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Why Pure Carl Cox was pure techno bliss

The techno king finally made his return to the White Isle at Privilege and everyone made sure to be there with him.

Something special was in the Ibiza air on Tuesday, something that gave this overwhelming sense of promise and effervescence that was unique from the other nights this season so far. Only one DJ has this ability to stir up the entire island this way, and that is the king of techno himself Carl Cox with his Pure Carl Cox.

Walking around the island throughout the day, you could feel this sense of eager excitement and enthusiasm that could only be a good omen for the night to come: the return of one of Ibiza's most renowned and storied residents.

Following the conclusion of his 15-year long residency at historic Space Ibiza, Coxy finally made his long-awaited homecoming to the White Isle on Tuesday night to open the first of his two Pure Carl Cox shows at Privilege.

Easily one of the most highly anticipated parties of the season, Pure Carl Cox promised to bring the spirit of old school raving back to the dancefloor offering nothing but good old-fashioned, unadulterated techno and house. The British legend and the Game Over crew certainly delivered on that promise, as the finished product was nothing less than sensational in every single respect.

If you didn't get a chance to make the epic show on Tuesday, here's what you missed out on. And if you're planning to attend the final show next week, here's a bit of what you can expect.


Privilege in all its glory

With the capacity to hold around 10,000 people, Privilege actually holds the Guinness Book of Records title of “world's largest nightclub.” However, not many parties held at the massive venue draw that many people and as such, a fat chunk of that record-breaking space does not often see the light of day – or in this case never glimmers in the dark of night.

However, this is the Godfather of techno and house we're talking about, a man whose name will forever live on in Ibiza lore for generations. You guessed it. Coxy packed the club wall to wall.

Walking into the main room you could feel the superclub's imposing presence as its length extends that of a football field and the ceilings reach for the sky. It felt like an underground techno church, and Coxy was there to lead us in service. This was not just a solid night for Privilege; this was Privilege as it was intended to be.


Some Space nostalgia

The ending of Cox's legendary residency was some of the hardest news that Ibiza frequenters had to come to grips with within the last year. After 15 years of throwing down on the island, clubbers started to wonder what life would be like without Carl by their side. Well, for all of those who have been longing for another one of those memorable nights at Music is the Revolution, we were given just that.

The club was split into four different rooms throughout the night, akin to that of the original Space Ibiza. With the original neon emblems from his days at Space hanging from the main room ceiling, the event felt like a super-sized version of his residency from the days of yesteryear.

And that Terrace (Vista Club) set he played earlier that night, was anyone else getting flashbacks of his sunset sets from the Space Terrace?


Banging Techno

This night was all about those slamming beats from Cox and friends. Joseph Capriati threw down some hard-hitting tribal tunes like Thick Dick's Welcome To The Jungle, while Eats Everything exhibited some humour and irony in playing Funkagenda's Nobody Listens To Techno, which was evidently not true. tINI kept things a bit smoother, playing an all vinyl set, but don't mistake that to mean that it wasn't absolutely bumping.

Of course, when the King himself finally took the Discoteca (Main Room) stage, it was an all out slaughter as he just kept playing heater after heater. This set, however, was different from those from years before. The sets of Coxy's past have usually been jovial, lighthearted but at the same time boisterous, mixing groovy tech-house and techno together. They were the outrageous kind of sets that some of my friends and I dubbed “circus techno” because even if you had not listened to tech before, you would be having a fantastic time regardless.

This time Cox kept things raw, stripped back to the fundamentals of what got him to where he is in the first place. He didn't fear to get melodic as he mixed in tracks like Matador's remix of Oxia's Domino when he felt appropriate, but he also didn't stray far from the night's theme of commanding techno with tracks like Raxon's Majoris.

While the set itself may have been different from years before, it was clear that the vision of the entire event was still purely Cox's: the line-up, the production, the venue and even the timing. Ultra Music Festival's new Resistance residency is set to take the Tuesday night slot of Privilege after Cox's final show next week. If you didn't know, the techno king was named as the global ambassador of the new brand earlier this year.

Either way, Pure Carl Cox was nothing but pure bliss for everyone who had been missing the big man spin since last September. If given the opportunity would I do it all again next week? Don't be silly. There are only two of these shows all summer and next week sees Dax J, The Martinez Brothers, Nicole Moudaber and Cassy, among others. Of course, I would and will. You should, too.

The next and final Pure Carl Cox date on Tuesday 18 July will sell out. To have guaranteed entrance, buy your tickets here now .


PHOTOGRAPHY | Michael Tomlinson & nelg/photography

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