098 – Antal (Rush Hour)

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Amsterdam’s Rush Hour and Kindred Spirits boss Antal provides the latest instalment, with a one take session filled with some of the grittier house and techno 12″s to have recently entered his bag.

Since launching in 1997, Rush Hour has become the backbone of Amsterdam’s thriving house and techno movement. As a label it has become an industry leader for reissuing forgotten music and even reinventing the careers of artists, take Virgo Four for example, but it’s new offerings are equally as impressive with a handful of genuine hits arising from the label every year without fail. As a record store, Rush Hour provide an outlet for music of all genres, with world music and second hand funk and disco playing a role equal to that of the new house and techno it’s so well known for.

Antal has been the driving force behind Rush Hour since day one, and as a DJ he’s influenced by music of all forms and formats. His Soundcloud page is home to a host of incredible mixes from Afro to Brazilian music, Turkish, Japanese, Colombian, the list goes on and on. He’s also a key fixture in Amsterdam’s club circuit, regularly representing Rush Hour at the biggest parties and festivals the city plays host to, and organising Rush Hour’s annual ADE party at Trouw, whilst keeping a relatively hectic touring schedule throughout the year.

What have you been up to recently, and what does a typical day for an organiser of a label, record store and distributor like Rush Hour generally entail?

After some busy months, now finally things got a bit more quiet in August. But only a bit. I have no further traveling plans this month so basically I am kind of preparing for the mayhem that is gonna start from September on. About the daily routine; it comes down to running the full operation as a team. We work with about 10 people now, and everybody has their own task(s), and next to that everybody has there own creative touch towards things which is influencing each other again…There is collective decision making as well as individual choices on the things we do.

Anyone who’s familiar with Rush Hour would know how extensive and wide ranging the records you sell and distribute are, and from glancing over at your own Soundcloud page its clear you’re excited by a number of different styles as a DJ; Japanese Electronics, Turkish Psych-Folk, Afro Latin, Brazilian etc. Where did your love for world music all start?

When you work in music 24/7 like we do. And you do it for years, it’s almost impossible not to get influenced by other music. Along the way you meet so many people that teach you, or show you, or play you different things, or things you weren’t aware of in the beginning. If you approach that with an open mind you will find an interest in some of those things.

I really believe there is only good or bad music. For me it’s simple. If it touches my soul, if I feel emotional or emotion when I hear something then I know I like it. About world music: I was always drawn towards African & Brazilian music. Later I learned about the music from Turkey or for instance Colombia. But I am also getting into so many other things. Next to that I have been loving soul, disco, jazz & house music from an early age.

It feels as though Amsterdam is currently experiencing a really healthy period for underground music, with Rush Hour playing a big hand in that. Do you feel as though things are the best they have ever been at the moment in terms of awareness and support for what you guys are doing?

It’s good yes, but I am not sure, I think we are a lot about import and export. Holland is super small, so we have always been looking abroad. Since we started in 1997 we having been putting out music from locals next to music from people abroad. That’s just the nature of how this country rolls I think. But more importantly, music is music and it doesn’t play a geographic role to us, although some places have a more healthy scene than others.

The awareness has a lot to do with people supporting each other. Our scene is active with producing, promoting, DJing, clubbing, swapping, trading, releasing, having fun etc. Amsterdam had good moments before us too though…

You’re also involved in running the Kindred Spirits label, and I like the quote in the bio that says “This collective reacts to the popular fast food music organizations. Just like eating healthy food, traveling or reading books, you can improve the quality of life by discovering inspiring music.” What is the story behind that label and it’s philosophy today?

He he, That’s a quote from 12 years ago. Basically it’s been set up by a group of music fanatics that want to do beautiful things; release beautiful music in all it’s forms. Kindred Spirits has always been about more organic types of music. New and old, from jazz to hip hop, from electronic to Brazilian music.

More recently it’s going even further into the world of African music and we are almost more of an archive label for lost and forgotten music of this world. We also still release new music from bands like Jungle By Night which is a fantastic young crew of people with a very very good energy and a great feel and taste for music. They are going steady for 4-5 years now, and yet the are still in there teens and early 20’s.

I see you guys are teaming up with Clone and Delsin again for this year’s ADE party at Trouw with some of Holland’s finest artists on the bill. Was the last one such a success that it just made sense to do it all over again? What do you have organised for it this year?

Oh yes it was a success last year! We could have filled the amazing Trouw club twice, so we had to do it again, with a slightly different line up than last year. Check the facebook invite for the program.

What can you tell us about this mix? How and where did you record it?

I left out almost all the old music I like and took the most recent vinyls of house and techno stuff I have and mixed it all in one go…I recorded it straight from home…

What do you have coming up that you’re able to tell us about?

Two important things for the Rush Hour label are the Tom Trago & Awanto 3 albums that are coming up real soon! Two of Amsterdam’s finest with new projects! Next to that keep an eye on our store, as well as our distribution because we are distributing so many good things into the world right now. The stream of good things is heavy!!!

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