Classic Music Company is without doubt one of the most important labels in dance music. An experimental and groundbreaking imprint, started by Luke Solomon and Derrick Carter thanks to their combined love of "weird and wonderful house music".
To celebrate over 20 years of releases, we spoke to some of the most influential artists to drop music on the label, who now well and truly a part of the Classic family.
"Classic Music is a collective of like minded freaks creating and sharing music with each other and the world. Besides being one of the most respected house labels, its also taken risks musically and artistically with its memorable cover art. Luke is family to me and has been supportive of me not just as an artist but also as a person and any artist can't ask for anything more. It's amazing to be a part of its renaissance and I’m so happy that there is a new generation discovering and dancing to this wickedly weird, inherently funky, genre bending, ass shaking music.”
Style Of Eye
"Classic was where it all started for me - the label stood for a sound that was very experimental and ground breaking; it was at the forefront of house music, and I was so honoured to be part of it alongside the legendary Luke Solomon and Derrick Carter. It’s such an important part of my history working in dance music, and its still going strong…"
"Releasing a record on Classic, I think for most fans and consumers of house music, is like a goal you hope to one day achieve. Enough can not be said about what it means to be considered for a label that is associated with DJ's with such impeccable taste as Luke and Derrick are. Working with Luke is amazing because you actually care about his feedback. If a producer and DJ you admire and respect can guide you through the process of making a song, you'll only come out better in the end for having listened and engaged. I cherish the process quite deeply."
"When I moved to London nearly 20 years ago, I used to be a "promo" record buyer for one of the best record shops in Italy, called Disco Inn. I used to go and see the guys at Ideal distribution (one of my faves) and Classic Music Company was there with Jonny Rokk in the warehouse. Classic was Luke Solomon and Derrick Carter’s idea based around Chicago jackin’ house, but not only that, it has always been so funky. A few years ago the always quality Defected got them on board. Luke is a hard worker, a passionate DJ and man. He definitely deserves all of the success he gets. For me, it’s an honour and a highlight of my career."
"Having got to know Luke over last few years, I can safely say he really is one of the good guys, and one of the few people I would trust to relicense/issue/release one of my tracks. Oh, and he has an astonishing hat collection..."
"Since the late 90’s, even before we joined as forces as Soul Clap, we've been collecting Classic records. Derrick Carter’s - Mo Pschidt, DJ Sneak's - Can’t Hide From Your Bud, Iz & Diz - Mouth, DJ Bang - Make You Jui-Jitsu, Rob Mello’s - Bump All Night EP, Roy Davis Jr’s - About Love to name a few of our favorites… These iconic records, with equally iconic artwork by groundbreaking artists forever shaped our musical landscape. At the helm, Luke Solomon has proven to be one of house music’s MVP’s with his impeccable A&R work, as well as influential DJing and music production. We’re honoured to be included in this line-up of late night heavy weights and could not be more excited to be working with a fellow FREAK!”
Red Rack ‘Em
"When I was a young man dancing to Pepe Bradock’s seminal remix of 'Mouth' by Iz & Diz (at the legendary Bomb in Nottingham) or buying records like 'Beu Mot Plage' by Isolee or 'It's About Love' by Roy Davis Jr, I never imagined that almost 20 years later, Classic would be releasing a track by me. It was a surreal moment when Luke sent through the artwork and I realised my name was being immortalised in that instantly recognisable sleeve design. Classic have released a lot of seminal music over the years. If you have any spare copies of the stuff from the late 90s please send them my way ;). Luke is someone who's supported so much of my music over the years so it was great to finally meet with him and collaborate on a release together. He's been around quality music for decades and his experience speaks for itself. He's showing no signs of slowing down either and I have enjoyed working with someone with a similar energy level - there's not many energetic people on the scene today so I really appreciate Luke’s positivity and drive.”
"Classic is pretty much my favourite label of all time. Whilst I'm known for playing all kinds of stuff & usually the tougher end of house music, my real love is the kind of stuff that Classic have been putting out all these years. Grooves, vocals & boompty boomp are my favourite & with Luke Solomon at the helm it makes the label even sweeter because he is one of THE legends in my eyes. Great hats too."
Roy Davis Jr.
"Working with Luke Solomon and Classic Records is like working with one of the best dance labels of our time. I have so much respect for this company since day one when Derrick Carter and Luke first joined forces I knew it was going to remain the test of time, just like the name of the company - ‘Classic’!"
"Ahhh what can we say - hanging out with Derrick Carter, Luke Solomon, Ian, Dan and Leon was such pleasure. What a crew! Our first album ‘Ral 9005’ in 2000, and the following singles like ‘Thru A Little Window’, ‘Hello Again’, ‘Nix’, ‘Ghostrack’… All mark milestones in our career. People still mention that music from us and we find that so rewarding! We still feel that the moments we shared with Classic were under a very good star. Great people, great music, great energy.”
"On a planet of 7 billion people, the ability to find those who feel and think like you do can be a hard task. Lucky for us music does most of the work, but it can still be difficult to find true kindred spirits. Very often I found myself a bit off center musically from my friends and peers. While this made for a nice departure for many of the first labels I would work with, I always felt a bit out of place. Classic was the first label where I felt like I truly belong. It's founders and artists not only come from similar musical backgrounds but the music we love, create and release all share a common spirit and theme. Of course with a catalog as large and musically expansive as Classic's, this isn't always the case. I'd argue though, those songs and tracks that exist on the fringe still carry that "Classic" spirit and vibe. What is Classic to me? Home, family, vibe and a story that continues to unfold... Luke Solomon has been like a mentor to me at times. He showed an interest in my music early on and gave me many opportunities to share my music and vibe. My first release on Classic was 15 years ago, I'm looking forward to another 15 years. Thanks, Classic.”
"To work with like-minded people that you love and respect is an absolute joy. Luke is a good friend. He always gave artists the freedom to express themselves without limitations.”
"It was Luke Solomon and his team that really believed in ' Lovelee Dae'! It was their passion, enthusiasm and magic that has made this song the success that it has been. I'm honored and proud to see a track we have created over 20 years ago still has life! A toast to Luke and his brothers in music.”
Seven Davis Jr.
"I met Luke around 4 years ago right when I first started touring internationally. At the time I was surrounded by all these unfamiliar faces and names who were approaching me. It was really hectic and I wasn't sure who to trust. Also, I had never left the United States of America before, so when I met Luke I had my guard extra up, as with everyone else I met then. However, unlike everyone I first met in the UK, Luke & Classic were no doubt one of the first families to make me feel at home and help me adjust. Luke is just a good honest guy and he runs his label that way. Since then I'm happy to call Luke, Classic and Defected my friends and glad to be a somewhat secret member of the squad."