From it’s small office in Soho, London, Defected Records has, over the course of the last decade, moved from it’s early beginnings as an enthusiastic independent, through a stage of becoming a successful benchmark to which all others aspired, to its current position as one of the few reliable brands left standing in a blighted industry.
First release, Soulsearcher’s ‘I Can’t Get Enough’ set the tone, containing a musicality that was to become regarded as an innate ingredient in following releases. Within their first two years they licensed Masters At Work ‘To Be In Love’, Paul Johnson ‘Get, Get Down’, Bob Sinclar ‘I Feel For You’, Johnny Corporate ‘Sunday Shoutin’ and ATFC ‘Bad Habit’, pushing each of these records to anthem status.
With the Defected In The House series, the Playboy Mansion compilations and now the digital series Clubland Adventures, Defected have initiated some of the most reliable brands in the compilations market. The list of artists to have compiled In The House releases read like a who’s who of discotheque mastery; Dimitri from Paris, Masters At Work, Gilles Peterson, Jazzy Jeff, Danny Krivit, Joey Negro.
The release of Roger Sanchez’s ‘Another Chance’ in their third year scored them their first number one and Kings Of Tomorrow’s ‘Finally’, one of house music’s most defining vocal records, followed shortly afterwards.
Dennis Ferrer, Martin Solveig, Copyright, Junior Jack and Reel People have also gone on to be nurtured in the Defected Records stable, the label as ever keeping a keen eye on the underground with a view to developing and exposing tomorrow’s scene leaders. It’s first artist album came from Bob Sinclar, who also brought the Africanism series, introducing DJ Gregory, Julien Jabre and DJ Meme. Sinclar built on the chart success of ‘I Feel For You’ when single ‘Love Generation’ became a worldwide hit and one of the official anthems of the 2006 World Cup.
In 2005 Defected informed the resurgence of all things minimal with the landmark ‘Sandcastles’ from Sydenham and Ferrer. The following year they continued in this vein with ‘Rej’ by Ame and Fish Go Deep’s ‘The Cure and The Cause’.
The internet has changed almost all aspects of the music industry beyond recognition in recent years. In response Defected have created a strong online presence, preparing compilations for the download market and making their back catalogue available for mp3 users. Their website also boasts a busy public forum. So, as revenue’s from the sale of records and CDs fall across the board, Defected remains a strong participant in the evolving house music community.
In 2007 their catalogue was expanded with the acquisition of defining New York label Strictly Rhythm and their well-established name enabled an easy transition into touring, building on popular residencies at clubs like Ministry Of Sound, Pacha Ibiza and the Winter Music Conference and large events such as the Sundance Festival, Zurich Street Parade and Global Gathering with forays into newer territories such as Eastern Europe, Asia and the Antipodes.
So vast have recent changes in the industry been that few would be able to predict where it will be in another decade’s time. But it’s more than likely that wherever it is, Defected Records will still be here, maintaining its respected position on the global dance scene.