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Simon Dunmore Interview

DJmag.com chatted to Defected Records' boss Simon Dunmore about Ibiza, and running club nights at Pacha.

When Pacha poached Defected from El Divino last year, the harbour-side club was not happy.

During their two-year tenure, Defected had become El Divino's flagship night - claiming Friday nights as their own, even rivalling Pete Tong's Pure Pacha residency.

A statistic that was not lost on Pacha.

They saw Defected as the final piece in their jigsaw and were determined to entice them across the road at any cost.

It wasn't the first time Pacha had strode in, reeled off their best chat up lines and left arm in arm with one of El Divino's club nights.

Roger Sanchez and Release Yourself was the previous night in question - thus when Pacha began gesticulating provocatively in the general direction of Simon Dunmore and his Defected gang, there was only ever going to be one conclusion.

A deal was thrashed out, Defected took Tuesdays and El Divino were left cursing their luck.

"We had two fantastic seasons at El Divino," Simon told DJmag.com last year.

"El Divino is a great club, but this is our chance to play on a bigger stage, so we have to take it."

It was a bold move, yet one that has ultimately paid off - this year they can count themselves among Pacha's heavyweights.

Much of that, says Simon, is simply down to Pacha.

"At first it was a little daunting to sit in between Sanchez and Morillo," he admits, unsure whether he is talking about dinner or just his night.

"But it went better than I had anticipated, partly because they are a great organisation to work for and also because you realise Pacha is the kind of club people will go to on a regular basis."

Simon Dunmore
Simon Dunmore struggles to carry his records on his back

PROFILE

Despite their reputation as purveyors of quality house music within the industry, it's Ibiza that has really raised Defected's profile beyond the record-buying public.

If El Divino helped sow the seeds, then Pacha has harvested the crop.

"It is regarded as one of the best venues in the world," says Simon.

"I certainly can't think of any that are better.

"So to be associated with the club and have a night on the island that is successful helps raise our profile - particularly with our events.

"Whether we actually sell any more records because of it, I don't know.

"That's always the debate. But in terms of the profile our DJs get from it, we have benefited greatly from moving to Pacha."

Indeed. Defected's impressive roster of DJs is undoubtedly what has engineered their transformation from a simple record label promo night into the island's No.1 club for soulful house music.

Simon believes that striking a balance between big names like Junior Jack and Bob Sinclar along with more established acts such as DJ Spen or Masters At Work is the key to success.

"Musically, we probably offer more variety than most of the nights at Pacha," he says.

"It keeps the night interesting throughout the season, whereas nights that are based around a certain DJ don't have that variety."

FAMILY THING

Having been responsible for myriad Ibiza anthems, Defected maintain their night isn't just about promoting new records - but Simon also admits they never book DJs unless they are Defected artists.

For Simon, it's always been a family thing.

"Defected only enjoys the profile it does because of the collective of people that make records for us," he says.

"We never cherry pick DJs. Derrick Carter, for instance, is undoubtedly a great DJ, but we wouldn't book him because he has no association with the label.

"We just want to represent the people who make records for us."

It is a formula that has evidently worked - not only are their compilations selling well (this year's 'Eivissa '06' comp is already flying off the shelves), their night is busier than ever.

There's no question about it - Defected are in the house.

Simon Dunmore

SIMON'S TOP 5 DEFECTED MOMENTS


1. "Dimitri From Paris played an exclusive two-hour disco set for us in the Baby Box at the Ministry, London.

"We had 1500 people going crazy to the OJs and Chaka Khan. It was an amazing night."

2. "The first pool party we did at The National, in Miami, when Kenny Dope and Jazzy Jeff doubled up.

"To have that clash of cultures at a Defected event was just amazing."

3. "Our showcase earlier this year at the 100 Club in London.

"We deliberately chose the venue because of its heritage. It was a house crowd but with a soul and hip hop vibe."

4. "Back in 2001 we did a one-off party at Pacha with Ministry of Sound.

"It was just when 'Another Chance' had been at No.1 for about four weeks.

"Roger [Sanchez] played it and it was like a stadium rock moment – the whole club jumping in unison."

5. "Louie Vega played for us this year at Pacha.

"He really connected with the crowd, but on his own terms.

"It's amazing to watch a DJ take a crowd wherever he wants. Again, it was a great night."