Carl Cox might have taken a step back from Ibiza, but he's ramping up his projects on another island on the opposite side of the world. The dance music legend hits 56 this year but is full of energy for his events at home in Australia, which are cementing themselves as go-to parties.

The dust has just settled on the second instalment of his three-day camping festival Babylon, which featured Pan Pot, Laurent Garnier and Deborah De Luca, and PURE's third year is about to tour with Nastia, Paco Osuna and more next month.

Speaking of Australia's 'bush doof' rave scene, which the former has slotted into at the end of summer, the dance music legend said: "I think it’s amazing you have all this room to do all these events and are now starting to utilise it. And the fact people are getting in their cars and making the exodus to travel to be at these events is amazing. It’s really refreshing to see we're not just using the Sidney Myer Bowl or Flemington Racecourse, we’re not just using the normal places anymore, we’re outdoors creating something, that’s fantastic to see what we can basically create and what we can do outside your normal events."

His one-day event series, PURE, which delivers what the name suggests through a stripped-back, unadulterated house and techno ethos, expands to Brisbane this year, as well as taking in Perth and Auckland for the second time alongside Sydney and Melbourne. On the concept, Cox said: "When I first mentioned the fact this is what we were going to do it was kind of like almost like a backlash to the EDM thing.

"You’re not going to get LED walls, you’re not going to get CO2, you’re not going to get fireworks, you’re not going to get confetti cannons, you’re not going to get any of those niceties. All you’re going to get is a raw soundsystem, some lighting, of course, and great DJs playing this type of music. And I always said 'If you’re not into it, then don’t come. Don’t come down.' Because there’s plenty of people who are into it who will be the ones that will come down because they know why they’re there and I think once you’ve got a crowd of people who basically are all in it together, that’s the best kind of crowd you can basically play to and therefore there’s no boundaries to what the DJs can play, they can feel free without having to play all the big hit records to make the party work."


Cox took PURE to Privilege, Ibiza, for two nights last year, but the concept won't return in 2018. "Privilege hasn’t been used as a nightclub or rave-orientated night for 15 years, since the years of Manumission, so when we woke that place up with our ideas of what we did in Australia, it was a major success, purely based on what I believed in and it worked really well. We won’t be going back unfortunately to Ibiza this year because Privilege has other ideas of what they want to do with their dates. So, you know what? We made a statement, we made a point, we pulled it off, it was great, people now know in Europe and the rest of the world what we’re all about, plus I want to try and keep it as primarily in Australia and New Zealand as much as I can. This never really was a worldwide agenda. This was always something I wanted people to feel a part of on this side of the world. So, to me that’s great, I still get to play Privilege anyway through playing for Ultra, which is stroke Resistance, so people still get me playing there anyway, but under the guise of what they’re doing."

As for life in Australia, Cox couldn't be happier hanging out around Frankston, on the Mornington Peninsula, about an hour outside central Melbourne: "I’m very well settled here. I really do enjoy the fact I’m able to spread my wings on all accounts on everything that I put my hand to and feel good about the decision to be here more than anywhere else in the world."

He added: "I’ve been coming here now for over 20 years and all the time that I’ve toured here I always enjoyed being in Melbourne, and one of my first singles that I worked on I was actually working with John Course in his studio here on the (Mornington) Peninsula, which I didn’t know as that many years ago. I did a track called ‘Eternal’ and it was a big hit record and stuff like that and it was amazing that I had already been here subliminally, without actually knowing where I was, and then I eventually found out that the Peninsula was the place where I made this music in Australia. I think it was something that called me back. It was just brilliant that I was able to come here initially and then turn a key to my own home and as soon as I bought my home here that was it. So, you know, I have no desire to live anywhere else in the world and Australia was a place I always had a kind of affinity and a love for, so I think it’s the natural order for me to be here. I mean, I’ve got plenty of my friends that live in Barcelona, that live in Singapore, or Berlin, or live in Ibiza, and I’m like ‘no, I’m going to go as far away from you lot as possible and live in Australia and have my own life,’ and that’s what I’ve created.


Catch Frankston local Carl Cox with Paco Osuna, Nastia, Fabio Neural and Eric Powell at PURE next month. Dates and cities below.

20/4 - Logan Campbell Centre, Auckland

21/4 - Festival Hall, Melbourne

24/4 - Metro City, Perth

27/4 - Family, Brisbane

28/4 - Hordern Pavilion, Sydney