nearly a decade ago, John has long since cemented his name in the pages of dance music history. His list of achievements is groundbreaking to say the least.
Highlights would be the first proper dj mix compilation (“Renaissance”, done with Sasha), being the first British dj to hold a residency at what was then the world’s most well known club in NYC (Twilo, also with Sasha) as well as having remixed tracks by Danny Tenaglia, Underworld and New Order.
John Digweed is a DJ's DJ. The beauty of what he does lies in just how different he really is from his contemporaries. From his early beginnings in Hastings, England at the age of 15 in the blossoming scene of acid house to the apex of the international dj'ing world, he has created and maintained a level of integrity that is the benchmark for both dj’s and producers globally. In fact, he has reached the very top of his profession, being voted #1 in a voter's poll by DJ magazine in 2001. John Digweed has become the people’s choice while maintaining his longstanding presence in underground dance culture. His popularity as both a dj and a person seems to have no limits, but his efforts transcend dj'ing alone, he is as much a producer and promoter. His moniker “Bedrock” is actually three things: a record label, a promotions company and a studio production partnership (with Nick Muir).
His management and creative direction for the Bedrock record label has helped launch the careers of Danny Howells (with Dick Trevor as Science Department), Jimmy Van M, Chris Fortier and Phil Thompson (Moonface). He has had the vision and creative insight to seek out mixes and remixes from artists as varied as Rui Da Silva, POB, Freelance Icebreakers and the Second Hand Satellites. The label has effectively served as a foundation for artistic expression and a medium for creative output, allowing underground artists to break through to a much wider audience. To have a record released on Bedrock serves as the global stamp of production quality, ingenuity and integrity for producers worldwide.
In fact, the name John Digweed is synonymous with quality, ingenuity and integrity. From the nights he has either created or been a part of (Bedrock, Northern Exposure, Renaissance) to his world renowned mix cd's (Renaissance, Global Underground, Northern Exposure, Communicate and Bedrock) he has consistently produced characteristic products that stay in demand, himself included. Even with all of his global traveling he has still been able to hold down two monthly Bedrock residencies in both London (Heaven) and Brighton (The Beach).
As one half of Bedrock the production duo he has landed two tracks in the top 40 (“Heaven Scent” and “For What You Dream Of”) the latter of which made it into the hit movie “Trainspotting”. He has even tried a bit of acting himself ("Groove"). He and Nick Muir as Bedrock the production team also recently scored a Hollywood film (“Stark Raving Mad”).
His Kiss100 radio show is quickly coming up on its second year as one of the most successful dance music shows in all of England with internet broadcasts to all of the world. It has achieved a near cult status with listeners trading cd’s and mp3’s of the various broadcasts across the internet. John shares his platform weekly by bringing in worldwide guest dj’s.
As a person John's lack of pretense is enveloped in imagination and invention. Good reason for John being one of the most respected, analyzed and imitated dj's in the world. Digweed is both solid and durable with unyielding precision. His sinuous dj'ing and production sound has become its own convincing dance ethic. He is centered to the principles of life, living and friends in such a way that he generates an aura of self-explanatory excitement and enthusiasm. Without heroic pretensions his sets are filled with moodiness and musical mystery but held down with a punchy distinctiveness and earthly rhythm. Always emanating a sense of boundlessness he overlaps dream events that spill into reality with an enormous certainty.
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