Strobe Records just celebrated their 20 year anniversary this year. Stay tuned for an exciting celebration in 2011 honoring our longstanding Toronto labels with special guests and performances! In the meantime, follow Strobe Records at: http://stroberecords.tumblr.com and take in a history lesson below.
Congratulations & Happy Anniversary Strobe Records!!
Tune in to this special Strobe Records Classics mix by Ron Allen:
Strobe Records 20th Anniversary - 1991-2011
The Sound of Light
It all began in Toronto - 1991 when producer/DJ’s Ron Allen and Hayden Andre fused their talents and formed Strobe Records, one of the most influential house music labels of its time. The popularity of Strobe grew very quickly and its unique sound spread through North America, Europe South America and Asia.
Prior to the formation of Strobe, Ron and Hayden were label mates at Bigshot Records along with Andrew Komis and Nick Fiorucci in the late 80’s, famous for their early releases of classic releases such as: Dionne “Come Get My Lovin” ,Index “Give Me A Sign” , Jillian Mendez “Get Up” , and How II House “Time 2 feel The Rhythm” to name a few. This friendship blossomed into the creation of Strobe which at the time was influenced by the early Detroit Techno and Chicago House sound. Ron was heavily influenced by Detroit Techno founders Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson , Juan Atkins and also by the deep and soulful sounds of Mr Fingers (Larry Heard).
DJing was a lifestyle that laid the foundation for the deep love for the underground. Spending hours upon hours in the Mom n Pop record stores around Detroit and later Toronto, The search for the most unique and exciting music became the obsession. “The break from the mainstream was a breath of fresh air musically and played a major influence in the Strobe sound for there were no rules - just a dope groove to make the clubchilds go bananas on the dance floor!” “The mindset was Deep Space - not as in outer space but the deep space that exists in your mind - a place that only music can take you.”
With classic releases such as Subculture “The Voyage”,Helen Sharpe “Got 2 Have Your Love” (Juno nominated),Hayden Andre “Tribal Life” The R.A.S.E. “Get On Up” andKingdom Come- “Groovy Baby/Jungle Bliss” , Strobe was one of the hottest selling house music labels around in the early 90’s. Strobe’s vision also gave birth to legendary producer, DJ and label owner Nick Holder who later formed DNH Records with the Release of Nick Holder “Digital Age”. “i have met so many great and talented people and visited so many great places and clubs because of this music” Ron and Hayden also did a number of collaborations with Plus 8 Records, Centrifuge Records, DNH Records, Roger Sanchez, Strictly Rhythm, Stickman Records, BBE, Global Underground, Elevation Recordings, M1, Nick Holder, Jason B. Demarcus Lewis, Mike Schilling and many more.
Ron and Hayden made the departure from Bigshot in 1991 and formed Strobe records soon after. Working out of Toronto Hip-Hop Pioneer Ron Nelson’s studio for a number of years Strobe began to make its mark on the international music radar. Strobe music was available only on vinyl in the early 90’s as 12” singles with a number of exclusive releases available on colored vinyl. Records were pressed at National Sound Corporation (NSC) in Detroit by Ron Murphy (R.I.P) ”It was so cool because Ron would let us come in while he was cutting the master and we would inscribe messages right onto the vinyl - that’s underground!” Licencing deals were plentiful inn those times and business was booming for Strobe… and then the bootlegging began. At this time the transition to CD from vinyl was taking place. Vinyl was very expensive to manufacture and a number of core distributors went out of business. “It was a time of transition not only for the music business, but for the music scene as well with the heavy influx of “fashionable” drugs and a tuned out audience, the love of the music for the music seemed to disappear” in Ron’s opinion.
Ron and Hayden decided to disband Strobe in 1994 to pursue other ventures and life choices. Ron began to explore other musical genres and business ventures and has since had a successful career as a music producer and songwriter. After a long break and with the influence of the new digital music business Ron decided to relaunch Strobe in 2006 as a digital label. “The love of house music was still in my veins and I wanted this incredible music to live on” The Strobe Classics are now available online and also there are many new releases available on Strobe. The label continues to make classic records such as Deep 6 Syndicate “On and On” , Jazil ft. Kolor Brown “Sugar” ,Hayden Andre Project “Tribal life 2007 Remixes” , Ron Allen “Reach Out” , and 3 blazin singles from Chach “Until” , “Luv” and “Starlight” plus many more. “I do it not for money but for the love of underground music and the freedom I feel when I am making it”.
Look out for more new releases from Strobe which are available at Traxsource ,Beatport , and JunoDownload. “I have stayed away from iTunes and the bigger stores because my market is the DJ and I make the music for them. DJ’s have always supported Strobe and therefore I will continue to make the music available to them exclusively.”
Ron reminiscing with The Assoon Brothers about the Twilight Zone days, sharing how the legendary Zone was the source of inspiration for him when he first moved to Toronto.