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Review: Carl Cox Closing Party 2013

Cox moves ever forward by looking constantly back.

Carl Cox has never claimed to be an innovator. Instead he has applied constant effort to honing his natural talent: hosting straight and simple parties. Consistency has always been key, the infectiously amiable Brit set upon a winning formula twelve years ago: a brand with such a strong focus on fun that its appeal marginally transcends musical preference and usual social bias. Non-meddling with concept and the frailties of trend the genetics of the Tuesday night venture remains largely untouched. More than once The Revolution has filled Space to capacity before 3am - Cox has certainly enjoyed a strong season, one example of an event untouched by the heady competition that has come to define this summer. The line-up, like its Closing Party peers, was safe. Promoters seem to steer well clear of any risk - where risk in this context means presenting any artist that is not at the highest level of island née international recognition.

In the Terrace, Intec head Jon Rundell sunk crisp highs and lolling lows into a smokier, darker space. In July Rundell threw the well-received Pure Intec parties in the Terrace spot, a possible reason for his comfortable projections and easy flow. Avoiding adherence to the orthodox he - and Circus honcho Yousef after him - were able to deliver tracks with a near imperceptible darkness, during the changeover nothing but a pickled sidestick tethered the smooth hulking accelerator to high freq realms. Moving from the secondary space to the Discoteca was an exercise in animal hypnotism. Travelling flows of cattle crisscrossed the rear and flanks of the main room which was, from the off, densely full. Of late Dice has begun to toy with his own identity and musically his level of experimentation is increasingly obvious. Straying from his signature elastic groove Dice instead adopted a classic rhythmic style - the usual FX were absent and the bass lines devoid of swing. The squelchy pop of A Made Up Sound's Hang Up on Clone appeared and lingered, before a brief reversion to a more minimal fare precursed the dystopian montage that heralds the arrival of The Revolution's spiritual head. Infectious mic play. Cheers. And right into hard, matt techno. Aside from giving the Martinez Brothers' remix of Green Velvet's Bigger Than Prince early airtime Cox kept to industrial-bass led airs. DJ Le Roi's I Get Deep (Joris Voorn This Is Not A Remix) marked the beginning of an ethnic interlude that spanned the tribal and reggae sectors before a return and progression that saw Cox apply pace and percussion, cue rapid open hats and knotty chirps.

Cox repeated last year's decision and brought Dice back into the booth for a back-to-back departure. An earlier tussle at Dice's Used & Abused residency raised questions about the natural compatibility of the pair but this time saw them present a different tact. One provided the classics, all wispy nineties and homely vocal cuts - Jean Jacques Smoothie - 2 People warbled into being - whilst the other provided the rollicking beat overlay. A unique display that brought something a little comical and a little fresh to Space; it was a fitting affirmation of Cox's comfortable respect and love for the past - and of keeping that past firmly in the present. After all, a party is still a party.

Words by Michael Huntington, Photogrpahy by James Chapman

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