Where’s the new music from Strictly Rhythm gone?

The Strictly Rhythm which existed from 1989 to 2003 was a very different beast to the BMG owned creature we have today. Strictly released music prolifically, and let’s be honest – a fair amount of it was rubbish. But they also put out a surprisingly large amount of material still remembered today.

Nowadays, Ears To The House regrets to say Strictly is a shell of its former self. The company went into a deal with Warner Records back in 2000, which ended with the company being declared bankrupt in 2003. Four years later, the label was relaunched after former Defected boss Simon Dunmore got involved and took the label under his wing.

Dunmore had grand visions of restoring the label to its heyday, as well as commissioning remixes of older material. But in truth, this vision never really took off – and the Strictly Rhythm of now, under BMG’s management, is a minnow of what it was once was. It’s been desperately sad to see an important name in dance music history being desecrated like this.

The most recent release by the label was a Todd Edwards remix of “Deep Inside” by Hardrive, a Louie Vega side project which he mostly used in 1992 and 1993. Which can be added to past remixes by the likes of Jesse Rose, Shadow Child, Low Steppa and Harry Romero – whilst a Todd Edwards remix is always an interesting proposition, it’s not exactly an innovative step for a label to take.

Where’s the new music from Strictly Rhythm? Taking a look at their recent discography, there doesn’t seem to be much there. The old label released a wide variety of music and sometimes took risks – whereas the current incarnation of the label does neither. Is a behemoth like BMG really not capable of doing anything else with the label’s output?

A quick look at the likes of Beatport and Traxsource reveal there’s still a lot of talent in the house music world – the same as there always was. It also reveals there’s still a lot of rubbish – the same as there always was. The only thing not the same as it always was is Strictly Rhythm itself.

Despite what has happened over the years, the label name still somehow commands a degree of respect. They might be best using that respect to do something good before it’s too late…

Ears To The House Team

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