A Few More Weeks To Go…

Hauke, the Kim Brown boys and Yanneck marveling at the freshly-cut Test Pressings.

Hauke, the Kim Brown boys and Yanneck marveling at the freshly-cut Test Pressings.

RTR15 is getting manufactured as we write and if everything runs well, Retreat’s first double-vinyl extravaganza will be available from the 23rd of April in all good record shops. Make sure to secure your copy with your favourite grooves merchant or better yet, you can visit our Webshop to pre-order a special version of “Treats Volume 5″ which comes with an exclusive poster!

The Retreat tour is also shaping up nicely with now 7 dates confirmed, including new gigs in Leipzig and Hamburg:

April 11 – Prince Charles, Berlin (Kim Brown, Session Victim & Quarion)
April 19 – Sabotage, Dresden (Session Victim & Quarion)
April 20 – Conne Island, Leipzig (Robert Oh, Session Victim & Quarion)
April 26 – Zukunft, Zürich (Session Victim & Quarion)
May 09 – Golem, Hamburg (Session Victim & Quarion)
May 16 – Corsica Studios, London (Mr Beatnick, Session Victim & Quarion)
May 28 – Badaboum, Paris (Iron Curtis, Session Victim & Quarion)

There are still a couple of free dates so don’t hesitate to get in touch with David and Elie if you are interested to bring the 5-year Anniversary Tour in your club!

Please stay tuned!

RTR15 coming up!

Yep, 2 slices of wax, 9 tracks!

Yep, 2 slices of wax, 9 tracks!

 

„Treats Volume 5“ is officially ready to go! Hauke and I have received the Test Pressings a few days ago and thanks to the magicians at Calyx, the tracks sound precise, bass-heavy and just right! RTR15 is without a doubt our most important project so far and we are thrilled to have so many talented artists on board for this adventure. The release date has been pushed back for the end of April but we will soon give you the opportunity to pre-order your copy, so be sure to keep an eye on our webshop. In the meantime, you can already enjoy some extracts of the A-side here.

Our „5 Year anniversary Tour“ is also shaping up nicely and so far, dates in Berlin, Dresden, Zürich, London and Paris have been confirmed. Please get in touch with David and Elie if you would like to bring the Retreat Soundsystem to your town!

Thank you for your support and please stay tuned!

Gimme Fives!

 5-years-stickers

Unbelievable, it seems as if it was only a few months ago that Hauke and I came up with the idea of creating a vinyl-only label. It was in the first days of 2009 and we were having brunch at Bâteau Ivre… flash-forward to 2014 and Retreat is officially 5 years old!

 So we’re terribly excited to announce that our birthday present will take the form of a double 12“ named „Treats Volume 5“! RTR15 will feature exclusive cuts from the usual Retreat stable (Session Victim, Quarion and Iron Curtis) as well as new music from artists who, through the years, became part of our extended family: Jamie Lloyd, Kim Brown, Johannes Albert, Mr Beatnick, Roberto and the mysterious Reverend G. We won’t reveal more information for now but rest assured that the quality of the music will be up to par with the other “Treats” episodes, if not better!

And because such an anniversary only happens once, we made sure our celebrated designer Gesine Todt enjoys a big piece of the cake as well: the compilation will boast a full cover Artwork which will be presented in a gatefold sleeve with liner notes and photos.

We’re planning to have the records available in the shops for the middle of April but we’ll get back to you with an official release date soon!

 On top of that, you’ll be able to catch the Retreat crew on the road between April and May for a special „5 Year Anniversary tour“. So far, performances in London, Berlin, Zürich and Paris are confirmed with Session Victim and Quarion on the bill, plus Iron Curtis on selected gigs. There are still some dates available so get in touch with David and Elie if you are interested to bring the Retreat Soundsystem to your town!

Thank you for keeping vinyl culture alive and please stay tuned!

Session Victim – Can’t help it EP – RTR14

RTR14_LabelRounding up a year which saw crucial releases from Iron Curtis and Quarion, »Can’t Help It« is the long awaited return of sample wizards Session Victim to the ep format. This Retreat 3-tracker is a profound, subtle and quite melancholic affair, perfect for those emotional moments in the early morning. Skillfully arranged and featuring the impeccable playing of Linnart Ebel, »Can’t Help It« is once again an essential statement from one of House Music’s most fascinating duo.

»Pass The Diesel« begins with a stuttering beat, seagulllike noises and muted chords that wouldn’t be out of place on a vintage Group Home instrumental. Staying on the aquatic tip, Session Victim introduce a beautiful rhodes sequence which takes the track into a dream-like – dare we say californian? – direction. Spiced up with gentle synth noodlings, ethereal vocal snippets and a magical strings motive, »Pass The Diesel« bathes in the deeper shades of House without ever drowning in a cliché, thanks to its snapping drums and vivid arrangement.

Slowing things down a notch, »Hyuwee« starts off with what is maybe the most unconventional instrument in Session Victim’s repertoire, the banjo! But the fear of witnessing these down-to-earth-boys actually becoming the boys-down-south vanishes after 30 seconds: a melancholic 3-Chord theme, snappy 808 patterns and funky drum fills lead the tune in a familiar (but vast) territory. Linnart Ebel’s talent is put to great use with subtle guitar licks that give a lively feel to the whole song. You will notice that Session Victim have labeled »Hyuwee« as an »instrumental«. Does it mean that we can expect a vocal version in the near future? All bets are on as to who will provide the vocals to this one …

Flip the record over for the magnificent »Tearwiper«, a slow-house groover which might be Session Victim’s deepest excursion on wax so far. Abyssal chords, radio effects and a dragging 105 bpm beat set the stage for a grand sonic adventure. The track breaks down after the introduction of the guitar theme and a warm sub bass takes center stage in order to drive »Tearwiper« in a confident manner. Shakers and bubbling synths are floating around whereas Linnart’s hypnotic playing provides a steady backing to the bassline. Another breakdown and the elements are nicely washed away while a thoughtful guitar solo brings this underwater journey to an end.

A1 – Pass the Diesel
A2 – Hyuwee (instrumental)
B1 – Tearwiper

Release: December 11th 2013 (get it here)
Release Party in Berlin on December 13th at Oye Records
(RTR-14_Releasesheet)

Salmon or caramel?

It's the Я, baby

It’s the Я, baby

We have to admit it: there’s a big chance we might be the laziest writers out there. With an average of two entries per year (record releases not included), we can hardly even claim the term bloggers! But like all the finer things in life, the Retreat Blog has always been about quality not quantity. We believe it makes sense to let you know about tangible projects and not submerge you with trivial info about Hauke’s favorite breakfast spot or my musical guilty pleasure.

So what has been going on with the Treaters I hear you ask? Well, quite a lot: Quarion is enjoying the buzz generated by his comeback EP and has been working hard on remixes for Man Make Music as well as new material for Muhk and Drumpoet Community. Iron Curtis has been busier that ever with tracks for Midnight Shift and Polytone while dropping the acid pressure as part of Achterbahn D’Amour (watch out for their upcoming debut album). Last but definitely not least, Session Victim have delivered a great EP for Delusions Of Grandeur and have been slamming numerous stages with their powerful performances. But most importantly (and this is the main reason behind this blog entry has you might have already guessed), the Hamburg-Berlin connection have been hard at work fine-tuning their long overdue follow-up to “On The Roll”. So it’s with great pleasure that we annonce the (almost) imminent release of Session Victim’s “Can’t Help It” AKA Retreat Catalogue #14! Yes, it’s a very deep, almost melancholic EP and yes, you can already listen to the snippets here.

Furthermore, if you can’t wait for the wax to hit your favourite record store, you can now pre-order it on our webshop and have it delivered to your door as soon as the final copies arrive at Retreat HQ! We’ve also manufactured a new batch of fine RTR bags and there are now waaaaay too many different colors to choose from…

Thank you for your support and stay tuned.

ps: 2014 marks Retreat’s fifth anniverary…expect some very special moves from our side!

Quarion – Shifts in the Environment EP – RTR13

RTR13 LabelWhen was the last time that you came across a Quarion record? It was probably back in 2010 with »Moons Around Jupiter« and since then the producer went largely missing. Feeling that he had reached an artistic dead end, Quarion decided to take a step back from the scene in order to experiment with new ways of making music. It took almost 3 years but needless to say, it was worth the wait: »Shifts In the Environment« is an essential collection of superb tracks which celebrate House music in its various declinations. Although it still sounds unmistakably Quarion, one can’t help but notice a certain toughness in this new material as well as the will to break rules, making this EP a fascinating listening experience and a sure-shot 12″ for the dance floor!

If »Moons Around Jupiter« reached for the stars then »Digging For Water« is the homecoming on good old Earth. This dirty and groovy slice of House music begins as a vintage Quarion production with its funky beat, bubbling sub bass and strings. After a quick build-up, the track introduces a filtered chord sequence that grabs your attention straight away. The chords slowly unfold with subtle new harmonies until the break brings forth an exciting new bassline. But just when you thought that the tune is heading in an epic direction, it deceptively gets reduced to a pounding beat and a surprising Acid motif. The riff gets quickly infectious however, and while all the musical elements come back together piece by piece, the bassline carries »Digging For Water« to that epic moment you were promised earlier and all you can say is wooo!

Slowing things down a bit, »The Plump Shrew« is a straight-up Boogie jam. Bouncy drums lay the foundation for one of the nastiest bassline this side of Kreuzberg while a strange saloon piano drops in and out of the picture. An even weirder 5-note loop comes in as the track builds with more percussion to an exciting climax. You’re definitely hooked when fresh Juno stabs take center stage and make the tune just that little bit more juicy! A quirky synth melody moves a few times around the stereo spectrum and before you know it »The Plump Shrew« comes to an end. The fat mouse has got the cheese and is enjoying it very much, thank you!

The B-side is solely dedicated to »The Red Room«, an interdimensional portal which only appears to FBI agents with a craving for cherry pie. Or so it seems … Musically, it’s a tough, freaky and synth-heavy affair as Quarion pushes his studio to the limit and squeezes out every possible sound out of his analog gear. The track heads in multiple directions although a massive 2-note riff always keeps it grounded. A menacing drone creeps up from the background before being swept away by an hypnotizing synth riff and a hi-hat running wild. But as the sub bass kicks in, the drone gets more present and evolves into a daring motive, slowly consuming all the elements until a dramatic break-down where »The Red Room« seems to spin totally out of control. That is until the 2-note riff anchors you back to the floor and leads the track to its conclusion with a tight beat.

A1 – Digging For Water
A2 – The Plump Shrew
B1 – The Red Room

Release: June 19th 2013 (get it here)

(RTR-13_Releasesheet)

The heat is on!

so hot it will melt your chocolates

so hot it will melt your chocolates

It’s that time of the year again: the sun appears for the first time in months, Berliners are in a better mood and the Retreat HQ is buzzing with activity after a long hibernation!

But to be honest, the people behind your favourite vinyl-only label were actually quite busy these last few months: Hauke has been on an extensive touring schedule with his mate Matthias Reiling as Session Victim, smashing club after club in Europe, Russia, the USA and Canada while still dropping essential remixes and tracks for Wolf Music, Compost Black and Retrofit. Quarion on the other hand worked hard in the studio and finally delivered a follow-up to 2010′s “Moons Around Jupiter”! Introducing 3 monster tracks that cover a wide spectrum of Dance music, the “Shifts In The Environment” EP is a return to form as well as a departure from the traditional House sound associated with the producer. Expect the record to hit the shelves in mid-june, but of course, we’ll keep you posted on this one.

Actually, RTR13 is only the first out of six releases coming out this summer. What?!!? Well, sort of: we’ve decided to finally repress some of our earlier catalog on full quality 180 gram vinyl! Needless to say that you might run into a lot of Retreat wax in the shops these next months as most of the EPs were sold out until now! But if you want to secure a copy of “Pepper Candy”, “Move Me So” or the classic “Good Intentions” (yes!) you can also go straight to our webshop, put in a preorder and receive the records as soon as they’re hot off the press! Oh, and we’ll even throw in a special present for those looong summer afternoons at the festival, open-air afterparty or biergarten!

It’s getting hot in here so stay tuned for more news!

Iron Curtis – Glazing EP – RTR12

RTR_Label-12After the well-received “Treats Vol.4”, Retreat closes its 2012 chapter with a fantastic 4-tracker from House maestro Iron Curtis! Following his accomplished debut album on Mirau, «Glazing» is a highly versatile EP which sees the producer breaking new ground while staying true to his inimitable style. Expect the unexpected as Iron Curtis stretches House music far beyond its known boundaries with the help of Psychedelia, Dubstep and Hip-Hop!

«Glazing» kick things off with a swinging beat, a cowbell and one of those square bass punch that has «Chicago» all over it. But appearances can be deceiving as a drunk bassline emerges from the background with snappy vocals and hidden chords. The track builds steadily for almost 3 minutes before a very dramatic break: the wonky bassline takes center stage, majestic chords rise from every side and before you know it, your skin starts to crawl as you witness once again another euphoric “House” experience. You lose control as the beat comes back with extra ride cymbals which take you on a dancing frenzy. Subtle arpeggios float from left to right and vice-versa as «Glazing» takes you higher and higher. It finally eases down after 5 minutes: the bassline is reduced, the beat stripped down to its essentials and you’re gently taken to the tracks’s final stop. What a ride!

But if «glazing» takes you sky-high, «Helio» flies you to the center of our solar system as Iron Curtis displays his incredible talents for a tribute to our sun.You can almost see the solar flares as different beats smash into each other while surprising effects are dropped. A simple but solid bassline holds the whole madness together while 909 percussion, strings and pads seem to appear at will. A terrific break with cosmic wurlitzer chords suddenly takes “Helio” in a place beyond space and time. But the rotation starts again and you’re taken for another mad spin before the pads slowly disintegrate and you’re left with just the bassline and sound effects…

Flip the record and mysterious chords introduce «17» before a massive kick drum nails the track down. It takes a minute for the tune to pick up speed until a growling, almost reese-like bassline drops in. As additional percussion fills the whole, «17» sounds like the most «traditional» House track of the whole EP. That is until beautiful pads take it in a more emotional direction. It’s another goose-bump moment as a vocal loop filters up in the background before the groove comes back in a more basic form. Wahwah chords and strings make sure that “17” stays firmly on the deeper side of things before it reaches a classic beat-only conclusion.

Iron Curtis concludes his Tour De Force with the brilliant «Super Sorry», a nifty little Hip-Hop tune with descending chords, weird vocal samples and off-beat percussion. A few sneaky synths creep up in the background here and there and before you know it, the track comes to an end and leaves you with no other option but to play it again!

A1 – Glazing
A2 – Helio
B1 – 17
B2 – Super Sorry

Release: January 16th 2013 (get it here)

(RTR-12_Releasesheet)

December runnings


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doing it in the park

Yep, we’ve been a bit quiet for a while but looks like December will keep us busy!

First of all, we’re organizing our last party of 2012 in the magical Loftus Hall! On the bill is Mr. Beatnick for his first ever performance in Berlin. Iron Curtis with a brand new live set and the Retreat officials Session Victim and Quarion! Get all the details here but be sure not to miss out on that one!

And we’re excited to announce that RTR12 is finished and getting processed in the pressing plant as we speak! Iron Curtis comes correct with a lethal 4-tracker which propels House music into the unknown!

We’ll drop more info in the coming week so please stay tuned…

Session Victim/The Hints/Iron Curtis & Leaves – Treats Vol. 4 – RTR11

Your favourite vinyl-only label kicks off its 2012 discography with another episode of the Treats saga! If the previous volume were associated with straightup dancefloor goodies, Number 4 is more focused on musicianship as Session Victim, The Hints (Quarion & Jules Etienne) and Iron Curtis & Leaves pick up the instruments to compose 3 songs drenched in Funk and Soul with an undeniable 21st century House feeling!

Fresh off their acclaimed The Haunted House Of House album, Session Victim fire up the ep with something that seldom occurs nowadays: the cover of a modern Dance classic! Originally released on Deeply Rooted House by the enigmatic Rootstrax, Harlequin has already achieved mythical status thanks to its amazing bassline. Clocking in at almost eight minutes, svm’s version is a proper Funk workout that begins with rhodes chords, percussion, guitar melodies and saxophone licks over a long yet exciting intro. But as soon as the live bassline kicks in, you know that it’s game over and that people with or without true dancing skills will sweat it out on the floor! Add to that an enigmatic vocal, some rhodes and sax riffs coming at every turn as well as a few chord changes and this piece really is the closest Session Victim have ever been to sound like a proper band. Wow!

The B-side introduces The Hints, a new project from Quarion co-produced with multi-instrumentalist Jules Etienne, one of Berlin’s best kept musical secret. The Hints prefer an old school approach to making music, so apart from the mpc  beat and sampled vocal, all the instruments have been played live by Q & J on the 110 bpm Boogie monster that is Downtown: liquid Pianet chords, Poly 61 stabs, a killer bassline, dramatic organ layers, live (and loose) percussion and even a  quick trumpet melody! The groove is tight and could go on for hours but the Hints love to come up with new chords so we’re treated with a wonderful bridge that appears twice in the song. The Hints also love to keep things short and sweet, so Downtown stays under the 6-minute mark but leaves a fulfilling impression.

After his celebrated debut album on Mirau, Iron Curtis teams up again with Leaves for another sweet and sour House-pop gem. A & F features melancholic rhodes chords that set the stage for a skippy beat and a weird keyboard loop. The  bassline builds up a nice groove while the mysterious Leaves sings with a soft voice. Passion is the theme of this extra fine little boogie snack that actually finishes way too soon and leaves you craving for more! May we suggest to just put the  needle back on and play the track over and over again, like we’ve doing for the past few weeks?

A – Harlequin
B1 – Downtown
B2 – A & F

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Release: July 25th 2012
(RTR-11_Releasesheet)