Defected Records is an institution. For almost two decades the label has been the centre of British house music, playing host to some of the most (or least, depending on how much you had) memorable nights in the country and releasing some of the biggest tunes to grace the club.
Founded in 1998 when the label’s legendary founder, Simon Dunmore, was a humble A&R working at Polygram Records, Defected has since grown into the biggest house label since Trax. Twenty years later, the label still holds down its iconic Ibiza residency, can sell out Ministry of Sound at the drop of a hat and regularly tops the dance charts worldwide. Truly, no history of club culture in the UK would be complete without a trip to the Defected House.
For Notion 75 we spoke to Simon Dunmore himself, Defected’s label’s flagship DJ Sam Divine and fresh label-mate Crookers just before their Defected In The House night at Ministry Of Sound. Alongside a series of photos from the night, captured by a favourite live photography Marcel Le Bachelet, they break down the history of Defected Records, the records that made it and the parties that have made it so iconic. Get to know Defected Records by the accounts of three of their artists.
Simon Dunmore, Founder of Defected Records:
I’ve always been involved in dance music. When I first started DJing, I’d go to soul clubs and play soul and disco. It’s music I’ve always been associated with either as a DJ or a collector; it’s an area of music I really really enjoy.
Simon Dunmore, founder of Defected Records:
I personally prefer a record to have a little bit of soul about it, whether it be a disco loop or a vocal sample or something new in its own right. Something that if a DJ plays it, it pops into your head a few weeks later, which is something I think is missing from a lot of current dance music.
Sam Divine, Defected's flagship DJ:
The whole team at Defected are amazing. It's what makes us the biggest house label in the world. Defected is a feeling. Simon’s got such an amazing ear for music, and he’s got an amazing team behind him. I’ve never been to, or played, a shit Defected show, ever.
Crookers, DJ and Producer:
I'm still new in terms of the label, and I generally take some time to understand how things are working within a family. I never rush to understand it. I’ve got a couple of years before I have my place within it. For now, though, my role in Defected is to sit in my studio, not think too much about what kind of music to do and, well, do it.
Sam Divine, Defected's Flagship DJ:
Defected has been a way of life for me since the first vinyl I picked up maybe 15 years ago. I’ve been there every step of the way, and I’m really happy about it. They’re my best friends; they’ve given me my career; they’ve given me everything.
Crookers, DJ and Producer:
My relationship with Defected started around one year ago when they released this very sexy song of mine called ‘Withdrawals’. Now, little by little, we are getting pretty close - especially now with the number of emails/music I'm sending to their A&R, Andy, every week!