Defected Taps Disclosure for Ibiza Launch
After a recent rebranding, the legendary UK house label looks to the future.
In a genre constantly defined by what’s new and next, 15 years is a considerable milestone for a record label, and it takes more than just releasing records to reach it. Vaunted U.K. label Defected knows this better than most: Its branded parties in London and Ibiza are institutions, and a placement on one of its celebrated mix compilations (let alone their artist roster) is coveted by nearly every aspiring house DJ in Europe and beyond.
In preparation for their upcoming 15th anniversary, Defected’s had a little cosmetic work done (they revamped their logo) as well as moving into a new summer home (while this past weekend's opening party was held at Ibiza club Eden, they're taking up residence at Booom! after several years at Pacha). Their opening party went down this past weekend with a headlining set from house revivalists Disclosure, a group whose members were barely school-aged when the Defected began. We caught up with label manager and founder, Simon Dummore to ask about the secrets of the label’s success and some insight into its future.
You recently hired renowned graphic designer Trevor Jackson to give Defected a fresh look. What prompted the rebranding?
We’re proud of our heritage, and the Defected ‘D’ held an iconic status in the house community... [but] in my honest opinion, our original design was beginning to feel tired and it restricted us in today’s tech-based market. The logo and our entire look needed to be more robust and work across all our activities. Trevor approached the redesign with this in mind. He listened to our recent and forthcoming releases, spoke to our community, and dug underneath the DNA of the label. This is why, I believe, the result has been so well received. He absolutely nailed it! It took me less than half of a second to fall in love with the new logo. It just felt right in every aspect.
Along with the rebranding, the Defected club night in Ibiza has also found a new home. After years at Pacha you’ve moved to BOOOM! at Eden Ibiza. What was the motive behind the move?
We enjoyed eight amazing years at Pacha. it’s an incredible discotheque, and leaving was a tough decision. However, we need to keep reinventing people’s perception of Defected and it’s impossible to do this if you’re static. Moving to BOOOM! gives us a fresh start and, in many respects, ties in with the new look of the label. We have one of the biggest dance acts of the year in Disclosure playing at our opening party on July 13, and artists like MK, Dennis Ferrer, Lil Louis, Duke Dumont, Skream, and Dimitri from Paris throughout the season. I think it’s important to strike a balance between the more established talent and the newer faces.
What's your take on the younger audiences recently adopting underground house and techno, like Disclosure?
I think that these genres usually attract a younger demographic. Clubbers sometimes take a few years to eventually find their way to house. I can only view the young audience populating London’s house clubs as a huge positive, as I believe that it’ll work positively towards our immediate future. As for shuffling, I’m a little too stiff in the legs these days to try it myself [laughs], but it looks a little lively and people having fun the dancefloor is no bad thing.
For those who aspire to be a Defected DJ and/or producer one day, what qualities must they have in order to catch your attention?
Technology has made producing and DJ-ing a more simplistic process. The investment needed, in terms of time and money, is considerably less than in the past – therefore, more people are able to enter into the arena. This has made the entry point more competitive and the need to be individual even more essential. Everyone’s trying to be the next Dennis Ferrer, Luciano, or Loco Dice, so stay out of the chaos. Be unique!
What does the next 15 years hold for Defected?
Defected now has heritage, whilst also being contemporary label, which makes a unique proposition. In my opinion, house is the constant genre within dance. It has a loyal following. If we continue to connect great talent with an engaged audience, then I feel we have the ability to really grow in all aspects of our business. I feel more optimistic now, about our future, than at any point since the company began.