The formidable back catalogue of one our favourite label and distributors Rush Hour, stretches back close to 20 years. Found amongst the swathes of more popular picks from the label there lies unfairly neglected yet polished gemstones of musical beauty that we have taken upon ourselves to uncover and more importantly, rediscover. This is a collection of the time-lost reissues, exquisite cuts of the numerous compilations and most importantly, the ones that got away… (until now!). It’s by no means definitive, but here’s ten favourites anyway. Comment on Facebook and/or Twitter if we missed any out.
High Hoops bring the first Rush Hour showcase to Manchester on 15th Oct, with Antal, Hunee, Soichi Terada, Suzanne Kraft, Interstellar Funk and Robert Bergman. Antal and Interstellar Funk will also be doing an in-store at Eastern Bloc earlier in the afternoon.
Harry Swinger – Double Decker (Kid Sublime Remix) (2006)
Starting off the collection is this low slung, downtempo sidestepper from Harry Swinger. The echoing jazz samples coalesce softly with a distant undulating synth and a deep muted bassline, strung together loosely with a gentle splash of a ride cymbal.
Erdbeerschnitzel – Crossroads (2013)
As we work our way up through intensity we come to Erdbeerschnitzel (“strawberry schnitzel” in German). Originally released on Delsin and distributed through Rush Hour, another slower track that strays from the jazz influences of Harry Swinger and instead supplies initially minimal, aquatic deepness that morphs gradually over nine minutes through higher and higher frequencies. The subdued start of the story eventually climaxes with chopped up vocal samples slotted underneath a constantly evolving beat with glistening synth programming. The result, a stunningly full edge to the sound.
Marcellus Pittman – In Due Time (2010)
Any compilation headed by Rick Wilhite is going to contain a smattering of the very best producers Detroit has to offer. From one member of the 3 Chairs to another, the versatility of Marcellus Pittman’s production is something that has managed set him apart from his formidable contemporaries. Shoulder to shoulder with Glenn Underground on the A-side with and Vincent Halliburton on the B, this classic record packs more than just a punch and was incredibly hard to single out an individual cut. Glenn Underground’s contribution to this compilation is another masterpiece of bold percussion, spliced with a breeziness that comes so infuriatingly naturally to his productions.
Daniel Wang – East Village Hustle (2010)
Another of Rush Hour’s tasteful series of much needed 90s reissues, Daniel Wang has long stood proud with a wealth of groove and weirdness in his releases, constructing swing and jazzy records from unusual samples and vintage synthesizers. The bootleg also contains “Unhouse” originally released on “Aphroasiatechnubian” from Balihu Records, perhaps one of his more well-known tracks – however the washed out layering of the strings and funk guitar of “East Village Hustle” were too good not to head this release.
Pod – Northern Lights (2005)
The first of the two Kenny Larkin releases that we’re going to sneak by you today is from one of his less explored aliases “Pod”. What particularly stands out in this track as the rusted synth drags over the top of the inconspicuously drifting pad, is the unashamed brightness of a piano that introduces a more experimental, reverbed synth pattern that disperses itself amongst the cleanest cut breakbeat rhythm you’ll hear in this collection. The sparsity yet conflicting intricacy of the track makes for a beautifully transcendent listening experience.
Kenny Larkin – Soul Man (2006)
Ok so we might be cheating here a bit with this second Larkin addition with the original release on R&S Records in 1995, but relisting to this classic had such an impact was too good to ignore. Rush Hour’s remaster of the original “Metaphor” album harkens back to an era that a lot of us sadly didn’t get to experience. The hypnotically repetitive synth is punctuated by layers and layers of complex, polyrhythmic percussion that create a rolling, unrelenting rawness that is either stripped away or built upon in an unpredictable, invigorating fashion.
Santiago Salazar – Sci-Fi Xicano (2008)
As the title name of this track might suggest, we’re taking a trip – and no not a trip to Lidl for that sweet, sweet unbranded merch. A voyage with Santiago Salazar through his unmapped, untrodden rainforest of synthesizers. The drum production here is simplistic and minimal, its simplicity only accentuates the fluctuating, kaleidoscopic arps and synth leads that immerse you whilst they mutate and wander freely about the room.
Dan Curtin – One evening at Mrs.Applebees (2001)
Another from the Rush Hour reissue deities, originally released by Curtin on Peacefrog Records in 1994 but dropped again on Rush Hour in 2001. Echoes of Theo Parrish’s production can be heard here, delicate chord progressions slot gently underneath a broken rhythmic masterclass peppered with vocal pips and pops. You could warm up a tepid dancefloor with this one or send a built rave into fits of rapturous hysteria. One for the boppers and the groovers here.
Syrinx -When the Lights Go Off (2008)
Eponymously named EPs always please us, Syrinx’s dubbed out techno track “When the Lights Go Off” Ronseal’s the title with a dark, eerie thumper that takes us back to a simpler time of techno production. The enveloping, echoed melodic stabs and the steady progression of the drum programming makes for a blissed out listening experience for a room probably bigger than the one you’re in right now. (Also be sure to capitalise on the viewing experience as well as the listening with this unofficial video we found for the track – featuring the nation’s favourite jewel thief Piers Brosnan.)
Sterac – Osirion (2016)
Another 90s repress lost in time from Sterac originally released on 100% Pure has resurfaced this year from Rush Hour. This classic Detroit inspired techno tune finds that beautiful sweet spot between a raw, brutal percussive track with heavy punching kick drum and a floating collection of twiddly strings. The amalgamation of these two diametrically opposed elements allows Sterac to produce a piece that can work both in the deepest raves and on smaller systems.