Quarion – Busted Moniker EP – RTR16

RTR_Label-16Finally putting to rest a one-year break, Retreat is back in full swing in order to bring more heat this summer thanks to the “Busted Moniker EP” from Quarion! With four tracks that showcase a jazzier, somewhat wilder side of the Retreat co-founder, “Busted Moniker” has the stamp of a producer on top of his game, squeezing out all of the funk from his machines and letting loose without too much over-thinking. Can you handle it?

The ambient introduction “Lost Coordinates” represents a direct follow-up to Quarion’s offering on the “Treats Vol.5″ Compilation. Built around a circular four note theme, white noise percussion and a distant choir, “Lost Coordinates” evokes a ghost spaceship that is drifting through the void, his destination unknown and his point of origin long forgotten.
The bumpy house beat of “A Thousand Questions” teleports us back to a more familiar territory: this is proper club music with a sweet jazzy touch. Not holding back on his skills as a musician, Quarion treats us with a Rhodes bassline, deep piano chords and many drum fills. The tune moves along nicely and just when you think it couldn’t get any better, Quarion surprises us with a break that introduces energetic Juno stabs and a booming new bassline. Slick!

“Burnin'” is maybe the EPs hottest track (all puns intended) and is sure to light fires on dancefloors all over. Beginning with a deep bassline atop a shuffled beat, the groove becomes irresistible as soon as the cheeky vocal samples arrive, but it’s the entrance of an infectious and offbeat Rhodes loop that is sure to make the dancers go crazy. As the track gets stronger, the theme breaks down in descending chords and we’re left with just the kick drum and a percussive noise. The loop soon emerges anew from the background now coupled with a phased cymbal for one more everlasting burn… Ouch!

“You Were The Only” is the EP’s conclusion, a jazzy Broken Beat workout reminiscent of what came out of West London at the turn of the millennium. Starting with a catchy synth, the track truly opens up when the additional sub bass and skippy Juno chords come into play, but the real magic happens after a short break. The bassline evolves into an 8-bar sequence with beautiful chords to match and we’re instantly taken on a jazz journey with sprinkling keys, ethereal strings and more Juno stabs. A perfect finish to a very juicy EP!

A1 Lost Coordinates
A2 A Thousand Questions
B1 Burnin’
B2 You Were The Only

Release: August 17th 2015
(RTR16_Releasesheet)

 

Communication Restored

IMG_20150504_054939~2

Slipmat 1: “Hey, let’s take a selfie with the Tokyo Skyline in the background!” Slipmat 2: “Have you grown a pair of hands?”

« The Rise And Fall Of Retreat »: what appears to be the title of a cheap gangster movie is actually the script that Hauke and I seemed to have unknowingly followed in 2014.

The rise was gradual and smooth : the label reached the small milestone of being five years old, we put out a compilation on double gatefold vinyl with exclusive music from some of our favorite artists and we went on tour around Europe to celebrate Retreat’s 5-Year anniversary. But the fall was sudden and abrupt : our distributor Intergroove filed for bankruptcy in july and this struck an almost fatal blow to our finances…

So for the first time in the label’s history, we took its name literally and folded back. Retreat moved away from the spotlight in order to heal and calmly prepare the next move.

Thus after consolidating our relationship with a new distributor (Word And Sound), sanitizing our finances and most importantly spending countless hours in the studio, Hauke and I are thrilled to announce that Retreat will be back in the summer of 2015 with the help of not one but two releases!

RTR16 by Quarion will be available in July while RTR17 by Session Victim is expected to drop mid-august. As you can imagine, there are still a few details to finalize but we thought it was important to get back in touch with all of you and announce that Retreat will be introducing year n°6 with a double summer slam!

More information to follow of course but in the meantime, thank you for your support and please stay tuned!

RTR Reels 06 – Sebastian Rebig “Timeless Transition”

RTR_reels-06It was long overdue but we’re excited to finally present you the next episode of the Reels podcast series! Behind the wheels of steel this time is Sebastian Rebig, a true house music lover and proper vinyl junkie who owns more than 9000 records. Sebastian hails from Mönchengladbach (in the famous Ruhr region) and has been playing since 2000 in various locations around Germany. He has caught the ears of many passionate listeners, including Session Victim who have since then invited Sebastian to spin at some of their parties. Thanks to his record selection, deejaying skills and deep knowledge of music, Sebastian Rebig is the perfect example of a „DJ’s DJ“.

Reels 6 is vintage Rebig: a faultless collection of forgotten house classics from Mood II Swing or Black Science Orchestra blended with contemporary heaters from Fresh & Low or Moomin. A 68-minute mix which covers the whole spectrum of house music and which will have you dancing in the living room in no time!

 

The Next Move

One way or another, Retreat wax will find its way to your favourite record shop!

One way or another, Retreat wax will find its way to the record shop of your choice!

Sorry for the long period of radio silence from Retreat HQ these last 3 months, but Hauke and I have been quite busy working on the “Treats Vol.5″ compilation as well as promoting it via the Retreat “5 Year Anniversary tour”. Now that things have cooled down a bit (unlike the thermometer in Berlin) we wanted to give you some insight on the past, present and future of your favourite vinyl-only label.

First of all, Hauke and I were overwhelmed by the positive feedback of “Treats Vol. 5″ and we would like again to thank all of the artists involved in this adventure: Jamie Lloyd, Session Victim, Johannes Albert, Reverend G, Kim Brown, Quarion, Mr. Beatnick, Iron Curtis and Robert Oh for the exceptional music plus Gesine Todt for the ultra-slick design.

A special thank you goes out to the promoters and bookers that helped set up the “Five Year Anniversary Tour”, it was a real privilege for us to be able to play in all these locations. There were many highlights and some will definitely stay ingrained in our memories, whether it was Kim Brown’s excellent live debut in Berlin, Session Victim’s mad DJ set in Leipzig or Quarion and Iron Curtis’ techno-fuelled b2b mix in Paris.

Finally our gratitude goes out also to YOU, the DJ/dancer/record collector/Fan who has supported Retreat one way or another during these five years!

But after so many highlights in the past months, the two last weeks have however been very difficult for us: On the 16th of July, the media company Intergroove officially filed for insolvency, thus making Retreat a label without distribution from one day to the next.

Our relationship with Intergroove has always been very positive and respectful. To this day, we still don’t know what was the cause for such a major company to file for insolvency and we would like to express our sympathies to the Intergroove employees in these difficult times.

But the future of our label was looking grim so Hauke and I had to take some fast and radical decisions: first of all, we managed to retrieve all the Retreat stock from Intergroove (about 400 records) and store it in a safe place. But more importantly, we managed to get in contact with different companies who had interest in distributing Retreat. After a bit of reflection, we decided to start the second phase of our label with one of the world’s most renowed distributor: Word And Sound.

So all the remaining records are on their way to the WAS offices in Hamburg as we speak and we’re very much looking forward to work with this prestigious company for promoting our entire catalogue and all our upcoming projects.

But in the meantime, since it might take a few weeks for Word And Sound to offer our releases to the shops, we would like to invite every person who’s in need of some Retreat Wax to visit our webshop or the one from Oye Records and place an order directly.

Needless to say, Hauke and I are more motivated than ever to continue our mission, which is to bring you quality dance music on the best-sounding medium. Rest assured that you can expect RTR016 to hit the stores in the near future…but more on that one next time!

Thank you for your support and please stay tuned!

Various – Treats Vol.5 – RTR15

RTR15_Cover-rgbRetreat celebrates its fifth birthday with a very special edition of the infamous »Treats« series! Volume 5 is the label’s first double vinyl in a carefully designed gatefold sleeve and features exclusive music from all the Retreat regulars as well as exciting new guests: Session Victim, Quarion, Iron Curtis, Mr Beatnick, Kim Brown, Jamie Lloyd and many more. »Treats Vol. 5« is a fantastic collection of tracks that stands on its own as a compilation while offering some of the most heartfelt House music for 2014 and beyond.

»Treats Vol. 5« begins with Jamie Lloyd’s »Spiro Hustle«, a slo-mo burner that will definitely put this talented Australian native back in the limelight after a few years of radio silence. Retreat’s hottest property, Session Victim, are next up to bat with the dancefloor-approved »Much Too Strong« which sees them experimenting with percussive instruments while keeping their funk firmly in the pocket. The back-to-basics rawness of »Co Co Jam Boo« from Frank Music’s Johannes Albert closes the A-side with a bassline that will stay in your head long after the needle hits the run-out groove.

Flip the record over for Reverend G’s »Pam’s Cleavage«. The secretive priest is on a mission to save lost souls and his jazz-fueled dancefloor offering should motivate everyone to attend service at the Church Of The Lord Jack in Neukölln! »I Am Batman« from deep house heroes Kim Brown is an emotive ride through Gotham city. It’s another fine example of the duo’s faultless artistry and closes the first chapter of »Treats Vol. 5« in a delightful way.

Quarion introduces Retreat’s first ever C-Side with »Enter Coordinates«, a bass-heavy yet uplifting track that promises to reach the confines of the galaxy with the help of gorgeous chords and a freaky arpeggio. Mr Beatnick follows up with the acid-tainted »Hold On To Your Dreams«. The London producer is a master of aural story-telling and his Retreat contribution makes for an unforgettable trip through multiple music genres.

Iron Curtis is up next: »Love Commitment« is a very strong House track where tension and relief are perfectly dosed within an unmistakable groove. Another stellar achievement from Retreat’s most extravagant artist! The D-side ends with the reflective (but neck-snapping) »Blush« from Giegling cohort Robert Oh. This melancholic hip-Hop instrumental is still as catchy as it gets and represents the ideal conclusion to »Treats Vol. 5«.

A1 Jamie Lloyd – Spiro Hustle
A2 Session Victim – Much Too Strong
A3 Johannes Albert – Co Co Jam Boo
B1 Reverend G – Pam’s Cleavage
B2 Kim Brown – I Am Batman
C1 Quarion – Enter Coordinates
C2 Mr Beatnick – Hold On To Your Dreams
D1 Iron Curtis – Love Commitment
D2 Robert Oh -Blush

Release: April 23rd 2014
(RTR15-Releasesheet)

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!