Tag Archives: Defected Records

Not bad for someone who died this week! Carl Craig is the latest announced for Defected Croatia 2022 – and it won’t just be Unkle Carl representing Detroit…

This has been quite the eventful week for Carl Craig. It started with Craig complaining about a post on this blog with the juvenile “Haters gonna hate” caption. Then it emerged he had died – only for the man himself to confirm later that he most definitely wasn’t dead.

Anyone made of less tough stuff than the Detroit DJ and producer might have been easily forgiven for deciding to go back to bed and sleep until next Monday. But regardless of the fact he’s the kind of person to back a losing horse, he’s also the eternal optimist – and it looks like persisting with this week has paid off.

Yesterday, Defected announced that Carl Craig was the latest DJ they were bringing out to their festival in Croatia later this year. Dames Brown and the blog blocking Ash Lauryn are also there to represent the house and techno sounds of Detroit. Rumours are that Moodymann will also make an appearance – no official confirmation of this yet, though.

I wrote a while ago about Defected promoting the sound of Detroit, and how it was essentially a money making exercise – Defected didn’t get to where they are today without knowing what will pay the bills. Well, it certainly will be for Unkle Carl and the rest of the Detroit contingent booked to play…

Now what’s going on here, then? Defected promote Damon C Scott singing “Look Right Through” on their social media platforms – yet he claims he’s never earned a single penny from the track…

Early last summer, your favourite blog ran a story all about comments made on social media by Damon C Scott. He was the man who sung on Morgan Geist’s Storm Queen project – “Look Right Through” was originally released in 2010, then picked up by Defected and remixed by Marc Kinchen two years later.

It did rather well – unusually for these days, I still remember the first time I heard the new MK mixes. So the heartfelt comments from Scott revealing he’d never earned a single penny from the track. I covered it here at the time, but here are Scott’s exact words again…

Yet over the weekend, Defected ran a video on their Facebook page showing Scott singing the song at an underground rail station, acapella style. It’s an incredible vocal performance – that isn’t something I’m denying here. But knowing Defected are plugging this whilst he’s made nothing out of it leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

Now, there is no suggestion here that Defected are guilty of any impropriety here. Far from it – things like this happen a lot in the music business, and it can be something as simple as one number or letter of a name being wrong somewhere in the system resulting in no payment being made. And I do know Defected are one of the most thorough in the business for doing these things by the book.

All the same, perhaps there’s something the extremely well-connected Simon Dunmore could do to help. I’m all in favour of seeing past glories promoted – and it feels even better knowing everyone involved has got what they’re due…

As Defected’s Simon Dunmore reveals he’s retiring from the touring DJ world, how long until one of the last barons of house music hands control of his empire over to the next generation?

Last summer, I received a few emails alerting me to a whisper going around that Defected boss Simon Dunmore was going to announce his retirement this year. After much thought, I decided not to run the story – mostly because I couldn’t quite get things to stack up and more specific details like dates weren’t forthcoming.

Well, it appears Dunmore himself has been thinking about such matters. Yesterday morning, he announced on his social media pages that 2022 will be his last year as a touring DJ – and although Dunmore doesn’t do a huge amount of DJing these days, I suspect more can be read into this news.

Because the truth is that Simon Dunmore is going to be 60 years old in November. He joined Cooltempo all the way back in 1989 at the sprightly age of 26, joined AM:PM in 1994 and opened Defected Records in 1999 – where he’s been ever since. And the success of the label undoubtedly has much to do with Dunmore’s business acumen and the ability to spot a hit record.

But the problem with any business is the time eventually comes to hand over to the next generation. So when that fateful day comes, who could take over? An immediate handover appears highly unlikely, with Dunmore tweeting “it’s now time for me to give back & invest my time by passing on my knowledge and experiences”.

Any person who takes over at Defected is going to have their work cut out. There are almost no other companies like it – the modern day Defected is essentially an events company with a number of record label attached. So perhaps the senior team within the Dunmore empire – such as Classic’s Luke Solomon or Defected managing director Wez Saunders – will be best placed for the top job.

Other rumours I’ve previously heard suggest Dunmore is considering keeping it in the family. For example, his two sons Lucas and Louie form DJ duo The Dunmore Brothers – but an industry source tells me he believed they were “at least a few years away from being able to run a company the size of Defected”. When you combine the events company, the sub-labels, merchandising and publishing operations on top of the label, it’s a lot to get to grips with.

But be in no doubt – moves are clearly underway to ensure a successor is in place for the day Simon Dunmore decides he wants to spend more time in Ibiza enjoying fishy lunches and BBQ dinners

Who came up with that, Danny Rampling? Faith fanzine’s Terry Farley announces an event for Easter weekend – but the “Natural Immunity” name leaves a sour taste in the mouth…

It may be a new year, but it’s back to an old subject here – in more ways than one. With many hoping this is the year we can finally say goodbye to Covid-19, plenty of events taking place later in the year are already being advertised. So promoters have a tough job ensuring that whatever they’re plugging stands out above the rest.

An unusual name for an event might be one way of making sure extra tickets will sell. As I blogged recently, many clubs have been experiencing huge numbers of no-shows – as much as 40% in some cases. But I’ve had a few people getting in touch after coming across with a name that’s offensive at worst, dubious at best.

Terry Farley – yes, he who did the Boys Own stuff for a bit, then tagged along with Pete Heller for a bit more, then didn’t do much for a while before reappearing at Faith fanzine two years ago – wishes to tell his public about an event he’s holding on April 15th. It’s on Good Friday and he’s having a party – the “Natural Immunity” party, of all things.

One person who got in touch just wonders “Did he ask his mate Danny Rampling for suggestions on what to call it?”. Which is pretty reflective of how I feel about it. I’m all in favour of names which make a club night stand out, but this one just seems a bizarre choice.

Discipline within the Defected camp has somewhat broken down over recent weeks it seems. The label and boss Simon Dunmore have been extremely cautious with any pandemic related statements, knowing how polarising it is – and with a Defected act having recently said he wouldn’t find it “irresponsible” for artists or venues to ignore Covid restrictions, this doesn’t help matters.

They might soon be getting reminders that Captain Dunmore is notorious for running a tight ship…

Straight from Defected’s boss, one large portion of word salad! Simon Dunmore explains why he thinks England not imposing new rules is “the right call” – so nothing to do with your Printworks shindig this weekend, then?

Queen Elizabeth II has now been the ruling monstch since 1952 in the United Kingdom and numerous other countries around the world – yet over 70 years, we have learnt almost nothing about her views or how she sees the world. And by the looks of it, Defected boss Simon Dunmore seems keen to emulate her model.

Well, at least in terms of his views on the pandemic, anyway. Exactly what he thinks isn’t very clear – and for good reason. If there’s one thing Dunmore is good at, it’s reading the room. And he knows as well as anyone that the dance music world is very divided on the subject – hence why Danny Rampling bizarrely still commands respect despite holding patently ridiculous views on the current situation.

But Defected coming out on the side of anti-vaxxers and moonbeams wouldn’t be a good look, hence why Simon Dunmore has to choose his words on the pandemic very carefully. This policy, however, does not appear to apply to artists whom his label represents, with The Shapeshifters tweeting on Boxing Day that “I don’t feel it would be irresponsible for any Artist or Venue to ignore any further restrictions”.

So when Boris Johnson announced on Monday that England wasn’t putting any new Covid restrictions in place this week, Dunmore had to exercise a degree of caution when he spoke – saying he was “mindful of the differing opinions” and believed “that this is the right call”. And not surprisingly, someone took him to task on it.

A Scottish DJ called Ryan Kerr accused the Defected boss of putting “profit over people”. Dunmore’s reply is worth reading in its entirety…

Dissecting this word salad, I get the impression Dunmore is trying to employ the same trick as Sacha Lord – namely speaking in very vague terms that could be interpreted either way by his followers. For example, what “suffrage outside Covid” is he talking about? And who exactly did he have “extensive” discussions with? Last time I checked, he ran Defected – so the final call ultimately rests with him.

His next tweet on the subject is even more vague. Presumably he’s talking about nightclub workers, DJs and producers when he speaks of “people that have suffered indirectly from Covid” – but he gives little else away. He also mentions trying “a different approach”, again with nothing in terms of specifics.

Could money be a consideration on Dunmore’s mind? It’s a reasonable question. After all, the Prime Minister closing nightclubs in England this week – like has happened for the rest of the UK – would have meant Defected having to cancel or postpone their New Year’s Eve party at Printworks London. It would also mean a Classic Music party on New Year’s Day being pulled too.

Then again, it’s worth bearing in mind Defected has actually grown during the pandemic – as this blog reported back on November 8th. Another theory is that he’s referencing his own family – his sons are both aspiring DJs under the Dunmore Brothers name, whilst his entrepreneurial daughter runs a bespoke clothing company. All will have been hit in some way by the pandemic.

Will there be an interview somewhere in the dance music press soon where he’ll be asked to elaborate on his views? Don’t count on it – Defected are notorious for keeping tight control over their own message. So unless the Defected machine decides to tell us, expect the real reasons to remain a mystery…

The Wednesday Whisper is taking a break over Christmas. It’ll be back next week.

Are they cursed? The intriguing theory by an Amateur’s House reader on why Defected STILL can’t get rid of their limited edition Todd Edwards “Jesus Loves UK Garage” shirts…

One thing this blog has had a lot of fun with this year is continuously pointing out the endless misfortune that the usually spot-on Defected are having with one of their products. The label is headed by a boss – in the form of Simon Dunmore – who’s usually very good at spotting what will, and won’t, sell.

Back in May, Defected had a new release to promote from their House Masters cash-in series, featuring Todd Edwards. One CD was full of his originals – the rights to which they’d acquired in a deal – and the other had a selection from his lengthy list of remixes. Dunmore understands the power of nostalgia well, so how else would he tap into that?

Simple. Back in 2003, Edwards made his first ever appearance in the UK – at the Time & Envy in Romford, east London. At the event, he wore a shirt captioned “Jesus Loves UK Garage” – something which has become part of underground folklore since . Dunmore ordered a “limited edition” run to be promoted alongside the House Masters release.

But it hasn’t gone very well. Because over seven months on from my first post on the subject, they’re still available on Defected’s shop. And I’m at a loss to explain why. My original theory was someone at Defected added an extra zero or five to the order form – but a reader got in touch recently with another, more intriguing hypothesis.

He thinks someone has put a curse on them. And as evidence, he cites the area’s history – a playhouse called The Theatre was built by James Burbage in 1576, close to where Defected’s offices stand today. His claim – which is somewhat amusing, if not the most credible thing I’ve ever heard – is that Todd Edwards has somehow annoyed the spirits of the area’s past.

Perhaps 2022 will be the year Defected finally get rid of them…

Is Ash Lauryn the next cash cow for Defected? Suspicions grow as Faith fanzine – whom the label bankrolls, by the way – is plugging her on their social media channels

If there’s one thing that Simon Dunmore is especially good at in life, it’s finding the cow with the maximum amount of milk inside it, and then extracting as much of that milk as he physically can. It’s a skill he learnt in the 1990s at Cooltempo and AM:PM, and he utilises it well at Defected.

Hence why if you look closely at Defected’s history, you’ll start to see patterns. For example, the label was really into soulful house around the mid-2000s. Or more recently, you might notice the records being signed have changed dramatically since the success of “Cola” a few years ago.

During the pandemic, Defected has been hit by accusations more than once of colonialism. They’re more stung by the allegations than it first appeared, when label boss Simon Dunmore blocked DJ E-Clyps on Twitter last summer after he started asking difficult questions. And Detroit is one area where the Defected machine has been focusing lately.

The label recently released release a song by Dames Brown, Andrés and Amp Fiddler called “What Would You Do”. Seemingly everyone involved in it is from Detroit – and whilst one person from the city is conspicuously absent from the Defected Detroit love-in, there is another person who they’re very interested in.

And that’s the blog blocking, Derrick May supporting Ash Lauryn. You might remember her from an episode lately where she accused this blog of “spreading lies” about her – and despite repeated requests for details, she has yet to point out a single thing which was reported incorrectly.

Defected recently promoted her on their social media channels, and she’s also caused consternation in her native Detroit by her appearance on the Defected Croatia 2022 lineup. Now, Faith fanzine – who Defected own, by the way – have published this picture of her on Instagram…

So why is Defected so keen on Lauryn? An insider who’s previously worked with the label tells me “She’s the whole package, that’s why. She’s a new face on the scene, but comes from a city with heritage and a story to tell. She also happens to be quite easy on the eye, which is good for promotion on socials. I’m not surprised Defected are interested.”.

And though I say so myself, I think she’s a pretty solid DJ – although her taste in music leaves a lot to be desired…

Why DOES a winner like Simon Dunmore back a loser like Faith? The mystery of the normally astute Defected boss – whose online growth in the pandemic has been huge – backing a dead tree outlet…

A man who’s been in the industry for a very, very long time once told me “The thing about [Defected boss] Simon Dunmore is he’s very good at two things in life. Making friends and making money – and he has few qualms about mixing the two, so long as he’s earning out of it too”.

His words came to mind when someone kindly suggested an idea to me for a post. Last week, this blog published two articles about Faith fanzine. They didn’t like it and expressed their disapproval in an oh so modern way – by unfollowing me on Twitter. Like the rest of the dance music press, they appear to be run by terribly thin-skinned people who don’t like being scrutinised.

I now find myself asking another question. Why does Defected back Faith fanzine? The original publication ran from 1999 to 2012 and printed a pathetic 24 editions in that time – an average of 1.8 issues per year. Given that other dance publications were putting out at least one issue per month, this is nothing to write home about.

Yet last year, this magazine suddenly reappeared during the pandemic – and Defected were all over it, with at least one advert for a release from the label appearing in the first new issue. Simon Dunmore himself referenced this on April 13th last year, saying it “continues our investment into dance music culture”.

But does investing into a print magazine make any sense for Defected? A source close to the label suggests it does, saying “People like nostalgia and people like the fanzine. It sells well. I think Simon’s known all three founders of the original magazine for years – him and Terry Farley first met about 30 years ago. Everyone’s being paid out of it, so why not?”.

However, this does put Defected into the position where it’s effectively competing against dance magazines which they used to advertise in many years ago. Yet my source insists Dunmore is “relaxed” about this, pointing out “Print is only a tiny bit of the whole operation. Defected overwhelmingly operates online these days.”.

I just wonder how Defected will respond when that initial novelty of the magazine’s return wears off. Dunmore is known in the business for being willing to take time to build something up, even if it means making less money – in the short term, at least…