Now why won’t the so-called underground label promote this? Defected released a double compilation last Friday mixed by Gok Wan – but you’d be hard pressed to find Simon Dunmore plugging it…

I could swear that some of the stories on this blog practically write themselves. And as the pixels on this post arrive on your preferred browsing device this Monday morning, this is one of those moments. Defected have long abandoned their underground house music roots – even if they try and pretend otherwise by referencing early Chicago house in their promotional slogans.

Last Friday, a compilation appeared on the digital stores called “Gok Wan Presents Isolation Nation Vol 2” – and it’s on a label called ITH Records. It’s an album with two mixes and 30 tracks – but the more eagle eyed of you might notice something unusual about the tracklist. Because the overwhelming majority of the tracklist come from either Defected Records or one of the labels which is now part of the group.

So what’s going on? Well, the answer is quite simple. ITH Records stands for “In The House Records” and is a long-forgotten strand of the Defected empire. A quick search on Traxsource reveals the label uses ITH for releasing mix compilations – but other than Isolation Nation Vol 1 which was released in December 2020, the brand has not released anything since 2016.

All other compilations since then on the Defected stable have been released either straight through the main label, or through the likes of Glitterbox if the music is more relevant to that stable. So I find it all the more mysterious why Gok Wan – these days well known in the UK as a DJ, chef and for the odd appearance on TV – has been relegated to the dusty shelves of ITH.

It’s almost as if he doesn’t fit in with the underground ethos that Defected laughably try to cling onto, isn’t it?

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