Electronic Generations

Electronic Generations

Everyone needed a lockdown hobby and, luckily for him, Carl Cox had an almost untouched studio he’d spent years painstakingly building. “I’m whizzing around the world like an idiot all the time,” he tells Apple Music. “And I’d built this studio back home in Melbourne that I’d barely had a chance to spend any time in.” He found a whole new joy in creating music with equipment that was fresh to him and began learning processes and creating sounds he never would have in the past. “I had this new Pioneer V10 mixer, and the great thing about that is you can record each channel individually,” he says. “So, the whole album began as this big, long live jam session, and when I came away and listened to it, I could see all the individual tracks within it that I could work on.” The result sees Cox drawing on over 30 years in the game—but always with one eye on the future. “There’s a lot of raw, old-school energy in this album,” he says. “But there’s also a lot of soul and the sound of me pushing at the edges of what I do. I think I’ve found myself musically, and I’m talking to these machines, and they’re talking back to me.” Here, he takes us through some of the key tracks on the album. “Electronic Generations” “This is an electro track, which isn’t something I’m known for, but it’s music I’ve always enjoyed. I got on the keyboards and everything just came out and this was finished in two days. I can perform it live now exactly as it went down. I sent the album to Laurent Garnier. I imagine he was probably ready to dismiss it, thinking, ‘Oh, he’s just going to make a commercial techno album for the masses,’ but when he heard this, he called me up and said, ‘Wow, this is the best thing you’ve ever made!’ He doesn’t suffer fools, so it was amazing to get that reaction from someone I respect as much as him.” “Our Time Will Come” “Pioneer sent me a DJS-1000 [DJ sampler] a while ago, and I put it in the corner of the studio, never to be seen again. But then the pandemic struck, and I thought, ‘You know what, I’ll open up that box and see what it does.’ I started putting in some samples, and the rest is me hitting the buttons going up the scales. I would never have written this track sat in front of the keyboard, but once I started using this piece of equipment, all these ideas came out of me. The track’s really funky in between the chug of the loops and samples.” “Deep Space X” “This track has a sci-fi feel to it, and it’s probably the most experimental track on the album. A lot of the weirdness came out of the Moog Subharmonicon. It has these two oscillators and often the sounds it makes don’t really make sense, but then you just hit on something that sounds mad but brilliant. Then I managed to put a beat around what I’d made for it all to come together. Again, it’s something I would never have made working with just a computer and my keyboard. I love the experimentation of this track. I feel it’s one that people won’t get at first, but this album’s not really about making you feel comfortable. It’s meant to make you experience something, and it’s me trying to push the envelope with what these machines are capable of.” “Speed Trials on Acid (feat. Fatboy Slim)” “The original version of this track is quite minimal and doesn’t do much apart from build and build and build. Then I gave it to Norman [Cook, Fatboy Slim], and he left everything in but added his essence on top of it. He added the vocal idea and some Detroit techno-sounding keyboards. He was worried and a bit uncomfortable with what he’d done, but I called him and said, ‘This is genius!’ He turned it into a pop anthem. The Brighton Speed Trials is the oldest-running motor race in the world, and obviously, I love my motorcycles and I’m all about speed. Plus, there’s the Brighton connection with Norman, so that’s where the name comes from.” “See the Sun Rising” “I wrote the top line for this on the Korg Monologue and then built everything around it, and I think the track has this beautiful warmth to it. I’m not sure if it’s progressive or techno or trance, but that’s what I want with this album as I didn’t want to just make pounding techno. Eventually, we sent it to Franky Wah, and he added the whole middle and made it into a track for today.” “How It Makes You Feel (feat. Nicole Moudaber)” “I started this as a jam track on the Moog. I was hitting a few notes and jamming away and then got more and more intense. It starts pretty and ends up quite nasty. I sent it to Nicole, and she really understood the ethos of the track, and she came back with her brutal take on it. There’s two versions of this on the album, and Nicole just used snippets of the original and did her thing with it, but it’s really, really powerful.”

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Disc 2

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