DJS COME AND DJS GO BUT surely as day follows night, as overdraft follows hedonism, Carl Cox will always be around. Rave? Shaped it. Ibiza? Larged it. Techno? Scene it, done it, shifted 100,000 albums of it.
Other DJs might align themselves to fleeting fads but with his eye for the popular, ear for the tune and the respect of both clubbers and [I]cognoscenti[/I], Cox’s ever-eclectic sets have secured him a full diary into the next century.
Thus the award of that most spurious of accolades: the Radio 1 [I]Essential [/I]mix. Air’s bonkers beat-juggling notwithstanding, this is not exactly the place for those seeking avant-garde turntablism or cutting-edge breaks. But that’s never really been Cox’s forte. Granted, his deft ways with three turntables have left rivals moist with envy but essentially, Cox is here to rock the party – and if you require your parties on the smooth-but-fruggable side with a [I]soupgon [/I]of chart action, then this one can indeed be said to rock. Albeit nicely.
Which means a floor-friendly mix of the obscure (More Tea Vicar, anyone?), the not-so-obscure (Armand Van Helden) and such screamingly familiar ear candy as Mousse T’s sauceathon, ‘Horny’. There’s the odd nod to the old skool with the inclusion of Afrika Bambaataa’s seminal ‘Planet Rock’ and big beat gets a brief look-in with Freakpower’s cheesy ‘No Way’. But at the grand old age of 35, Cox is too wise to play up to this week’s whims; he wants the feet, not the brains, and if it funks, he’ll damn well use it.
And thus it goes. Why splice in an obscure Jungle Brothers break when the ’98 remix of ‘I’ll House You’ serves better? Why not mix the samba tune off the Brazil Nike advert into Underworld’s ‘Moaner’ if it sounds undeniably ace? Well, the obvious answer is because it makes ‘…Non Stop’ sound a bit too much like a upmarket version of the [I]Lisa I’Anson Show[/I], but you get the feeling Cox would rather that than be compared to [I]DJ Spongefinger’s Noirist Beatz Hour[/I] on Obscurist FM. And at 3am, off your nuts on battery-acid cocktails, who’s to argue with the logic in that?
Of course, that’s not to say Cox can’t get weird on our collective ass – the seamless techno-elektro volley of ‘…Non Stop”s second CD is a super-squelchy treat – but overall, this is as unpretentious, positive and disgustingly upbeat as both Carl Cox and mix albums get. Trainspotters need [I]never[/I] apply.