Legendary label Strictly Rhythm celebrates its landmark 30th anniversary – having shaped the face of house music since its inception in New York in 1989.
To commemorate its proud heritage, Strictly Rhythm will release ‘The Definitive 30’ on 13 December – 30 classic tracks that define the label musically, artistically and culturally. To accompany this, there will be a 3-part 2 x 12” vinyl series being released from January, plus ten digitally unreleased recordings – including tracks from Todd Terry and Kenny Dope – on 13 December and 10 January.
Strictly Rhythm’s extraordinary influence is shown by the many iconic artists who have released on the label, the internationally renowned selectors who regularly feature Strictly Rhythm tracks in their sets to a rapturous response, and the label’s presence in scores for the big and small screen.
‘The Definitive 30’ is a multi-faceted collection celebrating Strictly Rhythm’s legacy. Featuring early New York deep house: Logic’s ‘The Warning’, After Hours’ ‘Waterfalls’,and Kerri Chandler’s ‘Stompin’ Grounds’; the disco house sounds built on New York’s rich club heritage: Underground Solution’s ‘Luv Dancin’, The Untouchables’ ‘Lil Louie’s Anthem’; classic vocal house from Barbara Tucker, Aly-Us, and Black Magic; harder-edged rave classics in the shape of Todd Terry’s ‘Can You Feel It’ and Armand Van Helden’s ‘Witch Doktor’; and crossover hits from Reel II Real, Ultra Naté, Planet Soul, and Wamdue Project.
Phil Cheeseman, long-time Strictly Rhythm stalwart and compiler of these releases says: “30 years is a commendable achievement for any label, but for a label in a genre that lives largely in the underground, Strictly Rhythm’s milestone is unprecedented.”
“The producers and artists on ‘The Definitive 30’ reel off like a who’s who of the history of house: Louie Vega, Kenny Dope, DJ Pierre, Roger Sanchez, Erick Morillo, Danny Tenaglia, Lil Louis, David Morales, India, Osunlade and Dennis Ferrer. But, as definitive as they are, they are in no way the ‘be and end all’ of Strictly Rhythm. More a gateway to the bigger story…”
For vinyl aficionados, Strictly Rhythm will release a special 3-part vinyl set from January, featuring 23 seminal cuts from ‘The Definitive 30’. Track-listing is below.
Strictly Rhythm will also release ten recordings previously unreleased digitally – across 13 December and 10 January. These ten tracks are a cross section of Strictly Rhythm’s DNA. There’s pioneering deep house from Wayne Gardiner’s Logic with ‘The Difference’, the lesser known but still brilliant follow-up to ‘The Warning’, and Lovechild’s ‘Sweet Ambience’, included on ‘This Is Strictly Rhythm’, the label’s first ever compilation; classic vocal house from Ira Levi’s ‘Live Your Life’ (with mixes from Wamdue Kids) and The Backroom featuring Cheri Williams’ ‘Now You Got I’; New York Latin freestyle hit ‘Boriqua Posse’ by Rare Arts; West Coast proto tech house from David Alvarado; The Believers’ ‘Essence Of Life’ – the underrated follow up to ‘Who Dares To Believe In Me’; and essential ‘90s house from Groove Patrol (aka 95 North). Last, but by no means least, are early releases from the legendary Todd Terry and Kenny Dope.