Simon Dunmore’s Defected is the great success story of UK dance music. For 20 years, it’s been dedicated to the finest in house, from its label and numerous associated imprints, to its events and festivals. Still, it hasn’t all been plain sailing — Defected has traversed choppy waters to become the super brand it is today. DJ Mag talks to Dunmore about his house history, adaptability and his approach to business… “I’m a collector of music and labels. My ambition was for people to have a Defected rack in their collections in the same way they’d have a Salsoul rack, a Prelude rack, a Strictly rack, a Philly International rack,” says Simon Dunmore. After a decade working in club promotions and A&R for the majors, he founded Defected Records on 1 January, 1999. The plan was to establish the UK’s answer to Mark Finkelstein and Gladys Pizarro’s legendary New York imprint Strictly Rhythm. You could say that he has achieved that. Thanks to Dunmore’s keen A&R savvy, which has over the years secured releases and forged enduring friendships with Masters At Work, Bob Sinclar, Dennis Ferrer, Roger Sanchez, Kevin Saunderson and Todd Terry, Defected has made an indelible imprint on British dance music. ‘To Be In Love’; ‘At Night’; ‘Finally’; ‘Another Chance’: all tracks knowable by name alone. To call it the most influential UK house label of all-time would be entirely acceptable.
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