By Jacob Katel
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The WMC-Ultra electronic music season has reached its 26th year, and British DJ-producer Carl Cox is one of the few scene veterans who can boast having been there for the long ride. A child of the late-'80s acid house boom and Second Summer of Love, Cox cut his teeth spinning for the rave generation at seminal UK hot spots such as the Haçienda, Fantazia, and Amnesia House. It was then when he earned the nickname Three Deck Wizard, thanks to his habit of playing three turntables at once, an almost superhuman trademark of the energetic live style that would make him world-famous.
In the '90s, Cox introduced his big-room techno and hard-house stylings to an international audience, stoking his popularity to such incredible levels that electronic music fans voted him the very first winner of DJ Magazine's prestigious Top 100 DJ poll in 1997. Meanwhile, he expanded his sonic reach even further by seizing the radio waves as a regular on London's seminal Kiss FM as well as Radio One's Essential Mix, where he presided as global resident in 1998-99.
Today, Cox remains among clubland's biggest names, with a perennial summer residency at Space Ibiza and regular global tours. And last year, just as certain observers began to suspect that the legend's rate of production was dropping, he released a Global Underground compilation and announced a new album, dispelling any concerns that he might slowly slip into complacency.
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And testament enough to Cox's enduring popularity among EDM fans is his return as a headliner to Ultra Music Festival. It marks the fest's seventh installment of the Carl Cox & Friends Arena, one of its largest and most popular tents. He will be joined by world-renowned colleagues Laurent Garnier, Moby, Fedde le Grand, Loco Dice, and Afrojack. Now go get down with the Three Deck Wizard.