With the immense amount of options during the Winter Music Conference, Defected parties stand out each year as a highlight. In 2005, even a torrential rain downpour couldn't threaten the vibe of Defected pool party at the National hotel. Back in 2006 with a Nikki Beach party and a phenomenal 3 CD compilation, Defected label head Simon Dunmore chats with us about house music.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: Defected parties are always a highlight of the Winter Music Conference. With ten million parties going on at the same time, what do you think makes them so special?
Simon Dunmore: We like it to be a bit more of a social event. I think some of the parties, especially in the evening, are almost antisocial. You have a hard time at the door. You get in and they're oversubscribed. You can't find people that you want to hook-up with. I think to do a party that kind of traverses the day and then into the evening, means people can hook-up and it's more like what the Winter Music Conference traditionally used to be when it was at the Fontainebleu. People could chill out around the pool - meet, swap records and catch up. I think that's a pretty important part of the Winter Music Conferences that's maybe lacking these days.
RS: The lineup for the compilation Defected in the House, Miami 2006 is pretty incredible. How did you choose the songs for it?
Simon Dunmore: We got in touch with a whole lot of producers and labels and asked them what they were going to be showcasing and what was current. It's kind of hard for people to give you stuff that's too upfront of release because they like to take things that are obviously fresh to the Conferences. A lot of people were pretty forthcoming, so we got bombarded with stuff, and hence the tracklisting on the CD we feel, is at worse current and at best really upfront.
RS: Do any of the songs stand out to you as songs that might be the "Song of the Conference?"
Simon Dunmore: Yes, but I'm pretty biased so you're probably asking the wrong person. There's a track by Copyright featuring Song Williamson called "He Is," which if you listen to it on its own, it's pretty minimal and then it's got this great gospel kind of like hook on top. The mix on the compilation is by Denis Ferrer and Jerome Sydenham, and it's just a slamming record. So that's my tip.
RS: Over the past few years as I've been going and watching, it seems like the song of the conferences is almost already chosen before people get there. Do you think the Winter Music Conference creates records or builds records that are already in process?
Simon Dunmore: To be honest with you, there's always both. Because of the size of the Conference now, it's always hard for that one record to go there really cold with no one having had it or whatever, and then make an impact. Because across sixty parties you're not going to get everybody playing that one record, whereas ten years ago there were three parties and if one DJ played a record, most of the people that were there got to hear it. So I don't think that everyone walks away talking about the same record like they used to maybe ten years ago. But then there's a record like Bob Sinclar's "Love Generation," which is a record we picked up at the last Winter Music Conference and that was the first time it got played. Louie Vega played it and Bob Sinclar played it. They were the only two people that had it, so that record was borne out of the Conference last year. For me it was born, because it was first time I'd heard it. I don't think people en masse went away gong, well that Love Generation record is going to be a smash. It took time to evolve out of the Conference. In terms of records being decided before they go, big records are played and because there are so many parties and people are there to have a good time, if there's a record that's doing well, it's going to get played and it's going to get exposed at the conference. It's a good platform for both really. It's a good platform for existing records and it's a good platform for records that are going to be maybe big in four to eight months' time.