Cut to the core - an interview with Stu Cox
Reported by Adam Symbiosis
Submitted 26-04-06 21:41
Apples come in different shapes, different sizes, different colours. A bit like djs you’d think. But how many djs really sound different, even if they look different? Every now and again you get someone who makes people stand up and take notice, someone a bit out of the norm. Stu Cox is one of those djs. Using digital djing to great effect to enhance his trance and techno sets, he’s been noticed by iDJ’s Raw Talent and snapped up by the Never Enough dj agency. So come with me as we open up Cox to the core.
“It’s all about flexibility really,” he tells me, “I first started doing 3-deck mixing with a standard 2 deck and 2 CDJ setup but as I’m now playing more and more off CD, it’s becoming more common that all 3 elements I want to use will be on CD, hence the need for a third CDJ. I have a series of samples and loops which I add into a mix at appropriate points or even create a short ‘track’ in a mix just by layering several different loops together, all of which I use CDJs for. This generally gives the mix a more original style and helps to break it down from the monotony and predictability of a set just being one tune after another with an identical mix between them.”
The techniques don’t end there, with the use of various styles of mixing: “quick mixes to inject a load of energy, late mixes to build suspense for the big track coming next,” and harmonic mixing for trance, hard trance and even techno, “at times.” All this works to completely reshape the sound, with bits being added in at will, or just to add some FX to the track playing. Listening to one of his mixes you can hear the work put in.
Hailing from Blandford in Dorset, young Stuart spent his formative years in Bournemouth listening to whatever was on the radio. “The first album I got was Blur’s ‘The Great Escape’, which remains a firm favourite of mine — I still know all the words.” Indeed, this is something we can both definitely agree on being a big fan of Blur myself.
“I think my brother James actually helped me to keep my tastes open by being a big fan of indie, punk, rock etc and never listening to dance. I suppose I grew into dance music before I really knew anything about genre boundaries. I remember having a conversation with a mate at school where I told him I tended to prefer music with electronic sounds in it, to which he replied, “Electronic music died in the 80s!”
His clubbing life kicked off, like so many others, abroad, in this case Halikarnas in Turkey with a green laser on the seafront that shot into the night sky. “The whole experience just blew me away!”
Back in Blighty, the under 18s nights at The Opera House in Bournemouth, where Stu would later gain his first residency, became the norm. “I think I got into djing in quite a weird way. I used to play various music instruments and knowing these interests, a friend of my parents lent me an 8-channel studio mixer to play around with. I started playing about with songs of the same tempo played from portable CD players, initially not to create a ‘dj mix’ in the conventional term, but to create versions of songs by recording the first half of a song then switching to the second half of another because I thought it sounded good. At this point I didn’t really know what djs did, other than literally just playing music. At some point I found out that what I was doing wasn’t far off a dj mixing so started to pursue that route, creating faded mixes in a more conventional way, before getting decks and doing it properly.”
At first he played plenty of house, but now you’ll hear trance or techno, but as he says regarding his preferences, “It changes all the time! Just depends what kind of mood I’m in I suppose. Shall we just say tech trance? Haha!”
Never Enough are one of the most visible brands in London, now with a new dj roster that Stu has recently signed for. He tells me he’s very excited for the future, “The DJ agency is a new part of the brand and includes artists like Eduardo Herrera, Eddie Santos, A*S*Y*S and Mike Redina, so there’s a strong force of djs and live acts there. Maria’s lovely too, one of the friendliest people I’ve met in the industry so I’m sure we’ll get on very well. The focus is likely to be on techno sets, hopefully involving playing at some of Never Enough’s own events, however, my involvement in Never Enough is a very recent development and nothing has been confirmed yet. With the international ties, maybe it’s possible I’ll get to play overseas as well, who knows!”
As well as this you’ll also find him bombing up to Bristol for his new residency, Scream. “Scream is a very much loved brand in Bristol with a strong following and has some awesome line-ups. They’re now restarting after a break and obviously what I’d love to see is Scream regaining the status it had before as one of the best nights in the south. On a personal level, I want to play the best resident sets I can and I hope the crowd will like what I have to offer!”
Key words, from a key man, so if you’re looking for a night out away from London, then Bristol and Scream could be for you.
“I actually hardly ever listen to trance or hard dance at home,” he carries on, “Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of electro, tech house and prog; I also listen to a fair amount of hip hop — Roots Manuva, Jurassic 5, The Herbaliser, etc., some indie, punk and metal, Blur, recent stuff like the Killers and even some Metallica albums still get an outing from time to time! There’s also ‘alternative dance’ like U.N.K.L.E, Massive Attack etc and quite a bit of liquid d’n’b in recent weeks.”
A feast of sonics and I’m thinking a comedown in his pad would be pretty cool — Hymn of the Big Wheel floating over the airwaves perhaps? Music to help you dream of big things and the future? “I’d love to play at a festival. I love going to festivals myself so much, mainly because the atmosphere is always absolutely incredible. I think it would be absolutely amazing to play to a crowd with a ‘festival atmosphere’.”
With plans as well to go into pro audio gear design or software development or just plain simple dj gear design following his uni course, while of course developing the djing and production aspects, the future’s bright for Stu Cox and just like that apple, it’s fresh and young.
Photos courtesy of Stu Cox and MadaO. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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Other Features By Adam Symbiosis:
Godskitchen Xmas Party: Reviewed
The Big Chill: Reviewed
Tiësto at Victoria Park: Reviewed
Lilly Allen: Reviewed
Digital Society May 2009: Reviewed
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.
| From: Spherical on 26th Apr 2006 21:55.50|
Absolutely awesome, talented DJ.
This guy's going to go far. Keep up the good work and congrats on the Never Enough/Scream involvement.
From: Olly Perris on 26th Apr 2006 22:11.53
From: Maria on 26th Apr 2006 22:13.29
Welcome on board baby!
From: ben (bs2) on 26th Apr 2006 22:17.50
Good effort Stu.
Great dj, the best i have seen for a long time.
From: Kiko on 26th Apr 2006 22:24.38
It's Never Enough expanding its business. Nice one Mamma! I'm sure you'll reach Brazil very soon.
From: Mike Redina on 26th Apr 2006 22:34.11
Wicked to have you on board m8!! You deserve it
Looks likes Marias agency is growing with each and every party =)
All the best stu
From: K8-e on 26th Apr 2006 22:49.38
Always said this boy will go far. And he will. Very talented and a lovely guy too. Big up the cox
From: Digital Kid on 26th Apr 2006 23:54.21
Well Played Stupot!
From: mef on 27th Apr 2006 00:11.37
From: Dr DUZZIT on 27th Apr 2006 01:21.59
Good luck Stu and what a wikkid interview mate, i for one will be looking forward to hearing you playout soon!! Follow your dreams mate because they do come true and smash the festivals up one day send me a demo
From: Richard Launch on 27th Apr 2006 10:15.30
Nice work Stu - congrats mate...!
From: Kris Noble on 27th Apr 2006 10:26.40
good stuff stu, keep it up!
From: Alan-Banks on 27th Apr 2006 10:32.27
Well done Stu - a very technical Dj and nice guy to boot. Wish you all the best mate
From: Ian H on 27th Apr 2006 11:10.06
Nice one Stu, I always said you had a bright future - just be sure to remember all us little people when you're headlining Creamfields
From: Jurrane on 27th Apr 2006 12:36.58
Great interview from someone I really hope becomes one of the stars of the future. Every demo I've received from Stu has been superb and I'd thoroughly recommend him as an awesome DJ. Congrats!
From: Ben Beaton on 27th Apr 2006 13:07.12
Nice interview and well done Stuey!
See ya soon- when the hell are you coming to Vaccine?
From: luke warner on 27th Apr 2006 21:53.58
nice work mate, catch ya soon
From: Hi Freak1c on 27th Apr 2006 23:25.06
Wicked mate top guy. Keep rocking mate all the best for the future :o) well happy for ya mate.
From: K.A.R.L. on 28th Apr 2006 13:01.13
Stu is an awesome dj and a top bloke. All the best mate.
From: bennett on 28th Apr 2006 19:23.13
nice one stu! - this boy is going all the way to the top!
From: Stu Cox on 1st May 2006 14:14.00
Thanks for the comments & support everyone to see some of my favourite DJs commenting here is awesome
Cheers Adam (Symbiosis) for writing the article and also thanks to Jeremy Radford and the other Adam (MadaO) for letting us use their photos.
Very much looking forward to the near future with Scream and Never Enough, plus whatever other opportunities arise...!
From: Special K! on 1st May 2006 20:51.29
Stu - so nice to hear of your successes and so much support. My very best wishes to you. Only hope we get to catch up again one day soon... Until then, enjoy and take it easy. Kimberley. xx
From: Andy T on 3rd May 2006 10:23.15
Go On Stu
Always a pleasure having you play for us mate, and belive me this boy has some skillz ! Looking forward to Addiction on May 18th
From: Mike Harris on 3rd May 2006 17:44.43
Stu is simply superb, his ability behind the decks is amazing and he is an all round super nice guy!
Good stuff Stu, well deserved mate!
From: Ian Edwards on 3rd May 2006 22:15.40
Nice one stu.. good to see you doing well..
From: Slimy Sly on 8th May 2006 20:23.29
Aaaa Coxy, you used to amaze me with the stuff you did and that was years ago!
Glad to see things are happening for you, well deserved!