We're selecting the best DJs in the business and taking them back to the record shops that mean the most to them. They will then lay down an immensely special set from their record shop of choice, and needless to say, the mix is 100% vinyl
For episode 3 of our series that looks at some of the tightest vinyl DJs around we selected one of Amsterdam's finest exports, Tom Trago. In part A of the latest episode we discussed all things wax with the man himself and heard tales of his improv radio shows in his parents attic at age 10, his love for ODB and Gang Starr and of course his first encounter of chosen store, Rush Hour Records.
Rush Hour have built up a reputation as one of the most highly-regarded names associated with vinyl. Armed with its superb specialist selection, Rush Hour dared to go where so many record shops don't and established a prolific label, releasing tracks from the likes of: Carl Craig, Rick Wilhite, KINK, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Boo Williams and of course Tom Trago. We caught up with some of the guys from the store and got them to provide a killer chart of their staffs favourite new releases.
Established in 1996 by owners Antal Heitlager and Christiaan Macdonald, who initially bought the entire basement of records from a house music specialist record shop based in Amsterdam called Coco Records. What started off as a mail-order company from a student house exporting quality house music, grew into a one of the finest record shops around, an international record distribution and export company. One of the most well respected labels in electronic music today.
The Amsterdam way
With Amsterdam providing the type of social atmosphere similar to that of a small town the environment that in turn creates provides a melting pot allowing people from various different musical background to entwine. Hip hop cats link up with house heads, who link up with lovers of soul, funk and disco. A musical goldmine with Amsterdam's record shops at the forefront.
Heart in house
As a store and individuals their hearts and souls are all in house. It was for love of genre that the store was founded but also the teams thirst for digging that enabled to grow the store to where it is today. Disco, funk, jazz are all genres that house was built upon so they stock a broad spectrum of music that represents the sound.
Key to success
Over the last 10 years many record shops have died because of changes in the industry and the way music is consumed. Rush Hour's ability to have branched out into events, label and distribution company have all helped through the difficult times but mainly, the sheer love for the music that they believe in is what really stands out.
Re-releasing old gems
One of the most well-loved aspects of Rush Hour is its ability to discover and re-release outstanding material which has previously slipped under the radar like 'Push/Pull' by Bang the Drums for instance. Their secret secondhand digging is second-to-none and it's practiced by venturing to places around the world to meet new people. There's nothing more to it just digging, digging and more digging until you come across that gem….
House of Music
Not just a label, a record shop, distribution and exporting quality music. Rush Hour also release a non-periodical magazine about the music they represent called House of Music which is all about providing that extra info for customers and music lovers. The free magazine is loaded with a fantastic musical insight and is available at the store and via mailorder.
One of Rush Hour's quickest selling releases
The mystery release: #### - ####.1 distributed by Rush Hour check it out here.
Artists who have work behind the counter
Cinnaman, Rob Manga, Mr Mendel, Robert Bergman and Antal.
Antal on events at Trouw and further afield:
"From day one we have been doing nights at trouw. I think the first 3 years were not that easy but after a certain point the night became better and better. For us it has been a blessing to have a club like that in our backyard. I believe it elevated our label as we had this wonderful outlet. Over the years we have been doing many more nights outside Amsterdam for instance with Concrete in Paris or Panoramabar in Berlin. It's fantastic to go with label mates to another city and represent the music we love and make people happy and dance. The goal with all this is just to make it better, nicer and greater while staying true to what we believe in. Have people experience how we like to go with music and hopefully make them feel the beauty of it all. Next to that it's just great to feel the love from people in a certain city. And that's more than enough in this crazy world..."
Check out the chart of favourite new releases submitted by the staff of Rush Hour and order directly from the store
1) Population One - Theatre of a Confused Mind (Rush Hour). Order from Rush Hour here
2) Carl Craig - More Soungs About Food & Revolutionary Art (Planet E). Order from Rush Hourhere
3) Sly Stone - Im Just Like You: Sly Stones Flower 1969-1970 (Light In the Attic). Order from Rush Hour here
4) Beau Wanzer - Untitled (Not On Label). Order from Rush hour here
5) Unknown - Wargames 121 (Wargames). Order from Rush Hour here
6) Moodcut - Time Cats EP (Nous). Order from Rush Hour here
7) Hieroglyphic Being and The Configurative or Modular Me Trio - The Sheer of Cosmic Visions (Planet Mu). Order from Rush Hour here
8) Francis Bebey - Psychedelic Sanza 1982-1984 (Born Bad Records). Order from Rush Hourhere
9) Daniel Grau - The Magic Sound of(Comp.By Jazzanova) (Sonar Kollektiv). Order from Rush Hour here
10) Zito Righi E Seu Conjunto - Alucinolandia (Superfly). Order from Rush Hour here
Tom Trago's set form Rush Hour recorded during ADE is out tomorrow.