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Review: Carl Cox Opening Party 2013

Carl Cox returns to present his twelfth island coup d'état.

By Michael Huntington

'The Revolution: The Party Unites' is the audacious - or simply self-assured - title attached to Carl Cox's 12th party season on the island. Building on the success of last years Revolution Recruits, Cox, alongside Safehouse Management, aims to present an event that transcends genre snobbery and musical preconceptions in the pursuit of an honest, original party.

When Spotlight spoke to Cox in mid June the amiable selektor cited marshaling happiness and sharing love - the love of music and a human love for one another - as his chief motivations. Tagged as one of the biggest opening parties of the summer calendar I was intrigued to experience the winning formula - namely how Cox translates his warm-hearted attitude via speeding techno and how the 'uniting' ethos of the party could be delivered.

The line-up boasted a solid mix of established figures spanning a pleasing variety of tastes. Although the roster leaned heavily towards scene heavyweights to me the vibe in Space remained intimate, more so than in Enter or We Love... Perhaps the Latin house sounds of DJ Sneak acted as a refreshing tonic to my recent raft of techno exposures. Airily lit, the Terraza was close to regaining the more relaxed atmosphere of its open top era. Revered island queen Tanya Vulcano did what she does best - grooving, rolling, underground house. Although Vulcano continually expands her resident base her spiritual home will always remain the same - you could almost feel the bare red walls of DC10 floating into existence.

In the main room - less the giant glowing robot of old - Dubfire pushed an inky yet playful brand of stripped back techno. Murky vocals and lingering atmospherics supported a constant web of hi-hat led percussion laced with the same undulating landscape - though in a lighter frame - used by his M-nus compatriots. Laser light and ice cannons seemed to constantly fill both rooms of Cox's party - although harmlessly fun they seemed like accidental overkill against a backdrop of such credible music.

In the Terrace DJ Sneak brought real energy to proceedings. Sun-soaked, vibrant house via Los Angeles and Chicago laughed around the space as Sneak favoured more recent material over a more classic sound. Stop-start-clap-dance was the order as the Puerto Rican effortlessly delivered. In El Salon, Tom Peppe seemed to push a similarly bright strain of house albeit layered with more future-bound electronic sounds. As he played to a packed main room Cox was styled as the commander in chief of a techno starship. Energetic lighting and smooth visuals bathed in the devilish glow of Revolution a la Guevara symbols only amplified the boundless enthusiasm emanating from one of the islands most respected figures. Cox admits that although in comparison to his earlier days his sound has become less tough the power and energy of the music are as high as ever - rarely has a DJ inspired so much excitable empathy. Flitting between harder drums and fast melodic mids his sound seemed immediately accessible - everyone felt at ease, the crowd was united.

At first glance you might not see anything overtly 'revolutionary' about Cox's party. Surprisingly though, in its twelfth year The Revolution does embody a sense of 'new'. The party evokes an open, welcoming atmosphere that belies its strict and serious focus on pushing the highest quality music. Techno and big name DJs tend to involuntarily draw lines in the sand - between genres, artists and fads. Carl Cox, with an infectious smile, breaks down these barriers and deserves his continued success.

Photography by James Chapman


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