PURE: CARL COX @ Magnet House gets 9/10

PURE: CARL COX @ Magnet House, Amplifier, Edison Bar
w/ Eric Powell, Christopher Coe
Sunday, June 6, 2021


Carl Cox – the man, the myth, the legend, the machine. Oh yes, oh yes! Ain’t no stopping him. In three huge shows over the long weekend, Cox gave Perth a much needed hit of international dancefloor adrenaline and PURE techno, reminding us of the joy of the huge scale parties we’ve been so sorely missing for the last 15 months.

For over 30 years, the revered British DJ has been a drawcard, relentlessly touring the globe, playing clubs and festivals, near and far. Though like most DJs in recent times, he has mostly been playing online from home.

Though as luck would have it, Australia is blessed to have Cox living in our country now. He’s quietly been based just south of Melbourne for the last 15 years, down on the Mornington Peninsula in Hastings, where he owns a big block of land to house his massive record collection, as well as his collection of sports cars and motorbikes (Cox is also a racing fanatic with his own Motorsport team). Hence why we are the one country Cox is able to tour at the moment, and he made up for his lack of gigs by powering through three sets in two days.

Back when things were normal, Cox was touring his PURE techno brand parties regularly. After a couple years break, his visit was originally supposed to be over the ANZAC Day long weekend. He even arrived in Perth, only to have all three of his gigs tragically cancelled at the last second due to our snap lockdown, and had to return home. Big shouts out and respect have to be given to the Habitat crew for persevering through tough times and reorganising the shows, narrowly avoiding a repeatedly tragedy, by getting Cox here in the nick of time, just before Melbourne went back into lockdown.

And after all the delays and anticipation, the wait was worth it, as Cox blew the cobwebs out, and the roof(s) off, with a massive sold out show at Metro City on Saturday night, following another sold out show at The Court, an epic eight hour set earlier that day with his fellow expat partner in crime Eric Powell, bringing their Mobile Disco show to Perth. The finale to cap off a huge weekend, was this Sunday night show at the shiny new Magnet House, including Amplifier and Edison Bar. The man is an absolute machine!

With an early 2am finish time due to the public holiday, things kicked off from 8pm. Many seemed in the party mood from early on – or perhaps they had just powered on through from the previous day’s festivities, making up for a year’s lost raving.

Perth stalwart and connoisseur of many styles James A kicked things off in the main room, before Eric Powell built things up a little, as he has done many times before for Cox, before late addition and dark horse of the event Christopher Coe stepped up for a live set.

While not a well-known name in electronic music circles, Coe is a highly accomplished globe-trotting Irish producer and tech wizard who has worked under the name Digital Primate over a 25 year career. He also currently lives in Melbourne where’s he’s an integral part of the techno scene and was commissioned by Carl Cox to design and build his home studio. He has also teamed up with Cox to form a new label Awesome Soundwave, showcasing Live Electronic Artists. Coe’s credentials were on display, as he ripped through a banging hard, live, pure techno set that just built and built. You can see why Cox likes him.

The main room of Magnet House is really quite stunning after its massive new fit-out, with LED screens and pillars surrounding the dancefloor and a world class lighting rig made up of triangular fluorescent lights that flash and pulse, and can move up and down and rotate.

Good old Amps was getting a solid workout too with Flex in effect. The Habitat head honcho laid out a solid and soulful set of edgy tech house, with a bit of acid in the mix to spice things up.

The rather hard-to-find entrance to Edison Bar made it a bit light on in numbers most of the night, but it provided a nice respite to the other rooms, with it’s clean, retro chic décor and some more upbeat sounds. CNR managed to entice some dancers to bust a move with her bouncy, bassy beats, and Boasey got even more numbers on the floor with some melodic vocal sounds.

Meanwhile in the mainroom. Mot3k made an immediate impact lifting the level with some pure stomping business. The Perth techno outfit were represented by veteran DJ Dazz K. With a huge intro taking over from Coe, the local lad was living his dream opening for one of his DJ idols, and he seized the opportunity, performing a tight, well crafted and proper banging set that was the perfect warm up. Dropping the huge UMEK version of the 1993 classic Dreams by Quench got energy levels so high, that you wondered if there was anywhere left for Cox to take it.

Those thoughts were promptly dashed as the big man himself, Carl Cox, emerged and set about taking things to the next level. With a thunderous and heavy intro, he worked it even harder, taking us even higher, picking right up where Mot3k left off and continued on, bringing the crowd with him, laying down some heavy, driving techno complete with ominous sirens blaring, mind blowing visuals and lasers exploding above the stage.

Two hours seemed to fly by with barely a let up in the marching bass drum beat. Cox guided the mix with trademark liquidity and masterful crowd control. Effortlessly delivering another fine set of pure techno that had the dance floor packed and stomping the whole time. After delivering an absolute battering, he’d pull it back for a bit with a funky beat and get on the mic to hype the crowd.

He’s always ahead of the game dropping fresh tunes that have come his way. Just to mix it up a little near the end he dropped in a bit of cheeky soulful disco with Alan Fitzpatrick & Patrice Rushen’s Haven’t You Heard (Fitzy’s Fully Charged Mix) which was a welcome respite and had everyone whooping and jumping around, as did the familiar sounds of Crystal Waters’ Gypsy Woman, until he slammed it back into a hard beat.

As one raver was heard to say, I wish I could go back and do the weekend again and go to all three sets. As Cox himself said at the end, “I’ve been here for two weeks… Been well fucking worth it!”

The big man straight-up delivered in the way only he can. His passion and endless enthusiasm is an inspiration. Old skool techno, stripped back, with an amazing atmosphere. PURE – it does what it says on the packet.


Photos by Matthew Gedding


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