Carl has been on the island way before many of the superstar DJs we see today. He is the man who has seen it grow and develop to the party capital of the world and to be honest he probably made that happen. As the wild Ibiza sense is now under way, we speak to Carl to find out about his plans for Space Ibiza, take him back to when he first come to the island and find out why Ibiza holds a special place in his heart.
Yea, the things about Ibiza is, you wake up half way through the day and work throughout the night. My night doesn’t start until 3 o’clock in the morning so I have to basically prepare myself for that. I prepare a lot of music that is sent to me on a USB stick and on CD. During the day I am not sunbathing drinking Pina Coladas (Carl laughs), I am searching for music to make sure the people get the very best at that time , because life is based on moments and when I am able to create this on the Space dance floor, it’s a great feeling.
How long do you prepare for your sets?
Preparation does take awhile because there is so much music out there so I don’t want to break the illusion that DJs sit under the sun all day and half an hour later they are behind the turn tables with our hands up in the air.
Is there a particular place where you go to concentrate and unwind because Ibiza can be very busy and loud?
We have always stayed at the same place in Ibiza for the last 15 years and it’s really up in the mountains, away from everywhere and everyone. When you look out of the window there, all you can see is trees, mountains and blue skies. I am actually very (very) fortunate to have that as a working environment for me to be able to concentrate and get the work done. If I was staying in any of the resorts, I don’t think I’ll get any work done – I agree (Maria says). So really, where I am, it’s the best place to be on the Island.
You first came to the island in 1984, how do you think Ibiza has changed since then?
Ibiza has changed a lot since then. The vibe was a lot more relaxed in some ways and you didn’t really know which DJs were going to be on the Island, which clubs were rocking it and even the beaches were less crowed at that time. Now everything is in Euros and you know exactly what you are spending to the pound. The road systems are much better now, in the early days there were far more accidents because people didn’t know which side of the road they should be on. So I have seen a massive change from what it used to be to where it is now. Also the mystery has kind of gone because now you go and prepare to see your favourite DJ and also the clubs are fit for a certain cliental. Before there were more Dance clubs where as now they are more VIP clubs.
Ok how about daytime parties?
There wasn’t really any day time kind of parties but now there are more daytime events than evening parties. Over the years there has been a massive change but I like to think, now we in the 21st Centaury and things do move on and Ibiza right now is in a very good place because now people understand the reason why they go and they go because of what Ibiza has to offer and they enjoy the moment. Ibiza is now more prepared to tailor for everyone’s needs, if they want to spend a million euros in a club or 20 euros, they can, the island doesn’t discriminate.
Speaking about daytime events, what are your plans for Sands Ibiza this year?
Well, I always try to do at least two parties at Sands, one being my birthday where people can rock up and just enjoy the music that I love and the second one is more of a disco, soul set and that has become really popular. People are used to see me in a club playing House – tech music and that’s fine, it’s pumping. Whereas the Sands free party is more relaxed and people can just chill and enjoy the music.
Do you play your old records?
Yes absolutely, I have some really good old school classic records and for me it’s really nice to be able to dig out some of the music that made me where I am today and share my sound to the people who enjoy it on the beach.
You have DJed in Space Ibiza for over 16 - 17 years, can you share with us some of your most profound memories?
I have always had really amazing time at Space. I would say I have had a couple of emotional ones. People don’t understand that after being there for a whole year, you have created some amazing sets, played mind-blowing music that takes people left, right, up and down and the very last night of you being there, after the crown goes, you are basically left in an empty club and you think WOW This has been such a ride. Emotionally it really takes you and you look back at what you have created. I have had >
some serious emotional moments. Especially when the records just sends you into a place where you
feel this is what it’s all about at the end of the day. This is what we have created and for me it has been since 1986, 1987.
Your birthday parties have become one of the most popular events on the white isles and people would fly in just for the day. How does that make you feel?
Every time I do my birthday party, it’s always very excited and amazing and four and a four thousand people will sing happy birthday to me and most of them don’t even speak English (he laughs) and it makes me so proud. You never see this in clubs nowadays and it happens in Space (Ibiza). I think that’s really beautiful and I am passionate about every person who comes to see me and its phenomenal. I don’t get that feeling in any other club I have ever played at. So I feel very blessed and honored to be in that club and be able to have these moments with these people who pay good money to come and see me and other djs playing. It makes you feel that you are part of something
What happened during your 10 year anniversary at Space?
Funny you mention this, I remember I decided to play for 10 hours and during this time I played the music that represented my sound. It was incredible that people were there from the first record I played until the very last one. That’s probably the longest set I have ever done in one of the most famous clubs in the world (Space Ibiza) and this was pretty special as well.
You invite many other DJs to work with you, how is going?
It’s incredible, I take a step back and when they play – I am like this is what I am talking about. When Nicole Moudaber plays, she just takes over the room completely and again this was a great moment for me to see that someone like that was able to do it. She took it and made it her own. I am really pleased to be involved in it and to be also outside looking in and seeing how the people control the club.
Attending a Carl Cox night isn’t your typical club event. First of all, you are surrounded by four thousand screaming and excited fans, an electrifying atmosphere that could easily send you to Space and then the agonizing wait for the icon man to appear behind those four pioneers decks and to press play.
You are one of the very few DJs in the world to ever mix with 4 Pioneer DJ decks and CDs, how did you come up with the venture?
I have always been a creative soul on turntables when I first started. I progressed from two turntables to three and I made that work for myself in the sense of entertainment. I love pushing myself creatively as a DJ much further than most DJs who are out there. I was really enjoying the idea of playing on three turn tables so when Pioneer decided to link all four turntables and link them into three Pioneers, I was like OK, this is challenging, here we go, all four turntables mixing with CD players. I was really fascinated by it and still I’m based on what I have created. Even people now still don’t know what I am doing but I am doing it. Every single record is not synced and I mix it all.
Basically I grew up mixing music and I don’t want to ever lose that element of synchronizing the music to make sure it’s in the mix. You heard the record going out and the reason it goes back in is because I made it go back in. That’s my craft and it will always remain to be my craft. I still enjoy the fact that I am still being pushed to the elements. That’s what I love doing.
Read more interviews with R3hab, Nicky Romero and Nicole by visiting the Inside Ibiza Luxury Lifestyle Magazine.