Rhythm King Records Ltd was an independent record label founded in the mid 1980's by Martin Heath, DJ Jay Strongman, and James Horrocks. Starting out as an offshoot of Daniel Miller 's critically acclaimed Mute Records Rhythm King's initial focus was dance music - specifically house music, acid house, acid jazz, sampling culture and hip hop/rap. Strongman's rap/funk off-shoot, Flame Records, signed proto-gangsta rapper Schoolly D and Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers amongst others. James Horrocks left the label at the end of 1987 and subsequently went on to form React Music Limited in 1990 which also had a focus upon dance music. This left Martin Heath in sole charge of the label; however by the beginning of 1988 Rhythm King was to enjoy a period of short term success which went hand in hand with the dominance dance music had in the UK singles chart from the late 1980s to the beginning of the 2000s.
The breakthrough was the single Rok Da House by The Beatmasters featuring The Cookie Crew. Initially reaching #78 when first released in July 1987 the single was re-released in January 1988 and reached #5 UK singles chart in February 1988 and is acknowledged as the first record to merge hip-hop and house into a style known as hip house. This was followed up by Beat Dis by Bomb The Bass. The identity of Bomb The Bass was shrouded in mystery until it was revealed that it had been produced by a DJ at London's Wag Club Tim Simenon. Simenon used his DJ experience, record collection and techniques gained from a music production course to create a cut and paste style which successfully merged sounds and samples from various genres within dance music - in particular old school hip hop, house, electro and funk with samples from film and TV - most notably The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Thunderbirds. The record reputedly cost £500 to make and had a big impact on the UK singles chart debuting at #5 in the UK singles chart in February 1988 - what was then the highest debut position for an unknown artist. It eventually reached #2 for two weeks and was kept of the top spot by Kylie Minogue's debut single I Should Be So Lucky.