Mark Finkelstein is primed to relaunch his influential dance music label Strictly Rhythm Records.

Mark Finkelstein is primed to relaunch his influential dance music label Strictly Rhythm Records.

The imprint is to be re-activated through a strategic partnership with Simon Dunmore, A&R director at powerhouse British dance label Defected Records.

Finkelstein will handle business affairs for the new venture, which will have an office in London. Working closely with Finkelstein, Dunmore takes duties as creative head of the new venture.

Strictly Rhythm entered into a 50/50 worldwide joint venture with Warner Music Group in 2000. Amidst a legal wrangle with the major, the New York-based dance specialist ceased operations in 2002. The fresh plans come after Finkelstein re-acquired all associated rights to the imprint, its recordings and publishing catalog.

The label's relaunch will be marked with the release in March or April 2006 of a compilation, after which the label will source new talent and work with new producers.

"We want to establish Strictly as a contemporary label again," Dunmore tells Billboard.biz, "and I don't think it will be that difficult because we've got a great starting point and because of its history. There's a new generation of clubbers and we want to bring to their attention what Strictly is about."

In time, the executives anticipate Strictly Rhythm's entire catalog will be digitalized for public consumption. The building of a branded download store will be a priority going forward, explains Dunmore. "We will have a holding Website, we will make the catalog available (in digital formats) but ultimately Strictly will have its own (digital) shop and its own site."

Distribution for physical product will be handled by ADA in the United States, Vital in the United Kingdom and various partners in other territories.

"We're feeling good about where we're going to be starting from," Finkelstein tells Billboard.biz. "We're going to watch and try to be clever with what we do."