The EDM music pioneer will transcend the confines of reality to deliver a ground-breaking virtual performance in the Sensorium Galaxy.
The legendary British electronic music icon, Carl Cox, will treat fans worldwide on Friday to a mesmerising 30-minute DJ set as part of a free show called "Intermundium."
But here's the twist – he won't actually physically be there.
Instead, an astonishingly lifelike digital avatar of Cox, crafted by Sensorium Galaxy, will take centre stage for a pioneering metaverse experience.
"I truly understood what was possible when I first saw my avatar and literally did a double-take! I thought, 'This is now a reality - or should I say virtual reality?'," explains Cox, whose signature sound is deeply rooted in acid house and techno.
Access to Intermundium's world premiere is free and will be available across multiple platforms: Sensorium Galaxy Website (2D Stream), YouTube (2D Stream), App Store and Google Play apps (2D Stream), and Steam (Full-fledged VR).
Before the virtual party, we spoke to Carl Cox (yes, the flesh-and-blood version, not his digital doppelgänger) to discuss the metaverse as a new technology for sharing music, the creative opportunities it offers and the process behind planning a virtual set.
Euronews Culture: You’ve been DJ’ing for more than 30 years - you’ve lived through a lot of new technology. Do you see the metaverse as just another new technology to use, or is this something different?
Carl Cox: The metaverse is another way to share music and like all new technologies that help us to do this is something that the industry needs to embrace.
What creative opportunities does virtual reality offer you?
As VR develops I’m sure there will be more and more ways that it can push creatively. Where we are now it is a way to have visuals beyond what you can have at a real world live show to compliment the music.
As an electronic music artist, do you feel more at home in this kind of space than maybe an acoustic musician might?
I think it depends on the artist. With the development of avatars pushing what is possible there is no reason why an acoustic performance and an electronic performance couldn’t be equally at home here.
The question of audience interaction in the metaverse fascinates me - how do you get yourself fired up to perform for a virtual audience?
One day this will be second nature. Right now it is definitely different so it is about knowing that you are sharing your sound with audiences across the globe and that they are experiencing it in a different setting but of course you still don’t hold back.
This set has songs that you’ve written, produced and performed. Is your process different for a virtual set than it would be for a live in-person set?
No – the process is the same. The difference is that the audience are not physically in the room with you but you can imagine what the crowd would be feeling and this influences what you play.
Can you tell me a bit more about what you thought when you first saw your digital avatar?
I was shocked. The avatar looks much more like me than I expected and it really feels like you are staring into the future.
What’s your favourite part of this whole metaverse show?
I like the fact that I am one of the pioneers of this new way of experiencing dance music and it is amazing to see where technology has got to and what can be achieved.
What do you find the most challenging?
The big challenge was working on this during the lockdown and liaising with people across numerous time zones. Other than that I just do what I do and leave the science up to those who know how to do it.
Do you feel that you have more control over this virtual reality than you would a live in-person show?
To some extent – but not really as with a live show the control comes from the audience and the artist bouncing off each other which means that you’re always slightly out of control which is a good way to be.
What do you want fans to know about this show?
We’re pushing boundaries and hopefully inspiring people to take their own next step in whatever field they want.