If one were to cast a template for a forty something man – footy, clubs, fashion, music, tribes – then it’s probably fair to suggest that Simon Dunmore might well provide its typical case study. Raised on a diet of music and clubs and the perennial disappointment of QPR (an underachieving English football team), Simon Dunmore has clocked up thousands of miles on street culture’s byways and boulevards.
These days, of course, he’s the man behind the enormously successful Defected Records, whose portfolio includes scores of Top Twenty hits, from Bob Sinclar and Soulsearchers to Kings of Tomorrow as well as myriad club bangers from the delicate deep house of Charles Webster to DJ Gregory’s Gallic brand of afro-house. Despite his avowed housentric take on dance music, however, Simon was not an immediate convert to the cause. “I didn’t get it at first,” he confesses. “I didn’t like the acid scene, the music or the fashion associated with it. The house I liked was stuff like Blaze’s ‘Can’t Win For Losing’ and Ce Ce Rogers, something with a bit of soul in it. That’s what eased the transition for me.” You can hear echoes of those early records in everything he has released subsequently.