Frankie Knuckles, he is not! Are power struggles within Defected the REAL reason why Luke Solomon is getting a House Masters compilation of his own?

During our enforced week away, Ears To The House received a few emails on our article from earlier this month – all about how Defected was now mistakenly claiming some its own artists as Grammy winners. We also briefly touched on the subject of Luke Solomon getting his own House Masters compilation.

Defected started this series back in 2008 and it has previously seen artists like Frankie Knuckles, Masters At Work, Derrick Carter, Armand Van Helden, Mousse T, Todd Edwards – the list is a truly long one. Infact, Masters At Work received no less than two editions of the series – such is the sheer size of their discography.

Has Luke Solomon contributed much to house music over the years? It has to be said his legacy is sizeable – he cut his teeth working for Roger Sanchez’s Narcotic Records and did a stint as the promotions guy at Freetown. He founded Classic Music Company in 1996 – and brought the label back to life after his employers at Defected purchased it in 2010.

A source who knows Solomon describes him as “an unbelievably hard-working guy. He’s quiet when he needs to be and loud when he needs to be. He knows what he likes, he knows what’s likely to do well, and he’s played a big role in Defected ever since he came in. At one point, I honestly thought he would take over whenever Simon Dunmore eventually left.”.

Indeed, this was something which Ears To The House predicted back in January 2022 – tipping either Solomon or Wez Saunders for the top job when a vacancy was declared. We, of course, now know which way things turned out – and Solomon remains in the same position as he was during the Dunmore era.

However, as we’ve pointed out countless times before, Wez Saunders did not enlist the help of Pinnacle Bank to buy out Defected – only to then do things in exactly the same way. This is how we got to wondering – what’s the reason Solomon is getting his own House Masters edition, and why is it happening specifically now?

His discography, although certainly not up there with giants like Frankie Knuckles, is impressive. There’s plenty of it – and the fact Solomon owns many of his own masters no doubt makes the process of licensing songs a much smoother one. But this doesn’t answer the question over timing.

One of our regular sources says “I find the timing a little suspect. I have a lot of respect for Luke Solomon, but he isn’t up there with Frankie Knuckles, Masters At Work, and the rest. It feels like this is a reward from Wez Saunders for his loyalty after the takeover.”

However, a source close to Defected denied any ulterior motive, saying “Luke’s edition of House Masters pre-dates Simon Dunmore’s departure by some time, and this was a gap in the release schedule. It takes months, sometimes over a year, to licence these albums. There’s really nothing more to it.”.

Never a dull day at Defected, is there?

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