Pen, Paper & Puzzle

Time flies… has it been almost a year since our last post?!!!? Even if our activities have slowed down here at Retreat HQ (to the point where we can officially say that the label is on hibernation mode), our core artists have definitely put in some proper work.

Take Session Victim for example: riding on the success of „Listen To Your Heart“, the ultimate Berlin-Hamburg connection have been touring all corners of the globe relentlessly. And with no sign of slowing things down, Session Victim are also embarking on another journey: setting up their own label „Pen & Paper“!

So because Session Victim are closely linked to Retreat, we thought it was only right to offer their first release as an exclusive preorder on our webshop! So get over there now and secure your copy of the „Puzzle EP“ which also features not one but two remixes from another Retreat stalwart, Iron Curtis plus a rework from Giegling’s Vril!

Oh, and did we mention that from now on, you’ll also receive a pair of free Retreat slipmats when placing an order above 40€? What are you waiting for?!??

Thank you for the support and stay tuned!

From The Stage To The Studio And Back Again

Yes, it’s been a while since you’ve heard from the Retreat HQ. We usually send a signal when a new release is in the press but it’s not the case this time. So while we’re working on RTR19, we thought we’d give you a little update on the Retreat core artists and what they’ve been up to since « Re-Treats Vol. 1 ».

Session Victim has become the epitome of touring musicians in the last months, playing all over Europe as well as rocking shows in the USA, Mexico, Australia and Indonesia. But instead of toning down their output, this constant life on the road has actually fueled the duo’s creativity. What materialized is undoubtedly their best effort to date, the colorful album « Listen To Your Heart ». Ripe with « Sun-soaked house music on the engaging side of deep, and at the clever end of funky » (Mixmag), the LP is already labelled as this summer’s go-to soundtrack. Get the full lowdown on how the album came to fruition here and be on the lookout for Session Victim’s hi-octane live show or energetic DJ sets coming to your town very soon!

Quarion has had an impeccable run of releases in the last year, including a stellar EP on Ripperton’s Tamed imprint and a contribution for Innervisions’ legendary « Secret Weapons » series. 2017 seems to be going even stronger with two bass-heavy remixes already in the can for Compost and Drumpoet Community as well as a very promising collaboration with Joel Alter that will definitely shake the floors this summer. There are more surprises in store from the swiss producer but in the meantime, make sure to catch Quarion performing in Asia and Europe in the following weeks !

After spending the first months of 2017 in the USA, Iron Curtis is back in Berlin and eager to showcase his flawless studio skills with an impressive string of releases. First up with « Industrie & Zärtlichkeit », a wonderfully quirky album as Moon (with Johannes Albert) that had Juno declare « it’s clear that the duo have worked up something of a beauty. ». Then there’s the club-ready « Maple » EP for the ever reliable Office imprint as well as hot remixes for Hudd Trax and Klamauk. But we’ve heard through the grapevine that this flurry of activity might be only the tip of the iceberg… we suggest you keep an eye on Iron Curtis’ profile or hear him out in the club for a sneak peek of what’s to come !

Thank you for the support and stay tuned!

Re-treats Vol.1 – RTR18

RTR-18_LabelSeven years and five volumes of »Treats« down the line, Retreat flips the script in 2016 and introduces a brand new remix series (cheekily) entitled »Re-Treats«! With Nebraska, Session Victim and Quarion reworking stables from the RTR back catalogue, »Re-Treats Vol.1« is a brilliant showcase of the art of the remix as each artist comes up with a truly personal take on the original material.

RTR18 starts in high fashion with digger extraordinaire Nebraska tackling the label’s most famous track so far, »Good Intentions« from Session Victim. It’s merely impossible to rework a bonafide modern classic but the english producer manages this task with ease and stays close to the original by breaking down the main loop into a one bar groove with super crisp beats. This would already suffice as the core for a powerful track but the real action begins after a short break: Nebraska brings the original four bar loop back at the forefront while adding a wicked samba twist to it! And as the kick comes back in, you can help but dance with your arms in the air and a big smile on your face. The »Soho Samba Mix« is an irresistible tune with that unmistakable »London« flair, not to mention a proper dancefloor anthem in its own right!

Turn the record over for Session Victim’s take on »A & F« from Iron Curtis & Leaves. It will only take a few bars for you to feel that you’re in  for a special ride with the one and only »Two Man House Band« at the commands. Matthias’ and Hauke’s version of »A & F« is much more a cover than a traditional remix as SVM add percussion, layers of juicy synths, loose drum fills and quirky samples over the original chords  and vocals. There are shades of Jazz, Soul, Reggae and even a bit of Pop in the »612 Remix« but the vibe is 100 % Session Victim. The lads  really excel in sun-drenched grooves and this remix is bound to become another staple in their dynamic live set for this summer’s festival season.

If the previous two reworks manage to somewhat stay close to the original material, then Quarion’s version of »Black Cream« takes an alternative route and propels Session Victim’s track into another dimension. Constructed around a tough beat and an hypnotic synth, the  »White Smoke Remix« is thrusted by a powerful bassline and flying hi-hats that evolve in rapid succession. Parts of the original (a vocal  here, a guitar there) are being fragmented to molecular level and clash with each other at light speed, as if Quarion managed to run these elements through the CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. It’s a dense, yet fluid remix and a thrilling conclusion to this first volume of »Re-Treats«.

A1 Session Victim – Good Intentios (Nebraska Soho Samba Mix)
B1 Iron Curtis & Leaves – A & F (Session Victim 612 Remix)
B2 Session Victim – Black Cream (Quarion’s White Smoke Remix)

Release date: April 16 2016

Retreat Gets Re-Freaked

Tools of the trade

And we’re back! Test Pressings of RTR18 have been stamped while finished copies are being pressed right now on lovely vinyl. So what’s in store for the first release of 2016 from your favourite wax-only label? Nothing less than a brand new series entitled “Re-Treats”! Featuring cracking remixes by Nebraska, Session Victim and Quarion, “Re-Treats Vol.1″ is an ode to the art of the remix with each producer presenting his own take on classic material from our back catalogue. The 12” will be available from the 15th of April in all good record shops (via wordandsound) and of course on our dedicated website.

Thank you for the support and stay tuned!

Setting the Pace

download_20151215_152347As we wrap up another twelve months, we’d like to express our gratitude to the DJs, music lovers and fans who have made 2015 such an important milestone for Retreat.

Although our label was silent for more than a year, you’ve supported massively our “comeback” releases from Quarion and Session Victim, not to mention the repress of „Treats Volume 1“.

You’ve proved us once again the pertinence of our “quality over quantity” philosophy and we intend to pursue that route in 2016 and beyond.

As a small token of our appreciation, we’d like to offer a 10% discount on all Retreat-related articles in the Webshop if you place your order before the 1st of January 2016. Please note that with the xmas craziness in full swing, your package might arrive a bit later than usual…

Thank you for the support and stay tuned!

Ps: The next installment of the “Treats series” is up next and it will be a special one!

Session Victim – Two man house band EP – RTR17

RTR_Label-17After last month’s »Busted Moniker« EP from Quarion, Retreat is thrilled to announce a new 12″ courtesy of house music’s most energetic duo, the incomparable Session Victim! The aptly titled »Two Man House Band EP« is the lads’ first record since their 2014 magnum Opus »See You When You Get There« and perfectly transcribes the energy that Session Victim pour into their incendiary live show. Tailormade for a night out in the club or a joyous day at the festival, the »Two Man House Band EP« once again prooves that Session Victim are unstoppable in their pursuit of the ultimate groove!

»Summer Games« is an ode to that most festive of seasons and could easily hold the claim of being Retreat’s »biggest« track so far. Built around an Hypnotic organ loop, »SummerGames« completely blurs the lines between house, funk and soul : rolling breakbeats, catchy vocal snippets and a very groovy bassline are the core elements of this anthem that could rock any party. Yet Session Victim add a slight twist in the form of a melancholic string motive that appears in two chiseled breakdowns. It’s a little reminder that summers do not last forever and that one should enjoy them while they last …

Flip the record in order to dive into the deeper realms of »Black Cream«, a more reflective track for the late hours. With its jazzy (almost broken) beat, guitar licks, rhodes pads, subtle percussion and ethereal vocals, »Black Cream« is the soundtrack to an exciting underwater trip with Matthias and Hauke at the controls. Thanks to the captains’ lively drum programming, the track flows effortlessly and we’re treated with many surprises along the way before a gradual rise brings us back to the surface.

»Finderlohn« is a smokey downtempo workout which finds Session Victim digging deep in their collection to demonstrate their prowess in manipulating samples. Beginning with an instanly classic guitar and piano loop, »Finderlohn« allows a shuffly breakbeat to take center stage, sometimes reinforced with double-time hihats for a more dramatic effect. The tune is definitely a headnodder’s paradise and the listener is taken that little bit higher thanks to a mystical flute solo that concludes »Finderlohn« in a psychedelic way.

A1 Summer Games
B1 Black Cream
B2 Finderlohn

Release date: September 18th 2015

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


Communication Restored


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!