WE ARE ELECTRONIC MUSIC
This is the future of our industry.
IMS is the premier thought leadership platform for electronic music, a global movement created to unite and connect the industry. Our summits invite everyone – from seasoned masters to young visionaries – to come together and inspire the future of our industry. Build lasting connections, learn from the best, and together, we will propel our scene forward.DISCOVER IMS
Aslice: Equalising the disparity between DJs & Producers
Keynote Address: Digital Music's Rebirth - A Golden Age is Coming
Introducing: The Sandbox - Blockchain-based 3D open World Game
Artist, DJ, conceptualist and ambassador, more than anyone else in modern electronic music, Richie Hawtin has relentlessly proved himself to be a true innovator. The one-man mogul behind acclaimed Techno imprints Plus 8 & Minus sends signals out all over the world from his HQ in an old fire station in Windsor, Ontario – just across the border from Detroit Techno City. The signals are constantly evolving, his Plastikman persona gave Techno a unique face with a series of four ruthlessly minimal albums of skeletal beauty, while breathtaking festival live sets at Glastonbury and Tribal Gathering helped invent stadium Techno. His “Decks, EFX & 909” album released on Novamute in 1999 expanded the concept of a DJ mix album beyond the imagination of most DJs. As a pioneering DJ and party promoter he was banned from entering America for 18 months. Yet this jet-setting international futurist is as at home exhibiting alongside acclaimed modern sculptor Anish Kapoor as he is headlining a bush rave with Josh Wink somewhere in Western Australia.
More of a decade into his career, it’s no surprise that the every-youthful Hawtin is up to something new. This time, he’s reconstructing the DJ mix album even further with “DE9: Closer To The Edit”, the groundbreaking new album set for release on the novamute label in September 2001.
His first mix album, for the Mixmag Live series, saw him use extra effects and drum machines as long ago as 1993, “Decks, EFX & 909” cut laser-style between tracks and now, “DE9: Closer To The Edit”, sees Hawtin use his sampler to tear the skin and the flesh from the tracks until there’s just a skeleton left, which he reassembles into a kind of Frankenstein’s robot. The result is a mix album like you’ve never heard before.
Hawtin describes this unique process “I recorded, sampled, cut and spliced over 100 tracks down into their most basic components. I ended up with over 300 loops, ranging in different lengths. I started to recreate and reinterpret each track and then put the pieces back together, as if an audio jigsaw puzzle – using effects and edits as the glue between each piece”.
A classic like Carl Craig’s ‘4 My Peepz’ (under his Paperclip People guise) breathes in and out in less than a minute, like a lonely spirit lost on the hard drive.
“I don’t like mix CDs, everyone’s being lazy, so I gotta do something different,” says Hawtin. “Some people think it’s about me using some extra equipment – a drum machine and some effects – but it’s a whole philosophy really. ‘Let’s take it to the extreme, to somewhere that’s it never been before’ “
Hawtin believes the whole DJ thing is stuck in a groove. So beyond “DE9…” he is championing a new DJ system developed in Holland called Final Scratch, with Plus 8 partner John Acquaviva. Dance and Electronic music is the most technology-based genre of all, but to Hawtin’s frustration it’s still rooted in a music delivery system developed in the 19th Century: the gramophone record. Even though more and more DJs play tracks burnt onto CD, vinyl still rules because it’s easier and instinctive to control. Final Scratch links up to the normal two-turntables-and-mixer set up, but lets you play tracks stored on a laptop using a special piece of vinyl as a ‘mouse’, or controller. You can access literally thousands of tracks, and scratch, cut, slow and mix them just like normal records using this special piece of vinyl. It’s nothing short of revolutionary. As Hawtin enthuses: “It feels and acts like a regular record.” He’s already using Final Scratch to play unreleased tracks by Josh Wink and Speedy J, and special re-edits of some of Hawtin’s classics and personal faves.
Born in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England, on June 4th 1970 Hawtin emigrated with his family when he was nine to Windsor, Ontario, where his dad Mick still works as a robot technician in the General Motors car factory (his mother, Brenda, is in real estate). Richie cheekily borrowed his dad’s persona for his house alias Robotman. His brother Matthew, who shares the Windsor fire station studio complex with Richie, is a visual artist. By 15 Richie was creeping out of the house to cross the border and go clubbing in Detroit. By 17 he was DJing at The Shelter, a dark basement club where he mixed House and Techno with Industrial music by Nitzer Ebb and Front 242. He had his own show on Detroit’s 96.3FM – inspired by a late ‘80s Detroit radio DJ called The Wizard, now better known as Jeff Mills.
As a teenager Hawtin, already into Breakdancing and Electro, was stirred by the radically beautiful machine music being fashioned by Detroit Techno pioneers like Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson. In 1989 he set up Plus 8 Records with John Acquaviva to release their own tracks and push new artists. They started running parties in Detroit. But far from welcoming them, the tight-knit Detroit Techno scene initially turned a cold shoulder on the two renegade Canadians.
“It pissed a lot of people off because there wasn’t anyone else in the city doing it – it took someone from the outside to come in and say, ‘Look, wake up,’” Richie recalls. “These guys [May, Atkins and Saunderson] have left. They’re doing their thing overseas.”
Plus 8 began to gather momentum with a richly varied catalogue of hard-nosed, cutting edge Techno from artists like Speedy J, Dan Bell and Kenny Larkin. Along with the resurgence of Detroit’s confrontational Underground Resistance, this marked the second wave of Detroit Techno. “We all put the focus back on Detroit for a while, we didn’t want to make traditional Techno, we were inspired by traditional Techno. Derick, Kevin and Juan had sent these waves all over the world and we were the first to feel the rebounds of their ripples”.
By 1993 Richie Hawtin’s Detroit parties had become legendary intense affairs as freaky dancing clubbers lost themselves in strange, dark warehouses transformed into disorientating warrens by walls of black plastic sheeting. Inspired by this, Hawtin elected to take Techno one stage further and develop his virtual Plastikman alter ego: a red and black gremlin that is tattooed on his forearm. He didn’t want a collection of tracks; he wanted to make an album that swallowed up the concentrated energy of those parties and spit it back out as something new. An album, “Sheet One” was recorded in a rollercoaster 48 hour studio session and released on novamute in early ‘93 and was soon followed by the brilliant ‘Spastik’, a single recorded three weeks later after a long night dancing to Derrick May.
Hawtin was already shifting identities like a spy changing roles: his 1992 album “Dimension Intrusion”, under his Fuse alias, had played a key part in the Warp label’s groundbreaking “Artificial Intelligence” armchair-Techno series, but he wanted to reach further. He remembered the strange shapes that his friends threw at those warehouse parties, the different creatures they almost became. “Like plasticine,” he says. “That was the whole idea of Plastikman, it was all very viscous and pliable and moveable.” Plastikman wasn’t just a clever alter ego – it was a role for you to try on too. The sound was rubbery and sparse; its moments of melodic steel arriving unnervingly. The first album, “Sheet One”, played up Hawtin’s reputation for LSD and was promoted with a free sheet of fake acid tabs.
Hawtin developed a Plastikman live show that still tours the world. Huge audiences at Glastonbury and Tribal Gathering twitched to its twittering insect rhythms, lost in a soundtrack far freakier than anything else those events had to offer. In 1994 the second album on novamute, “Musik”, let a little human warmth seep onto the clattering Plastikman rhythms, but despite its closing robot lullaby ‘Lasttrak’, it was, if anything, even more discomforting.
Just as the little Plastikman gremlin was becoming an international phenomenon, American immigration officials banned Hawtin from entering America for working illegally. He was barred from entering the States for 18 months. It was a devastating experience.
“My girlfriend lived there and most of my experiences were in Detroit, my friends were there and all of my musical inspiration was there – and suddenly it was like, ‘See that building over there? You can see your inspiration, but you can’t go there.’” Now, typically, he believes the ban had its benefits. It was at this point the Chemicals Brothers and Underworld began to break out of the dance world and into a wider Rock arena. Hawtin now wonders whether he might have gone further down the stadium Techno route. Instead, grounded in Windsor, he went back to the studio to reinvent. “When that happened it was the worst day of my life,” he says now, “and it was one of the best things too.”
The next Plastikman project, ‘Klinik’, wouldn’t come together. “I had tried to follow those records up but there were feelings of pressure at that point,” he says now. Stuck in the studio, depressed, Hawtin set himself a new challenge and gave it a deadline. He pressurised himself back into action, releasing a series of ‘Concept’ EPs based on the months of the year. Each release would feature two tracks recorded in one month only using a set template of sounds. They would be released and then forgotten. The discipline of producing 24 tracks in 12 months rewired the creative circuits. “It progressed me to a different audience, it progressed me with effects which came into my sets and it progressed me into more of this spatial environment I was trying to get to,” says Hawtin.
It was the starting point for his last Plastikman album “Consumed”, which replaced the angry black and red gremlin with dark, abstract sleeve art and the tense rhythms with swathes of bass and melody. Released on novamute in 1998, it was acclaimed in countries like France – where conceptual artists are traditionally celebrated. “Consumed” elevated Hawtin to a new status, he was now not just an international Techno star, but a contemporary artist. Asked to contribute to a French Millennium Exhibition celebrating different ideas of beauty, Hawtin created a musical installation based around the clicks, hisses and pops of vinyl – a beautiful sound, he argued, to his generation. The exhibition also featured the work of world famous sculptor, Anish Kapoor, who Hawtin had long been a fan. In fact “Consumed”’s unique textures had been inspired by Kapoor’s beguiling, futuristic, curved shapes and the cover art echoed the sculptor’s famous obelisk. “I was walking around those sculptures and putting my head into some of them. They had like a sonic quality like chambers of nothingness – and that’s exactly what I was trying to hear. Suddenly I was able to walk around a physical version of what I wanted to do musically.” Hawtin was also moved by the mournful purple washes of the late Mark Rothko, which now hang in London’s Tate Modern. Rothko’s work, says Hawtin, “is very, very subtle, just washes of texture. It kind of gave me a visual perspective of what I was trying to get out of my head, sonically. On a flat surface.”
This is where Hawtin is at now. Constantly touring all over the world and keeping fans updated on his world wide DJ travels via his website diaries; taking his dad out to dinner with John Peel (a big deal for his Peel–fan father especially now his son is a huge favourite of the radio DJ); pushing himself to his creative boundaries and taking Techno with him. Not just to the middle of the dancefloor, but also above it.
“The good Techno musicians enjoy having a good time, but can see beyond it,” Hawtin notes. “It’s the closest to a contemporary art form.” With Jeff Mills providing an installation to the recent Sonar event in Barcelona, Germany’s Thomas Brinkmann moving from conceptual art into conceptual Techno, and increasing connections between the two worlds.
As Techno and art move closer together Hawtin sees it as a logical part of his constant reinvention. “It’s about setting a standard for yourself and progressing yourself. Showing people you can do something interesting that’s more than just dance music.”
From songwriters to artists and super-fans to superstars, electronic dance music’s first sisters – Mim and Liv Nervo of NERVO – have catapulted onto the international stage, straight from the pit in front of it. These multi-talented DJ dynamos are the all-time top-ranking female DJs in the world, voted by their millions of fans to No. 21 on DJ Magazine’s influential 2014 ‘Top 100 DJs’ poll.
In-demand and loved across the globe, their non-stop schedule takes them from the magical island of Ibiza, to their studio in their home-away-from-hometown of London, to the towering Main Stage of ‘Electric Daisy Carnival’ in Las Vegas. Everywhere the girls go, their infectious energy, fearless personal style, deep love and understanding for music precedes them.
Mim and Liv’s career took off in 2009, when they co-wrote and produced the emphatic and global hit ‘When Love Takes Over’ – for David Guetta and Kelly Rowland. Ranked by Billboard as the #1 Dance/pop collaboration of all time! However, their journey into dance music started years prior in the festival fields of their native Australia, where as teenagers they took every opportunity to go and see electronic acts like: The Prodigy, Basement Jaxx, and Fatboy Slim. “Purple hair and purple lipstick; we did it all,” says Mim. “We almost broke ribs being in the front row of the mosh pit. We were those people in the crowd for so many years, to be playing on the same bill with some of those artists now is just electrifying.”
Having cemented their songwriting prowess with a global No. 1 (plus several other songs for artists like: Kesha, Kylie Minogue and Armin van Buuren), NERVO set out to pursue their own career as artists, by writing and producing their own songs under their artist name, NERVO. Their friends and collaborators in the world showed up to support them. ‘We’re All No One’ with Afrojack and Steve Aoki (No. 8 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart), ‘The Way We See The World’ with Afrojack, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike (the official anthem of Tomorrowland 2011, which has garnered over 30 million YouTube views), ‘Reason’ with Hook N Sling, ‘Something to Believe In’ with Norman Doray, ‘Like Home’ with Nicky Romero (their first No. 1 topping the Beatport chart for 3 consecutive weeks), ‘Turn This Love Around’ with Armin van Buuren (off the No. 1 DJ’s new album ‘Intense’): Their list of A-List collaborators is dance music’s longest and most enviable and in a world dominated by ‘bros,’ these girls can do it for themselves.
NERVO’s original ‘You’re Gonna Love Again’ has over 11.5 million views and their 2013 single ‘Hold On’ (#1 on the Billboard Club Play chart) has garnered over 6.8 million views. “Normally we open our DJ sets with one of our own records and the second that happens and you see the hands go up, it’s game on,” says Liv. “We’ve worked so hard in our industry, behind the scenes, to step out and be releasing records in our own name is a whole different energy, a whole different world. It really is addictive and so rewarding.”
The girls get a regular fix during their residencies and headlining sets at some of the top venues and events in the world including the new Las Vegas mega-club ‘Hakkasan’ and Ibiza Beach Club ‘Ushuaia’ (home to their #NERVONation parties). NERVO are also regular Main Stage performers
at festivals like: Tomorrowland, TomorrowWorld, Electric Daisy Carnival, Ultra Music Festival, Creamfields and Electric Zoo as well as embarking on Headlining tours of their own in Mexico and beyond!
Wherever it may be the sisters are always playing to their devoted fans who wear homemade NERVO T-Shirts and hoist signs (“Will you marry me?” “Lesbians for NERVO”), curve their hands into heart shapes and post photos and poems to show their love and appreciation. The girls are seeing more and more NERVO fan bases, in all corners of the world. As the NERVO family/army grows from NERVO Malaysia, NERVO Colombia, NERVO Mexico and so on. NERVO has seen rapid growth across their social media channels including 418,000 Instagram followers, 716,000 Twitter followers and over 3 million likes on Facebook.
Style-savvy, fearless, positive and talented: It’s no wonder that NERVO was invited to join the ranks of the legendary beauties who can call themselves CoverGirls, added to the iconic CoverGirl brand’s family of spokeswomen, last year. The partnership is just one more fabulous chapter in the developing NERVO story. “Let’s face it, you can be creative in many ways,” says Mim. “From wearing crazy clothes and great makeup to playing wicked tunes. It’s all part of the experience.”
NERVO are regularly featured in: Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan, NYLON, InStyle, People and other fashion/pop culture publications around the globe. In August 2013 NERVO performed live from the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards and in November 2013 they appeared on BRAVO TV as guest judges on the Rihanna produced reality show ‘Styled To Rock’. In January 2014 NERVO were announced as one of the 4 introductory DJs for the brand new BBC Radio 1 ‘Residency’ Shows: “We’ve been listening to Radio One religiously for 10 years. It’s a dream come true to have our show on it!” says Liv.
NERVO’s single titled ‘Revolution,’ a collaboration with R3hab and Ummet Ozcan, spent 3 weeks at #1 on Beatport, the vocal version released in January 2014 also made the top 10 and the video has over 14 million views and counting. In May 2014 Liv and Mim released their first Ministry of Sound compilation album titled ‘INSPIRED’, which landed them in the Top 5 on the iTunes chart. The album included the single ‘Sunshine Thru Rain Clouds’ ft. Duane Harden. In August 2014 NERVO released their next single, a collaboration with R3hab, titled ‘Ready For the Weekend’. The track immediately went to #1 on the Beatport Top 100 Chart.
NERVO’s next single ‘Rise Early Morning’ ft. Au Revoir Simone is released on November 17th via Ultra Music, it is the first track from their spring 2015 debut artist album titled ‘Collateral’.
A true storyteller, Lazarus holds court at those special times of the day when only his kind of DJ sets are required. It is those moments that demand a soundtrack that not only fits the mood but elevates the atmosphere, taking the audience to a whole new level of experience. Besides playing at the world’s best clubbing institutions (Resident at DC10 in Ibiza for almost 10 years), Lazarus also performins his magic in extraordinary outdoor locations from jungles, beaches, to the Robot Heart bus in the Nevada desert and Mayan ruins in Mexico, and more. One look at the superlative Day Zero event will tell you what Lazarus’ ethos is when it comes to outdoor exploits. Add Get Lost and Rebel Rave events to it and it epitomises his approach to hosting alfresco shows. Lazarus’ visionary abilities are his A&R skills, music curation and discovery of artists via the seminal label, Crosstown Rebels. In its 11 years, the label has been responsible for launching the careers of some of the best-known names – Jamie Jones, Art Department, Maceo Plex, Deniz Kurtel and more. Lazarus has applied his expertise to the development of his latest collaborative artist project, Damian Lazarus and The Ancient Moons, bringing a whole new dimension to festival stages and outdoor locations. Lazarus is joined at the production controls by James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco, Arctic Monkeys, Florence) with album recording sessions in Mexico. The project brings together a wide assortment of vocalists, collaborators and players from around the world. Taking inspiration from Lazarus’s Lazpod series, Get Lost events and Day Zero festival, this is music for deserts, jungles and sunrises.
There are few individuals in the world of dance music who can claim the kind of influence Pete Tong has had over the last twenty years. As the voice of Radio 1’s prestigious dance programming, Pete has held a commanding presence over the industry for more than two decades. With an unparalleled ear for new talent, Tong has become the leading tastemaker of the electronic generation. While he’s known publicly as Pete Tong the DJ, behind the scenes, he’s an industry icon.
Having spent the majority of his life in England, Pete has recently resettled in Los Angeles to begin a new chapter in his life. He’s wasted little time establishing himself in the US, having helped inaugurate Clear Channel Entertainment’sEvolution dance brand in 2013 and recently expanding the programming to the extended two-hour segment, The Evolution Beatport Show with Pete Tong, broadcasting on 90 different Top 40 stations in the US.
Meanwhile, his world famous BBC Radio 1 shows have only grown in popularity. Their collective reach has soared into the millions, broadcasting globally thanks to the BBC iPlayer. TheEssential Mix continues to be the Holy Grail of mix shows, while Tong’s Essential Selection is still the best place to premiere a new record.
On the DJing front, Tong is currently championing three premier All Gone Pete Tong residencies in the US. Once a month, you can find him bridging the gap to the underground at Sound Nightclub in Los Angeles, while in Miami, he’s keeping the integrity of club culture alive at Story. His residency at the SLS Las Vegas sees him performing regularly at the brand new LiFE club, where he’s introducing a whole new palette of underground sounds to the party mecca. Finally, the All Gone Pete Tong brand has achieved global renown through world-class parties in Miami during WMC and Ibiza as well as dedicated stages at festivals like Creamfields, TomorrowWorld, and SW4.
As a music producer, Tong has led an esteemed career over the years with notable releases on Pets Recordings, Ministry of Sound, Toolroom Records and more. His compilations have garnered critical acclaim–most notably 2013’s 60-track anthology, The Pete Tong Collection. More recently, he’s debuted on Suara with deep house anthem “The Bumps” alongside John Monkman, while also curating All Gone Ibiza 2014 alongside Tensnake for Defected as part of his All Gone Pete Tong compilation series.
On the business side, Tong continues to be a prominent force in both the booking and A&R worlds. In 2008, he co-founded WME’s electronic music division alongside Joel Zimmerman, helping to turn the venture into one of the most powerful booking agencies in the world. He’s also relaunched his label FFRR, reclaiming his reputation for A&R and signing acts like Oliver Heldens, The Magician, Blonde and The Disciples. On top of this, Tong is responsible for founding The International Music Summit, which holds major events in Ibiza, Los Angeles and Singapore. Now in its 6th year, the event is viewed in the industry as The Premier Platform for Thought Leadership in Electronic Music.
When all is said and done, one shudders to think what dance music would have been like without Pete Tong’s influence. Over the years, he’s played a crucial role in breaking new artists and changing the way people think about electronic music. With his new found home in Los Angeles, the British icon is looking to revolutionize the perception of dance music in America. If there’s anyone up for the task, it’s Pete Tong.
Steve Angello is a multi-platinum selling electronic musician, record producer, DJ, and entrepreneur. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Angello is best known for his innovative marketing as well as his involvement with super group Swedish House Mafia. His foray into music began at the age of 12, when he started as a young Turntablist fusing together hip-hop, breakbeats and 1970s classics. It wasn’t until Angello’s late teen years that he took an interest in electronic music and quickly became entrenched in Stockholm’s House music scene. Angello’s rise to fame came with the release of his innovative remix of the Eurythmics classic “Sweet Dreams” in late 2004. That was soon followed by a slew of signature tracks, including “Woz Not Woz,” “KNAS,” “Rave n’ Roll” and his super hit with Supermode (Steve & Axwell) that established him as a force in House music. Steve is also an established record producer having worked on a number of A-list projects that include David Guetta’s “Baby When the Light” (featuring Cozi), Taio Cruz’s “Troublemaker,” “Shortcaller,” and “Positive,” will.i.am’s “This Is Love” (featuring Eva Simons), and Usher’s “Numb” and “Euphoria,” to name a few. In 2003, Steve founded the record label SIZE which has been home to many internationally acclaimed artists including Avicii, Tiësto, Eric Prydz, Depeche Mode, Sebastian Ingrosso, Laidback Luke, Nicky Romero, Afrojack, Jacques Lu Cont and Steve Angello himself. In August 2013 SIZE celebrated its tenth anniversary with the release of “SLVR” (pronounced “Silver”). In March 2014, SIZE teamed up with Angello’s creative agency, Rebels Studios, to celebrate its 10 year anniversary by releasing the label’s entire catalog of 100 releases. During the month long award-winning campaign titled #DECADE, SIZE made more than 10 years of music available to fans to download for free through Google Play. In July of 2014, Angello released his newest single “Wasted Love,” which features Dougy from The Temper Trap. The single will be featured on Steve’s highly-anticipated solo debut Wild Youth due out in 2015.
Sandy Monteiro is President of Universal Music Group in South East Asia. In this role, he oversees the management of UMG companies in ASEAN, Korea and the Asian Regional office. He is also the Head of New Business for the Asia Pacific region.
Universal Music Group is the global music leader, with wholly owned operations in 60 territories. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s premier music publishing operations worldwide.
He is a veteran of the music industry in Asia with a broad spectrum of experience in the industry, ranging from copyright lobbyist to anti-piracy advocate. He is a pioneer of the digital and new media sector, where he and his team are widely acknowledged to have set the benchmark and industry standards for the region.
He has held board seats on several industry bodies including Chairman of the Recording Industry Association of Malaysia(RIM) from 2004 to 2010. He is currently the Chairman of the Recording Industry Association of Singapore (RIAS) following his move to Singapore. He is a member of the Asia-Pacific Board for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) – which is the representatitive body of the recording industry worldwide.
Legendary musician, producer, entrepreneur and humanitarian.
Highly impactful career spanning six decades.
Recipient of 27 Grammys and 79 nominations.
American rapper, author and producer.
Co-founder of the legendary rap group Public Enemy.
Voted one of the top 50 greatest lyricists of all time.
One of the most charming DJs in the business. A musical ambassador and a veteran of acid house, a champion of techno, a dance music pioneer, label owner, King of Ibiza – you name it, Carl’s been there and done it, never losing sight of his passions – playing music, breaking tunes and celebrating life.
It was at the age of 15 that Carl bought a set of turntables and began working as a mobile DJ. Disco was the first music that captivated him but by the early 80s Cox had moved on to playing the same music as other young London DJs – rare groove, New York hip-hop and electro. He was perfectly placed to hear Chicago house music in its earliest forms, and when the epic ‘Acid Trax’ by Phuture (a.k.a. DJ Pierre) came out in early ’87. “It was then that I thought, ‘This is it,’ says Carl. “I would do my parties, and I’d play old rare groove and hip hop and soul and I would say ‘Right you’ve got to hear this Phuture track’ and people would just stop and listen.”
As a founder of the sound, Carl rode the exploding British rave scene. He played the opening night of Danny Rampling’s legendary Shoom, co-promoted The Project with Paul Oakenfold, held a residency at the Zap Club in Brighton and at the Sunrise rave in 1988, hooked up a third turntable for his dawn-breaking set, got 15,000 people back on their feet, and established a personal rep for three-deck wizardry.
The next step was to make music, and Carl’s 1991 debut single for Paul Oakenfold’s Perfecto label, ‘I Want You,’ gave him a top 30 hit and a Top of the Pops appearance. Two more singles also made the charts. But Carl was a reluctant pop star and as the masses moved onto fluffy house and trance, and the hardcore created jungle, Cox retreated into the club world that had nurtured him, and instead embraced the underground sounds of techno. “Techno drives home somewhere,” he says of his core music. “It takes you to an element of surprise, not knowing where you’re going. It’s scary but wonderful at the same time.”
Carl’s classic releases include his 1995 mix CD, ‘F.A.C.T,’ which became a techno benchmark, selling over 250,000 copies, and the 1996 EP ‘Two Paintings and a Drum,’ which again broke the British top 30. Alongside Carl’s ‘Ultimate Music Management’ company, which counted Josh Wink and Laurent Garnier among 27 clients, there was the Ultimatum record label, for which Carl recorded his third top 30 UK single, ‘Sensual Sophis-ti-cat.’ In 2005, Carl’s third album, ‘The Second Sign’ caused a stir across Europe and reached number 3 in Spain’s national chart. Also gaining critical acclaim was ‘Dirty Bass,’ a collaboration with Christian Smith, and the funky ‘Give Me Your Love’, both released on 23rd Century Records, an outlet for his own burgeoning production output.
Carl formed his own label, Intec Records, in 1999, scoring a series of underground hits and enjoying eight years at the forefront of electronic music. After its closure in 2006, Carl was still inundated with new music, finally deciding to re-launch the label as Intec Digital at the start of 2010. It’s been a triumphant return, thanks to exclusives from some of the biggest names in techno. “The label couldn’t be going better,” says Carl. “It’s great to be back at the helm discovering underground DJs.”
Intec Digital was also the home for Carl’s 6th studio album, ‘All Roads Lead To the Dancefloor,’ released to critical acclaim in 2011 on state-of-the-art, self-updating USB technology.
2013 saw the re-launch of Carl’s seminal Pure Intec series, 9 years after the hugely successful original ‘Pure Intec.’ The release also coincided with the launch of a new series of Intec club nights where Carl and label head, Jon Rundell, played to a sold out XOYO in East London, dates have since followed in Ibiza, Madrid, Switzerland, Amsterdam for ADE, and London’s fabric, where they’ll be returning Easter 2015.
“Jon and I thought it was time,” says Carl. “We’d been working hard the last few years to get Intec back to the forefront of Techno. We have a great roster, with very talented DJs that deserve recognition. This is our way of celebrating the label’s success, showcasing some of our artists, and of course putting out some amazing tracks.”
Carl’s legendary Ibiza residency also continues to break boundaries. Celebrating an astounding 14 consecutive years at Space in 2015, Carl and Safehouse Management have built their weekly residency into one of the Island’s most popular nights, acclaimed for its adventurous and forward-thinking line-ups, musical direction and state of the art production. This, along with Carl’s highly involved and passionate role as promoter, programmer and host, is why each year has seen a growth and progression from the last, both in terms of quality and size. “The night’s popularity and demand has increased year by year, so it’s enabled us to bring even more talent to the island. We have a successful night because we just batten down the hatches and stick to what we do best, which is give value for money,” explains Carl. “People come back to us, as they’re big believers in our brand.”
Summer 2014 was also a record season for Carl in Ibiza – on top of his residency, he also played the Space closing Fiesta, along with dates at Amnesia, Sands and DC10.
Beyond Ibiza Carl continues to deliver his Carl Cox & Friends stage at Ultra, for what has long been one of the festival’s highlights. “2015 will be our 11th year at Ultra, and I’m certain it will go on and on,” says Carl. “We have a very special thing there. They give us free reign in everything. The look, staging, sound, what DJs we book, all of it is down to us, and that’s a great thing, and why we keep going back.”
All this and still Carl’s ‘Global’ radio show continues to break records, now reaching over 17-million weekly listeners worldwide and is syndicated across over 60 terrestrial FM, satellite and DAB stations throughout 35 countries, making him one of the most important broadcasters on the planet, and the most followed DJ on Mixcloud.
From global success in the commercial domain, to equal accomplishments within the underground scene, Dubfire is an artist whose drive, talent and intuition have placed him within the top tier of electronic music artists in the world. He maintains this position within the industry with an unrelenting work ethic and a focused determination to innovate, evolve, and entertain. Whether it’s his involvement with Deep Dish, his solo performances at an extensive list of the world’s most influential clubs and festivals, running his label SCI+TEC, or simply his exploration of audio and visual technology, Dubfire is in a class of his own and is resolute in his forward-thinking ethos.
Born in Iran and raised in the U.S. from the age of seven, Dubfire first developed his skills playing at local clubs in Washington, D.C. He was introduced to Sharam Tayebi through a childhood friend and they formed “Deep Dish:, a production and DJ duo that conquered the world of electronic music, picking up a Grammy (and previous nominations) in the process in addition to a vast array of other awards and accolades. At the height of their success both men opted to take a step back and pursue solo careers, with the Dubfire alias allowing him to express his deep love for underground house and techno. Dubfire quickly integrated himself into the minimalistic techno scene and produced several key releases that cemented him as a true visionary and a force to be reckoned with in underground music. From ‘Ribcage’, ‘Emissions’ and ‘Roadkill’, to his work with Oliver Huntemann and his remix of ‘Spastik’ by Plastikman, Dubfire’s creations perfectly display his musical dexterity and depth of aural knowledge.
Never satisfied with the status quo, Dubfire spent two years crafting a live show and his HYBRID live concept has been wowing audiences since its soft launch debut at the Amsterdam Dance Event in 2014. Described by Thump as, “unlike anything we had previously seen or heard before anywhere,” HYBRID explores the continued convergence of man and machine, delving into the realms of science and technology and their connection with music.
Dubfire’s story is also set to be told through a documentary, titled “Above Ground Level” chronicles his career trajectory from fleeing Iran as a youngster to becoming one of the biggest electronic music stars on the planet. Featuring contributions from his closest friends and family, along with peers such as David Guetta, Richie Hawtin, Pete Tong, and Hot Since 82,
it reinforces his stellar achievements and gives an inside look into Dubfire’s journey.
With over two decades of experience in the music, Dubfire continues to push the envelope and challenge himself.
Seth Troxler is an American electronic music producer and world renowned DJ from Kalamazoo, Michigan who is based between London, New York and Ibiza. When Troxler was fourteen, he moved to Lake Orion the outskirts of Detroit, where he involved himself in the musical heritage of the city which is reflected techno-influenced aesthetic of both his DJing and his music productions. Troxler tours throughout the year, playing at the world’s most renowned and respected clubs while also running his own labels Play It Say It, Soft Touch and Tuskegee each focusing on a different genre of music. Music aside, he also runs his own restaurant brand called Smokey Tails serving modern Midwestern cuisine.
CEO, AFEM: Association for Electronic Music, UK
The Association for Electronic Music has appointed Mark Lawrence as its first CEO. Lawrence previously spent 10 years at UK collection society PRS For Music, latterly as Director of Membership, responsible for 100,000 members worldwide.
His appointment was confirmed at a board meeting of AFEM held at the International Music Summit (IMS) in Ibiza.
Lawrence has a long association with the dance and electronic music genres. In 2012 he launched PRS’s Amplify initiative focusing on the genre, he has spoken at numerous industry events and he co-owns independent house music label Black Rock Records with DJ Steve Mac.
Lawrence began his career in retail banking before joining mechanical rights licensing agency MCPS in 2004. He was promoted to Director of Operations in 2006 before becoming Director of Corporate Planning of PRS for Music three years later. He was promoted to Director of Membership and Rights in 2010, leading a team of 120 staff serving a membership of over 100,000, ranging from major international publishers to individual songwriters.
While at PRS he launched and led Amplify, an initiative to increase membership in the dance music sector and improve the accuracy and value of royalties paid to writers in the genre. He left PRS earlier this year.
He said, “I am delighted and honoured to have been selected by Ben and Kurosh to run this organisation. AFEM has the opportunity to be something amazing – a global electronic music organisation representing everyone from labels to DJs to promoters to publishers, small or large, young or old. I am committed to turning that vision into reality.”