We're so excited to continue our Brighton Mixtapes Series. Since the success of our beloved Berlin Mixtapes Series, which has featured awesome guests so far, we are on a mission to showcase more of the exciting talent that is right on our doorstep.
Next up we welcome one of Brighton's latest stars. Banxi AKA Caroline Banks is a versatile and internationally renowned DJ and music producer with a rich background in electronic music. Born in the UK with Irish heritage, she has a strong passion for travel which has shaped her career as a DJ; spending a year in China, 2 years in Ibiza, and becoming deeply connected to and respected within the Goa music scene. At the age of 16, she moved to London, where she delved into underground music that ignited her desire to be a part of it.
Banxi quickly achieved success in 2003 with high-profile DJ residencies across the UK and an invitation to join the prestigious superlabel, Nukleuz. She also earned recognition as a Mixmag Future Hero. Her craft and her distinctive sound have evolved since her early clubbing days, from a harder, faster sound to a more melodic, layered and atmospheric journey through minimal, melodic techno and organic house. She loves taking the crowd on an adventure, injecting energy into her sets and forging a strong connection with the dance floor.
Since relocating from Ibiza in 2020, Banxi has been a regular on the Brighton music scene, performing at notable events such as Berlin-Brighton gigs and supporting artists like Timo Maas at the Brighton Music Conference. Her performances are known for taking audiences on musical journeys, reflecting her diverse musical influences and experiences.
Hi Caroline, how are you and what have you been up to this week?
My weekend was a lot of fun, I played for you guys last Friday at the Tempest, always a pleasure playing there, especially when we can still dance outside without freezing. Had a picnic on the South Downs followed by a beautiful sunset swim on Sunday.
How long have you been DJing?
Music was always a big inspiration for me, and while there wasn't one defining moment that led me to become a DJ, there were lots of synchronicities in my life that led me to it.
I was the quiet, shy girl on the school bus; headphones on, lost in my own world, listening to drum 'n' bass and happy hardcore. Music became my solace from a very young age and I would spend hours in my room creating mixtapes and artwork for the cassette covers. I collected flyers from events like Dreamscape and Helterskelter at my local record shops and dreamt of going to those places. The imagery on them was beautiful and I covered my walls with them. I guess it worked as a vision board.
When I moved to London at the age of 16 a whole new world of music opened up to me. I explored the London club scene: Bagleys, Ministry Of Sound, Camden Palace, The Cross, Turnmills etc. I didn’t know then that I would get to play at some of these places too. I would get butterflies watching the DJ and knew I wanted to play a more significant role in the music scene. Even before I was accepted into Leeds University, I had a clear vision of using my student loan to invest in my own decks. And that's what I did. I was lucky to be signed to the Nukleuz record label fairly early on in my career and that’s how it began.
What sort of music can people expect when they come to see you play?
It all depends on where I’m playing and at what time but you can expect anything from 115bpm beautiful downtempo grooves to 130bpm house & techno. The sound I play is often interwoven with shamanic or tribal undertones, melodic elements and a lot of layers.
Where was your first gig and how did it go?
I was the warm-up DJ for Rachel Auburn at an event called Essence, hosted at Kartouche Club in Ipswich. I arrived with a box full of records and shaky hands (that’s often the case, even now, but after the first mix or two the nerves just disappear). It was a great night, I remember celebrating afterwards at a forest party in the woods and feeling very happy.
You moved to Brighton some time ago. What made you make the switch?
Just before I left Ibiza I found myself craving stability in my life, something I don’t recall ever feeling before then. I wasn't finding it on the island. It was also around the time Covid was kicking off. I was like, ‘OK, if I have to live in the UK where should it be?’ Brighton ticked all the boxes even though I think I had only ever been there once. Living near the sea had become non-negotiable and the rest was purely intuition.
You also love travelling and have spent quite some time in other countries. I read recently that this included some time in China and Ibiza. How did that come about and what took you there?
I was booked to play in Beijing and Shanghai over a two week tour and I didn’t come back. I met some great people and had an agent out there who organised gigs for me every weekend in cities all over China. One of my most memorable gigs was playing at a rave on the Great Wall of china. I would nip over to Hong Kong to play and renew my visa every now and then and that easily turned into a year or two.
Ibiza will always have a piece of my soul, I gravitate towards the Spanish lifestyle and can see myself living there again or perhaps Portugal. The urge to move comes every now and then, if the call is strong enough I might just follow it. The transient nature of life is what makes it beautiful but right now I have lots going on here and I’m happy.
You have been quite involved in the music scene in Goa previously. Tell us more about that.
Ah, India, in all its complexity, feels like home. You only have to mention the word Goa and I’m smiling. When I think of Goa I think of freedom. It’s a place that lights up the parts of me that can so easily get lost in the way of life here. My initial calling to Goa was a fascination with Goa trance music, but the music scene evolved a lot over my many visits.
Now, it’s not just about trance parties; you’ll find a strong techno and house music scene too. I played quite a bit for Vortex, they organise some of the best techno parties there and Cirrus was also one of my favourite places to play at that time. We would rock up on motorbikes at sunrise and play for hours.
You have also been working on some of your own music. Tell us more about this?
Yes, I did a couple of music production courses this year and I’m hoping to use this winter to hibernate and get my creative flow on. I’m actually really excited about grey skies and cold weather to keep me indoors. Creativity is something that’s far from a linear process and I have several unfinished projects. I either lose focus very easily or focus so intently that I lose track of time at my computer, or my inner critic comes out and I abort the project entirely. It's definitely a process :-)
You have played for us and partied at Berlin-Brighton and hang out with the crew a lot. What is it about the night that is special to you?
It’s like a big bunch of mates who just love music have come together for a party, that’s what makes it special.
Berlin books some great headliners too, like Timo Maas. It's been ace to play alongside him and other local DJs in Brighton who all have their own unique sound and style.
Where's your favourite place to just kick back and chill in Brighton?
And equally, where's your favourite place to let loose?
Which other DJs or producers are you liking right now?
Barac, Bryz, Gamelios, SIS, Hermanez, DOTB. Just off the top of my head.
What are your go-to labels?
Tzinah, Shamandrum, Mobliee, Bar 25, The Soundgarden, I could go on and on.
You have compiled our latest Brighton Mixtapes Series Episode 023 - Tell us more about your mix.
It’s a true representation of me in a moment in time. It’s quite minimal and layered with a selection of tracks by some of my favourite producers. I would describe it as a mix of hypnotic nature, driving with melodic elements. The frequencies have space to shine and breathe.
What else can we expect from you soon? What's next on the horizon for DJ gigs, where can people see you next?
Well, if I declare right here that I’m committed to finishing a track by Christmas and putting it out into the world, does that turn it into a public announcement and hold me more accountable? Hehe.
I’m also actively involved in a sound healing project and will be offering sound journeys in Brighton and on retreats next year which I’m super excited about so keep an eye out for those.
Exciting stuff! It's been an absolute pleasure as always talking with you Caroline. Next up here's the Quickfire Round:
Genre: House, minimal, melodic, techno, downtempo, organic
Favourite Colour: Green
What do you put on your chips: Salt
Apple or Android: Apple
Can you juggle: Yes
Weridest/Coolest item of clothing: A Talulah Blue catsuit
First record ever bought: Robert Miles - Children
Do you collect anything: No.
Favourite place to hang out in Brighton: The Sea
Best club: Berlin
Where does the best roast: The Roundhill
Best place for food in Brighton: Bonsai
Coffee or Tea: Coffee
Favourite beer: Desperados
Weirdest food you have eaten: Rat
Favourite Track right now: Dreaming - Gamelios
View on Seagulls: Sassy
Favourite seafood: Anchovies
Favourite word/expression: Ace!
3 words to describe your mix: Deep. Vibey. Multilayered.
1. Praying for Better (Original Mix) - Dragusanu - Tzinah Records
2. Cumbi Sand - Avidel
3. Tropical Shiva - Bryz - Esente Records
4. Bounce 2 - Rene Breithbarth- Deep Data
5. Plate 56 (Original Mix) - Minube - Tzinah Records
6. Andrei se Bucura (Original Mix) - Electricano - Tzinah Records
7. Aura (Original Mix) - Josh Guest - Dubois records
8. The Rain Follows - Bryz - Esente Records
9. KSH Strings (Original Mix) - Minube, Razvan Ban - Seism
10. Zulu Take (Voigtmann Remix) - Andy Catana - Futura
11. Pleasure - Cojoc & Moldovan - Storytellers
12. India in me - Cobblestone Jazz - Wagon Repair