Back when most of us were only concerned with what kind of Underoos we were going to wear that day, Carl Cox was already peddling dance music. And while DJs today enjoy playing atop enormous stages with seizure-inducing light shows, it's safe to say that in the late '80s, Cox was playing strictly underground clubs.
Surely, Cox deserves a lot of recognition for paving the way for today's EDM superstars. And for the past seven years, Ultra Music Festival has honored the legend by giving him his own tent.
The Carl Cox and Friends mega-structure feels worlds away from the main stage, which tends to cater to the DJ of the moment -- not always the DJ with the most talent. But Cox's careful curation (yes, Cox insists on complete control in picking the lineup for his tent) always showcases a broad yet forward-thinking collection of DJs and producers who understand that EDM is more than just the drop.
We here at Crossfade spoke with Cox about electronic dance music's rise in popularity, how he came to work with Ultra, and whether he expects to survive the two-weekend blitz.