Review: For the first Musik For Autobahns compilation, released back in 2012, Gerd Janson asked some of his favourite producers to create tracks inspired by the relentless, seemingly never-ending experience of motorway driving. Three years on, he's revisited the concept with similarly pleasing results. Subtitled "ambient race car music", Musik For Autobahns 2 offers up a largely magical blend of hyponitic, Balearic-tinged downtempo grooves (see Leon Vynehall's brilliant opener), shuffling hypnotism (Joy Orbison), obligatory nods to Kraftwerk (Fort Romeau), quirky synth-pop (AKSK), Detroit influences (Disco Nihilist), trippy Balearic boogie (Conga Radio), and sublime compositions (Orlando Voorn). More importantly, it contains some wonderfully evocative and entertaining music.
Review: Amsterdam based producer Jordan 'GCZ' Czamanski wears many hats, whether as part of Juju & Jordash, Magic Mountain High or as part of Mulholland Free Clinic with David Moufang. He now makes his solo debut on Rush Hour with this awesome EP of neon treasures. From the funky old school techno vibe of "Pinball Lizzard" with its wayward melodies and cracking rhythms (on what the label best described themselves as 'a multi-ball dancefloor battle against the Grand Lizard') to the smooth neon-lit deepness of "Minor 7 Resin" - it's another terrific effort from a true hero of the underground.
Review: During a record digging trip to South Africa a year or two back, Rush Hour co-founder Antal stumbled on an obscure local cover of Klein & MBO's Ron Hardy and Larry Levan favourite, "The MBO Theme". The Warrior version, which was recorded at some point in the early '80s, is a little slower and breezier than Klein and MBO's original, with even finer fretless bass flavours and the track's famous melodies re-played on some particularly spacey synthesizers. Helpfully, the Klein & MBO version is on the A-side, so you can easily compare the two: Warriors' little known cover is definitely our pick of the pair.
Review: In recent times Rush Hour has excelled at reissuing obscure African music of the late 1980s, often pairing the original with a previously unheard cover version or remake. They're at it again here, offering up Les Choc Stars Du Zaire and Ben Nyamabo's 1989 cut "Nakombe Nga" with an obscure Belgian new beat cover by one album wonders Teknokrat's [sic]. Les Choc Stars Du Zaire's version is wonderfully positive, joining the dots between electronic soukous, ear-catching synth-pop and sunset-friendly Balearic vibes. The Teknokrat's version is, if anything, even more loved-up, with classic late '80s house instrumentation (Frankie Knuckles style synth-strings, jaunty pianos), ghostly electronic lead lines, delay-laden vocal passages and a superb synth bassline
Review: Good news for all of those who don't shop in Rush Hour's Amsterdam store, as Masalo's much-hyped debut solo single is finally available outside of that legendary Dutch institution. It's certainly been worth the wait. Both tracks doff a cap towards the spacey and intergalactic end of the Italo-disco spectrum, with Masalo opting for unfussy drum machine rhythms and throbbing, arpeggio style basslines. A-side "New Dance" is the more obviously disco-centric of the two tracks, with jaunty riffs, lilting synth-pop melodies and ricocheting, proto-house style drum fills rising above a suitably druggy groove. "Cycles", meanwhile, is a little deeper and more outer space in tone, an effect emphasized via sampled vocal chants and crystalline synthesizer melodies that appear to drift across the sound space.
Review: Leon Vynehall's stunningly picturesque "Midnight On Rainbow Road" was one of the undoubted highlights of Gerd Jansen's second Musik For Autobahns compilation, which was released in the autumn of 2015 by Rush Hour. Here, it gets a deserved single release, with the original - a hypnotic, driving-inspired blend of fluid electronic melodies, a wispy percussion and Jonny Nash style glistening guitar lines - being complimented by a brand new "Beat Edit". This adds a slowly unfurling, head-nodding rhythm that takes the track further towards Detroit Beatdown territory. In essence, though, it sounds like an early '90s ambient house jam. That's no bad thing, given that Vynehall seems to have emphasised the sun-kissed beauty of the original in the process.