Strictly Rhythm celebrates 30 years of shaping house music

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.

Strictly Rhythm ‘The Definitive 30’ (Out as a digital download, 13 December)
01. Sir James – Special (Club Mix)
02. Logic – The Warning (Inner Mix)
03. Underground Solution – Luv Dancin’ (In Deep Mix)
04. After Hours – Waterfalls (3am Mix)
05. The Untouchables – Lil Louie’s Anthem
06. Photon Inc – Generate Power (Wild Pitch Mix)
07. CLS – Can You Feel It (In House Dub)
08. Phuture – Rise From Your Grave (Wild Pitch Mix)
09. Aly-Us – Follow Me (Club Mix)
10. Code 718 – Equinox (Heavenly Club Mix)
11. K.C.Y.C. – Stompin Grounds (Stompin Ground Mix)
12. South Street Player – (Who?) Keeps Changing Your Mind (Club Mix)
13. Hardrive – Deep Inside
14. Reel 2 Real – I Like To Move It (Erick ‘More’ Club Mix)
15. The Believers – Who Dares To Believe In Me? (Original Mix)
16. George Morel – Let’s Groove
17. Barbara Tucker – Beautiful People (Underground Network Mix)
18. River Ocean – Love & Happiness (12″ Club Mix)
19. Loop 7 – The Theme (The Legend)
20. The Boss – Congo (Da Max Mix)
21. Armand Van Helden – Witch Doktor
22. Josh Wink – Higher State Of Consciousness (Tweekin’ Acid Funk)
23. Lou2 – Freaky (The Bar Heads Mix)
24. Planet Soul – Set U Free (Fever Mix)
25. Lil’ Mo’ Yin Yang – Reach (“Little” “More” Mix)
26. Black Magic – Freedom (On and On Strong Vocal Mix)
27. Powerhouse feat Duane Harden – What You Need (Full Intention Power Mix)
28. Wamdue Project – King Of My Castle (Roy Malone Kings Mix)
29. Osunlade – Momma’s Groove (Jimpster’s Hip Replacement Mix)
30. Dennis Ferrer – Sinfonia Della Notte

Strictly Rhythm 30th Anniversary Vinyl 3-Part
Part 1 – 2 x 12” (Out in January)
A1: Code 718 – Equinox (Heavenly Club Mix)
A2: CLS – Can You Feel It (In House Dub)
B1: George Morel – Let’s Groove
B2: KCYC – I’m Not Dreaming (Mystipsychotix Mix)
C1: Hardrive – Deep Inside
C2: Groove Patrol – Need Your Love (Original Mix)
D1: Lou2 – Freaky (The “Bar Heads” Mix)
D2: Josh Wink – Higher State Of Consciousness (Tweekin Acid Funk)

Part 2 – 2 x 12”
A1: Barbara Tucker – Beautiful People (Underground Network Mix)
A2: Essence – Moments In House (Full Effect Mix DJ T Edit)
B1: Mole People – Break Night
C1: DJ Sneak – Keep On Groovin’ (Fat Bottom Mix)
C2: Wamdue Project – King Of My Castle (Original Mix)
D1: South Street Player – (Who?) Keeps Changing Your Mind (The Night Mix)
D2: Sole Fusion – Bass Tone (Underground Network Mix)

Part 3 – 2 x 12”
A1: Logic – The Difference (Vocal Mix)
A2: The Underground Solution – Luv Dancin’ (In Deep Mix)
B1: Armand Van Helden – Witch Doktor (Dark Ages Mix)
B2: Photon Inc – Generate Power (Wild Pitch Mix)
C1: Aly-Us – Follow Me (Club Mix)
C2: After Hours – Feel It (The Salso Mix)
D1: Phuture – Rise From Your Grave (Wild Pitch Mix)
D2: Joint Venture – Master Blaster (Turn It Up) (Tha Wild Pitch Mix)

Strictly Rhythm Previously Unreleased Digitally Tracks
Released on 13th December:
Logic (Wayne Gardiner) – The Difference
Roy Davis presents The Believers – Essence Of Life
Ira Levi – Live Your Life
David Alvarado presents Bombagrooves – Motion/Tantra
Groove Patrol (95 North) – Need Your Love/Dancin To The Music

Released on 10th January:
The Untouchables EP (Kenny Dope) – Take A Chance
Static (Todd Terry) – Touch Me Baby
Rare Arts – Boriqua Posse
Lovechild – Sweet Ambience
The Backroom feat Cheri Williams – Now You Got It


About the author

Director and DJ, Ian French (Naif) is passionate about every genre of music from Breakbeat, to Drum & Bass, to Techno and Progressive House. If he was to describe his preferred style of music he would probably describe it simply as electronic music. Besides his love for music and DJing his other passions are fine cuisine, wine, and travel.

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