The man behind the counter

Robert Bergman about Rush Hour

The man behind the counter

04-04-2014 | 11.12

Rush Hour is the place to be in Amsterdam where we and other vinyl fanatics go to when we're looking for the lastest releases, that one classic or obscure record to put on our turntables But what is it like to work at the Rush Hour store? Someone who knows all about this is Robert Bergman, who'll also be opening De Verdieping at the upcoming Rush Hour night this Saturday. So we decided to ask him some questions.

How long have you been collecting records? And how did you end up at Rush Hour?

“I’ve been collecting vinyl ever since I bought a record for Job (Jobse) in my teenage years. When I gave it to him, I kind of wanted to have the record for myself as well. So I guess it got started as a form of jealousy.
I don’t really remember how I ended up at Rush Hour, but I do know that I came over regularly to buy records. Throughout the years I became friends with the other guys who work there, so you could say it evolved in a pretty organic way.

You now have a huge record collection; because when you like someone, you want to have it. You’ve been working at RH for about one year now. Being there all the time must be a big temptation… how do you save yourself from your own demise?
“What demise? There’s not really something like too many records for me, I can spend a certain amount of money on records every month. So when I run out of money, there is truly no more cash to spend. The choices between records have only gotten harder throughout the years, which made me more critical towards the records that I do purchase. Or I at least intend to be more critical. The store does grant me the freedom to explore all types of music genres and get a broader pallet in that sense. When it’s about house, I’m pretty capable of finding new stuff on my own because I know one or two about the genre. But when it’s about African or Brazilian music, the searching for records you’d like is a lot harder. For those types of genres, it’s very helpful that have a large selection to choose from and that everyone can take their time to listen to the records.
When customers are doubting about buying a records, you often tell them: ‘Well, when you snooze you loose”. Can you name two records you still regret leaving in the crates because they sold out after you did?
"Haha, this sounds a little extreme, but there’s definitely some truth in that. Nowadays it’s certainly a given that not all records are pressed in large amount or will ever see a repress. This makes it a real pity when someone misses out on a record that they really want, but make the decision to buy it a week later for example. I also missed out on a lot of records this way, kind of painful when you look back on it. The records I miss out on the most are probably the Uget CD (Ugly Edits) and Unirhythm Green by Marcellus Pittmann. Very, very excruciating."
What are the most recent gems that you dug up?
"I can’t spill the beans too much; that would kind of ruin my surprises next week… But recently I’ve been looking for the records that have slipped under people’s radar. That way I can play a totally different set than other people. Sometimes that works out and sometimes it doesn’t, but I think it’s cool that almost nobody knows the track I’m playing. Subsequently, I’m really digging the “Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit” record. It’s a techno compilation released in 1988 and put together by an A&R guy who works at Virgin. You’ll also find Inner City – Big Fun on there. This track has had a lot of represses over the years and is pretty well-known, but what concerns me is that the tracks on the compilation didn’t come out at 12”, which include the first (!) release by Anthony “Shake” Shakir, Juan Atkins (Model 500/Cybotron) and Rhythm Is Rhythm (Derrick May)."

You’ll be playing at the Rush Hour label night. What can we expect to find in you record bag?
"I still need to select the records I’ll be playing, but I’ll definitely bring some new finds.
And of course a couple of records that already proved themselves in my earlier sets."