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Rainbow Disco Club @ Somewhere In Amsterdam

We are back! This time with our friends from Japan….

Our Tokyo based friends move their wonderful Rainbow Disco Club festival from the mountains of the Izu Peninsula, the beautiful landscape near the city of Tokyo, to OT301 in Amsterdam for a great night out. It is wonderful to host RDC as a club night! Soichi Terada is joining the crew, more artists to be announced.

Tickets are now available!
Rush Hour Store
Spuistraat 116
1012 TZ Amsterdam

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House Of Music - Sadar BaharAfter RH’s second House Of Music magazine, it is now time to start working on a third one. We are so pleased that disco king Sadar Bahar is coming back to Somewhere In Amsterdam to play more fantastic hidden gems from his huge record collection. Reason enough for us to share Bahar’s story that we featured in the second HOM edition.

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Theo Parrish calls him one of the best American DJs around. His record collection is as large as it is famed. And because of the ‘Soul in the Hole’ compilation he did over a year ago, Sadar Bahar made quite a few new friends. Despite of all this, the endearing American has been struggling for years. “Chicago is a gangster city. Throwing parties is a huge challenge, but I have to do it.”

If you ever witnessed a DJ-set by Sadar Bahar, you know the crowd indulges in his great vibes. That happened at a Somewhere in Amsterdam party (regularly thrown by Rush Hour), at s sold out Lowlands festival or in the dampy caves of a former train station in Rotterdam. His sets of obscure disco, boogie and shreds of gospel usually win everybody over. Many fans even compare it to a spiritual experience. A few hours of dancing to Bahar’s history lesson leaves you with a huge smile on your face, a sweaty back and many new friends. Sadar Bahar is one of those DJs who bring pure joy to people.

For Bahar joy comes in a record sleeve: vinyl. He doesn’t play anything else. CD’s don’t interest him. Memory sticks and mp3’s even less so. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, he smiles. “When you’re behind your computer downloading music files you simply do not feel the same excitement as when you dig out a record.”

Treasure Hunting

Vinyl. Even Sadar Bahar’s dreams are captured in grooves. The record collection of the American DJ is so extensive; his own house is not enough to stack it all. Even his mother’s basement is filled with records. He confesses he sometimes owns as many as nine copies of a single release. “I know, even for me that’s pushing it, haha.” Wherever Bahar travels, he always pays a visit to the local record stores. Dusty old shops with boxes scattered all around are the best, he knows. “That’s where you can still find the gems “, he claims. Places where not even the owner remembers what he has in store anymore. Kneel down and wear out your jeans for hours on end, going through all those bins. It’s paradise, according to Bahar. No wonder he is looking forward to visiting the Netherlands again. “I always end up missing the record fair in Utrecht, but not this year”, he says, beaming.

Bahar has been specializing in singles lately. 7inches. He noticed the sources running dry. It’s now or never. “A while ago I drove for hours to visit a shop where I used to be a regular back in the days. When I finally arrived, a sign said ‘no disco’. Turns out the whole collection had been bought up by Japanese collectors.”

Later, when Bahar went to Japan for a show, he understood why. “Japan has some very fanatical collectors, their record stores look like ours did in the seventies.” Friends of Bahar tell him he probably owns more records than he could ever possibly play. He knows they are right, but giving up collecting is simply impossible. “It’s an addiction. Whenever I hear a super funky record I just have to have it myself.”

Frankie Knuckles

Sadar Bahar (1968) starts DJing on his thirteenth. He learns the technical tricks from DJ Charles Breckenridge, while Frankie Knuckles shows him the magic of the dancefloor. Later Bahar will play back to back with the Chicago house legend in Club Fisque. At the Music Box he meets Lee Collins, DJ and future soul mate.

Together with Collins, Bahar starts organizing dance parties in Chicago. First under the Goldmine Productions banner, later as Soul in the Hole. It turns out the name is derived from a record store in Detroit where both friends spend a considerable amount of money on a weekly basis. “We asked the owner whether we could use his name for our DJ and dance collective. He was cool with it and said: ‘I am not mixing and I am not dancing. I sell records. So go ahead’.”

Towards the end of the eighties house emerges in Chicago. Many colleagues of Bahar switch to this new and exciting genre. Sadar himself however stays true to his own style of disco, soul and boogie. “I did try it” he sighs, “but I just wasn’t feeling it. I need a drummer and a real singer who knows how to hit notes. This combined energy of a band is something that really resonates within me. My soul runs deep.”

City of Gangsters

While house music explodes everywhere around him and mutates into various different sub styles, Bahar keeps on doing his own thing. Steadily he builds up an enormous collection of disco records; buying up entire collections, and at the same time organizing his own parties. Chicago is known as the birthplace of house, but Bahar and his fellow promoters have experienced nothing but hindrance by the law. “Throwing parties is an enormous challenge. The police want everybody home at two. Twelve-to-twelve parties have become impossible. Chicago is a gangster city, you know. Everybody wants their cut, even the authorities.”

According to Bahar that’s the most important reason why clubs in the “Windy City” could never last. “The Music Box, the Warehouse and my own Kings & Queens have all been closed down within two or three years. At the same time, politicians are asking why the murder rate in Chicago is so high. People here are tense, ready to explode. So why not give them a place to release?”

Nowadays Bahar turns down most of his American booking requests. “To us it’s about the music. But often local promoters are more interested in making money”, he sighs. No wonder he prefers playing in Japan and Europe, where he has built up a dedicated network of music fans that love having him over. “There’s a lot of disco heads out there”, Bahar smiles.

He even lived in the Netherlands for a while and was determined to settle permanently. “I needed a break. Some peace of mind. In Chicago I became too distracted by side issues to be able to focus on music.”

But finding a permanent place to stay proves more difficult than he anticipated. As a foreign DJ with no steady income, getting a mortgage is too much of a challenge. These days Bahar is back in the Chicago, the city he continues to have a love-hate relationship with.

Lollipop

As a DJ, Sadar Bahar is all the way old-school. Not only because he solely plays vinyl (coming from cute briefcases filled with 7-inches), but also because he swears by the American technical set-up, that consists of a ‘lollipop’ headphone and a rotary mixer. Equipment used in legendary clubs like Paradise Garage and the Music Box that have become part of vinyl culture, according to Bahar. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, Bahar repeats. And again bursts out in laughter.

Will Bahar be doing the same thing in 10 years from now we asked him? “Definitely.” Even though things like reading the small print on labels and travelling have become a bit more demanding for him these days. “Already as a kid I knew I wanted to be a DJ my entire life.” Bahar sees DJing as his calling. Someone should spread the gospel. Let it be him. “There’s so much music around that doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves. Often made by musicians that aren’t even around anymore. On top of this, on a good night I get so much back from the audience. Even though they don’t know my music, they understand what I’m trying to do.” When Bahar played in the famous Panorama bar in Berlin last year, some people left crying of joy; one person even fainted. “That gig gave me more confidence. If I can even emotionally move people in a techno club, I must be doing something right.”

Text: Rene Passet
Translation: Andrei Vilcov
Editing: Max Cole
Cover photo: Joss Kottmann

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Somewhere In Amsterdam ft. Sadar Bahar
26th of April, 2015

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One of the stars featured on Wilhite’s Vibes compilation is NYC house legend Jovonn…  It’s a huge honor to have him over at Somewhere In Amsterdam this Sunday.

Over the past decades Jovonn has made numerous classics. It already started for him in 1991, when his second release “Turn and Runaway” hit the Billboard top 10. Since then he has excelled in every role he has played in the dance music industry. These roles have included singer, song writer, musician and record label owner. Jovonn has produced more than 200 records in the dance, r&b, hip-hop, and neosoul genres, but his true love is dance music.

Here you find some of our favorites.. Enjoy and hope to dance with you all this Sunday!

Let’s start with his first hit: “Turn and Runaway”

Jovonn – “It’s gonna be right” was released In ’92 on his Goldtone label….

Big smile when somebody drops this tune..!! Appears on Jovonn’s “House A La Carte” 12″, also released in ’92 on Project X Records.

Join us at Somewhere In Amsterdam!!

RSVP and find your tickets here

 

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This Sunday! Just a few more days until we get back together again, Somewhere In Amsterdam it is! We invited three king connoisseurs of the broad-spectrum of soul, house, disco and far beyond – Ron Trent, Sadar Bahar and Volcov – who are gonna take us on a musical trip. For the occasion we like to highlight Volcov from Verona, Italy. How do you briefly introduce a man that has been representing quality music for decades? Let’s give it a shot…

If we have to introduce Volcov, we would say that you started collecting Transmat, Dance Mania, Nu Groove in the late eighties… A few years later you lived in London and via drum and bass you got strongly attached to the West-London broken beat scene. What is your direction now?
Well yes, I started with the Larry Heard and Lil Louis adoration in ’89 – ‘91 and went on discovering more things on the way. I was into drum and bass, because I did my first productions in that style. But I got bored quickly. In the mid nineties I began my search for rare grooves, Brazilian music, soul, disco et cetera. And in the early 2000s I started making edits – I did those NYC and SJNLR series. Nowadays I try to be pretty eclectic. If I have to put it short, I think I put more attention to vocals and melodies, rather than to beats.

Back then you must have run into Ron Trent’s releases as well… These soulful grooves must have appealed to you then. How did Ron Trent inspire you in your musical life?
Ron’s production output is huge and so influential. I think I own most of Prescription and Future Vision catalogues. Although a lot of people check especially for the early-mid 90s stuff nowadays, I have to say that the USG green Prescription labels era is my favorite. I also admire the fact he started pressing vinyl again, pressing Future Vision releases when vinyl wasn’t as fashionable as it is now.

Around 2000 you got attached to the West-London broken beat scene. This particular scene kind of dried up, although the artists affiliated with that scene, like Dego, Kaidi Tatham, Mark the Clive Lowe, are still doing their thing. How did the artists after that particular West London thing continue? I reckon you are all still close friends…
I think when it became more about the beats and less about the music, it became a bit boring, a bit formulaic. Music goes often in cycles… Those names that you mention definitely kept it going, more than others. Dego and Kaidi are my favorite producers from the last decade or so, I am very partial when it comes to their music.

Sounds Familiar is a label and booking agency that represents you, Sadar Bahar and Dego to name a few. How did you get in touch with Sadar?
Sounds Familiar is actually more, it’s also a production company and in general a group of likeminded people. The first time I booked Sadar was in January 2007 for a party in Verona, and since then I contacted him regularly for gigs in various cities in Italy. Together with the JAW crew and a few other friends we tried to get him more gigs in Europe, as we were all big fans of his music and attitude. Once Ornella Cicchetti decided to come back to the music scene, it felt natural to introduce her to some friends like Dego and Sadar.

So… Somewhere In Amsterdam this Sunday… We’ve been trying to imagine what the party will be like… It will be exciting, as the musical journey can really go in different directions. Have you ever played with Ron Trent before? How do you get prepared, are you packing some secret weapons?
I never played with Ron, only had the pleasure to meet him a couple of times. But I did play few times before with Sadar and Antal, some of my favorite djs. I think the night will be quite eclectic and soulful. Not sure yet what to bring, I guess quite a mix of things, for sure that new Theo Parrish ‘Footwork’ jam… I have to say it’s quite painful that I won’t be carrying any of Ron’s tracks…

Join us at Somewhere In Amsterdam!!

RSVP and find your tickets here

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Calling out all soul, house, disco heads!!

Join us on this sunny Sunday evening in May! At Oldschool Amsterdam this time – a nice old school building. Great music and soul food … like always!

Looking forward to dancing with you all!!

More info
https://www.facebook.com/events/339664432839475/?fref=ts

Online pre-sale
http://www.rushhour.nl/store_detailed.php?item=74750

 

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The year has only just begun and Rush Hour has a bunch of stuff planned already. Antal gives a few sneak previews when it comes to releases and events happening in 2014….

Can you tell us a bit about the releases?
There are many things in the pipeline. We are looking very much forward to the debut album of Xosar. After a couple of 12inches it is time for a full length. She has produced an exciting amount of music, and hopefully it will be presented to you and us in the following months. And there will be Vincent Floyd material. Reissues and unreleased tracks. We have met Vincent Floyd last March in Chicago and since we are longtime fans of his work we asked for unreleased music. Maybe that will be the two scoops for now..but there is so much more to come!

After the big success of the first Weekender in Club Trouw, can we expect more big events?
The idea of organizing a 34-36 hour Rush Hour event at Club Trouw came quite spontaneously, and that resulted in the Weekender last November. I think everybody was really into what happened and so yes, we are speaking about a second edition..Which is already very exciting!

We have  to be absolutely on the lookout for…
Our annual Somewhere In Amsterdam party will take place this weekend. It always takes place on a Sunday afternoon, always with nice people, good food and great music. Pure for the love of it! We have invited Hunee & Boo Williams as our guests for this edition. The S.I.A. parties have been rare in the past. Like only once a year. But in 2014, it might be that there are some more editions coming up…


Xosar – The Calling (RHM-002, 2013)

 

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