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Top-rank British DJ Cox gets Womb moving

by Richard Smart

In terms of both reputation and body mass, DJs don’t come much bigger than Carl Cox, who will be playing at the Tokyo club Womb on Dec. 21.

Since helping to create Britain’s early rave scene, Cox has managed to gain global respect while never attaining the mainstream success of the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Fatboy Slim and Pete Tong. While his peers began adding pop music to their sets in the mid 1990s as the global dance scene exploded, the London-based DJ stuck to the harder music. Despite this, since its inception in 1998, Cox has always been in the top 10, or thereabouts, of DJ magazine’s authoritative Top 100 DJs poll (this year he’s at number 7).

Cox shot to fame as a DJ — or as close to fame as one could get in an underground scene — after a rave on the outskirts of London in 1988, when he was the first person to mix using three turntables. Cox has said of the event, “I managed to tempt 15,000 ravers back on to their weary feet and kick the party back into action” at 10:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning.

Since then, the schedule of “the three-deck wizard” has been fully booked, as he has headlined the biggest parties worldwide, featuring a sound that has evolved from acid house to happy hardcore before settling on techno.

Expect a Carl Cox set to be hours long and feature relentless, pumping dance music that moves between the dark and the uplifting, and to see the big man himself sweating and dancing along to the tunes he plays when he isn’t having to concentrate on mixing. One of Womb’s biggest crowds of the year will surely be out for this event.

Carl Cox plays at Womb presents W. with Mayuri on Dec. 21 at Womb, 2-16 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; ¥4,000 (¥3,500 with flyer); www.womb.ne.jp; (03) 5459-00390.