On & On with Rush Hour’s finest

Interview with Antal

On & On with Rush Hour’s finest

23-11-2013 | 11.03

Many people would’ve noticed the two days lasting party marathon Rush Hour is hosting this weekend in Trouw. A beyond-worldly line up shown on a poster that looks cooler than any other ever before. I had a chat with Antal, label-boss and record store owner of the Amsterdam-based Rush Hour.  
You’re known as a big music collector, what made you share your collection with the rest of the world?
Very soon, after starting to collect records, I wanted to trade them as well. Back then I often went to London where I found records of which I knew people in Amsterdam wanted them. I took those records with me to sell them here. Working with records in this manner made me get into music even more. Soon other stuff followed, like the Rush Hour store at the Spuistraat. I’ve been DJ’ing since I was sixteen and loved discovering and playing records. When I started DJ’ing, it was only possible to hear most electronic music in a club, nowadays you hear it everywhere. A positive transition if you ask me.
This weekend Rush Hour is taking over Trouw for two days, are you there the entire time?
I’m there both days; let’s keep it at that. On Friday and Saturday I'll also be at a big vinyl convention, so it’s going to be a pretty hectic weekend. There is a certain moment I need to sleep though. I’m really looking forward to hear Sadar Badar in a club like Trouw. I'm also curious to find out how Traxx is going to perform, while the party is already going on for 30 hours; that must be pretty exciting. I really love the line up! It’s a good mix of locals and international guests plus all artists that are doing very well at the moment.
I noticed that everybody at Rush Hour has a certain fondness for Theo Parrish, could you explain that to me?
Theo is our big hero. He actually gave us the motivation to start all of this. His music wasn’t easy to get in Amsterdam. Sounds like something obscure, I know, but I heard his music for the first time by coincidence at Midtown records and I was hooked right away. The music contains a lot of elements that really appeal to me, only I didn’t know what it was. In ’97 we discovered a distributor from Hamburg, which provided us with a lot more records from Theo. He also gave us a mix, which we listened the entire journey home. That mix truly inspired us. It also gave us the inspiration to organise a party with Theo Parrish and Moodymann in Paradiso. That was the first time I saw him live and the first time he visited the Netherlands. The fact that it was our first party made us devote extra time and effort to it, made it even more special.
Will there ever be a second store?
I don’t think so. The store is very important to us, it’s our clubhouse, but we think it’s better to put most of our energy in putting out great releases. The store is great for in Amsterdam, but it’s hard to create the same feeling in a different city. We work internationally, only we do it from here because this is where we grew up. Amsterdam made us what we are today.
What music do you find typically Dutch?
André Hazes.
And in terms of music which is more ‘Rush Hour’ like?
I think many producers from Amsterdam make a lot of good additions to styles that have arisen in other countries and don’t come up with their very own style per se. That’s because we’re such a small country, it’s very hard to spread out your own movement here compared a big place like America. Something I do find typically Amsterdam-like is the fact that DJ’s are able to play all kinds of different music. If you look at artists like Tom Trago, San Proper or Awanto3, they’re all playing music from a pretty broad selection. That is something which I find quite characteristic for our city. They’re inspired by music from every corner and have a very broad and creative mind.
I also think we should be very proud of all the things that Amsterdam is doing at the moment, since there is so much playing. Organisations like Red Light, Dekmantel, Rush Hour, Octopus Agents and Trouw, which were all pretty small a few years ago are so big right now. Let’s not forget ADE either. Sometimes it’s a bit commercial of course, but it’s a very good event to have in Amsterdam. I'm not able to talk about the old days in Amsterdam since I was too young back then, but I do know we should truly be happy with the things Amsterdam is accomplishing at the moment.

Text: Ruben Leter