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

[audio:http://www.retreat-vinyl.de/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/RTR11-A1.mp3,http://www.retreat-vinyl.de/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/RTR11-B1.mp3,http://www.retreat-vinyl.de/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/RTR11-B2.mp3|titles=Harlequin,Downtown,A&F |artists=Session Victim, The Hints, Iron Curtis]

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

RTR REELS 05 – Session Victim “The Loom of the Land”

After a two-year pause, we’re happy to resurrect our series of Retreat podcasts with none other than Session Victim! After two solo excursions (reels 1 and reels 4 from Hauke Freer and Matthias Reiling respectfully), a proper SVM mix was long overdue and “The Loom of the Land” most definitely delivers the goods! In a smooth, yet trippy 30-minute ride, the deadly duo mixes up 9 tracks ranging from their own output to music from Four Tet, Fudge Fingas and Black Sabbath! And with three Session Victim tunes (including an unreleased intro!), this podcast is just the perfect companion to SVM’s fantastic “The Haunted House Of House” album out now on Delusions On Grandeur!

Quarion’s June chart

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been more than two years since my last official chart! But it just happened that I feel like doing it again for some unknown reason…and of course because there’s a lot of very good music out there! So here we go for another selection of tunes that have been rocking my world this month, some yet to be released, some already in the shops:

Baikal – Just You And Me (feat. The Drifter) / Why Don’t Ya – Maeve

The debut from an unknown artist on a new label ? Well kind of, the only thing I can tell is that Maeve is co-run by 2012’s hotshot Mano Le Tough. So what can we expect? One of the best records of 2012, no less! Both tunes are masterfully crafted, tough enough to rock any dancefloor, yet deep enough to please all the true music heads.

Ripperton – Show Me – Tamed Musiq

My mate Ripperton is really killing it on this epic house tune : intricate percussion, dramatic piano chords and a killer analog bass workout. Clocking in at 11 minutes but without a single repetitive moment, this is the real definition of panoramic House music.

Dachshund & Quenum – The Mammoth – Rebellion

Two of Geneva’s finest team up for a tune that is causing major damage on the floor! I’ve managed to get hold of this track a few months ago and I’ve been dropping it in all of my sets ever since. The trick here is the old school « reese » bassline : as soon as it drops, you want to scream « rewind !!! » and pretend like it’s 1996 at the Blue Note all over again…

Session Victim – Harlequin – Retreat

This one is coming out on Retreat at the end of July and it’s very special : SVM get to grips with « Harlequin » from Rootstrax and turn it into a funk workout with live bass! It sounds so organic, you would swear Session Victim are a forgotten 1970’s Funk band that just happen to make House music before the cats in Chicago…

Georgia Anne Muldrow – Seeds (LP) – Someothaship

I was always a Madlib fan, but I really became addicted to his music when he started the « Medecine Show » series back in 2010. What was better than getting a dope new Madlib album every month?!!? Since then, I’ve been a bit desperate for a Beat Konducta fix, that is  until I discovered that he recently produced the whole “Seeds” album! Georgia and Otis are definitely a match made in heaven and « Seeds » is one of the most soulful and freakiest albums I’ve heard in a while. Plus, it’s pretty short too, which makes you want to play it over and over again!

I:Cube – M Megamix (LP) – Versatile

Ahhh, this album…Again, I’ve been lucky enough to get a promo Test Pressing back in April and I’ve been listening to it ever since. It’s one of those « love it or hate it » albums and has already sparked up a few heated debates. I personaly think that “M Megamix” is a pure work of genius : 24 so-good-it-hurts tracks in roughly an hour, blended in an almost zapping manner. There’s been nothing like this album before and it’s definitely a landmark for elctronic music. I:Cube for president!

Alden Tyrell – Rush/Tntus – Clone Basement Series

I looooove these series from Clone ! This piece of wax is straight-up raw Techno : drum machines, a chord sound and that’s it! Of course I play this at -4 or -6 on the turntable but it still works a charm…

Charles Webster Feat. Shana Halligan – Give Me More – Miso

Also one of the stables in my box these last few weeks, “Give Me More” is the sort of music I strive for as a producer, a tune that is complex yet soulful, reduced yet groovy. Charles Webster is the master of blending US soul sensitivity with european freaky electronics and this track is the perfect showcase.

Underworld – Crocodile (Âme Live Remix) – Innervisions

A stripped-down, straight-to-the-point live rework from one of my all-time favourite duo. The track unfolds slowly until the catchy vocal and then gets loose with one of the nastiest synth workout since Carl Craig’s remix of Cesaria Evora.

Chymera – Death By Misadventure (LP) – Connaisseur

I love this album simply for the fact that it evolves in its own universe and that only repeated listens will reveal all of its secrets. “Death By Misadventure” pretty much covers the whole spectrum of electronic music yet manages to stay coherent and groovy. One of the best dance music albums of recent memory…

The White Lamp – It’s You (Ron Basejam remix) – Future Boogie

I’ve also been playing this one for weeks but the effect is always the same : People get hooked when the bassline drops and start shouting during the second break when these tear-jerking rhodes chords come in. « The Sun comes shining »…definitely one of this summer’s tune!

Edu Lobo – Por Edu Lobo – Elenco

I feel a bit ashamed, but it’s only recently that I’ve been properly digging brazilian music. I guess I needed to travel over there to catch the virus and thanks to some recent gigs in São Paulo, I’m very addicted to Bossa and Brazilian Jazz now. This album from Edu Lobo featuring the legendary Tamba Trio is nothing short of a masterpiece and refuses to leave my turntable since days…

Entering year n°4

our flashy new 2012 logo...a bit posh, don't you think?

Happy New Year everybody!

You’ve turned 2011 into 12 very special months for Retreat so we wanted to thank you for your unlimited support!

There were many highlights this year: our first Retreat tour outside of Europe (in Australia of all places!), the exponential growth of our online shop, the mad success of Session Victim‘s “Good Intentions” (which even landed on RA’s “tracks of 2011” poll!) and the enthusiastic reviews of Matthias Reiling’s “Escape The Room”.

We’re thrilled that our vinyl-only imprint is getting some props, although to be honest, our goal was never to get a piece of the hype pie with the help of charts or reviews. Retreat is, and forever will be, a label that cares most of all about music, hence our erratic release schedule: a new Retreat record only happens when Hauke and myself feel 100% happy with the tunes!

But the attention we received in 2011 has definitely proven that quality prevails over quantity: Retreat had only 2 records out last year but they might have had the most impact out of our whole catalogue! So thanks again for your endless support!

Now what is to expect from Retreat in 2012? Well we’re still juggling with different ideas, namely a new Quarion EP or the next volume of “Treats” so we won’t announce RTR11 yet…

But one thing for sure is that there’s a lot of action going on for Retreat artists OUTSIDE of Retreat in the form of debut albums: Session Victim have put the final touches to their longplayer for Delusions Of Grandeur and are prepared to drop this groove masterpiece before the summer! Iron Curtis is also working on his first full length for Mirau and the album is due to surface some time in the second half of 2012!

As you can see, everything is pretty much under wraps at the moment, but rest assured that more info on all these various projects will pop up on this blog when the time is right. 😉

Enjoy the beginning of 2012 for now and stay tuned!

Freshly repressed!

Records? Somebody wants records?

Back in 2010, we released two records that sold out quickier than hot pancakes: the “Treats Vol.2” sampler featuring tunes from Session Victim and Quarion followed by a 12″ from Session Victim entitled “On The Roll”. Since then, we’ve been constantly asked to repress these EPs and after much delay, we finally ordered a fresh batch of RTR05 & RTR06!

We were so excited to have ALL of our productions back in stock that we also took the opportunity to upgrade our webshop page with a broader display, an embedded SC player and dope new releases out of the Frank Music, Fried Tofu, or Lurker camp!

Thanks for your ongoing support, signing off for now!

De:bug review of RTR10

Matthias Reiling – Escape The Room – RTR10

Retreat celebrates its first double-digit release with something out of the ordinary: an ep from Session Victim’s Matthias Reiling that blends House, Hip-Hop and UK Bass music in a very unique way. After two highly praised albums on Giegling, the Hamburg – based producer further develops his musical persona with the help of dusty samples, bouncy beats, tense atmospheres and a strong cinematic feel. Escape the room is a highly fascinating slab of vinyl that will not leave your record player for months!

Woodland sets the tone for the whole ep: a reduced and droney House tune that makes great use of vinylinduced noise. Constantly moving hi-hats combine with a subterranean bass to provide a super-tight groove that is highly addictive. With only a chord stab and some extra percussion altering the groove from time to time, Woodland is definitely a deep and hypnotic affair, somehow reminiscent of Photek’s early output but with an unmistakable Reiling twist.

Matthias’ Hip-Hop influences particularly shine through on the heavy 100 bpm banger Kalkskar. This pretty reduced track showcases a medieval-sounding guitar loop build upon a skippy beat. But when most producers would be happy with the main loop playing straight through the whole song, Matthias never lets it rest: the guitar gets filtered, halved, echoed or reversed before finally fading into oblivion.

The Hissing is pure excitement on wax and proves the age-old saying that “The B-Side Wins again”: the drama unfolds on a slow House tempo as strident strings get beefed up by pounding drums and a low bassline. The pressure kicks it up a notch during the break when a character informs us about incoming pain and the sound of hissing. The beat then drops back in with extra string riffs and spooky organ touches. Tension rises when additional percussion creeps in to slowly introduce another dramatic monolog breakdown. But the hissing stops as soon as the groove returns, keeping the track alive for another minute before it’s ineluctable fate.

As the ep’s closer, Malachai is a masterfully crafted tune that rolls with the tightest of basslines. This Hip-Hop/ Drum ’n’ Bass hybrid begins with a warning about upcoming terror scenes before letting loose a stateof- the-art beat workout. Weird synths and percussive elements help keep the excitement levels in check before the song experiences a proper Hip-Hop changeover. The drums move back in while a faint melody calmly drivesthis refined track to its conclusion.

A1 – Woodland
A2 –Kalkskar
B1 – The Hissing
B2 – Malachai

[audio:http://www.retreat-vinyl.de/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/RTR10-A1.mp3,http://www.retreat-vinyl.de/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/RTR10-A2.mp3,http://www.retreat-vinyl.de/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/RTR10-B1.mp3,http://www.retreat-vinyl.de/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/RTR10-B2.mp3|titles=Woodland,Kalkskar,The Hissing,Malachai |artists=Matthias Reiling]

Release: October 5th 2011
(RTR-10_Releasesheet)

The best thriller of 2011!

Matthias Reiling‘s 4-Track EP Escape The Room will be available in all good record stores at the beginning of October. In the meantime, you can already listen to a sneak preview of Retreat’s tenth release via this exciting and scary “trailer”!

Double-digit action!

Well, since this summer has been quite deplorable (at least in Berlin), we had to stay busy at Retreat HQ by putting the final touches on what will be our tenth release … Yes, your eyes are not lying, we’ll soon be 10 releases deep!

Needless to say that neither Hauke nor myself fully realize yet how far we’ve gone. Back in 2009, I envisioned Retreat as a hand-stamped, Vinyl-only white label. Flash-forward to 2011 and here we are, putting out records with proper sleeves, proposing label-merchandise and touring all over the world … with Retreat label parties in Australia, of all places!

But hey, despite the ups and downs of swimming with the sharks of the music biz, the most important thing is that Hauke and myself have faith in our label and most of all in the music that we put out. So for vinyl n°10 we’ve got a special treat coming your way: a 4-track EP from Matthias Reiling that is quite unlike anything Retreat has released so far … hence also a proper full print cover, courtesy of designer extraordinaire Gesine Todt!

As you know, we like to keep things on the hush-hush tip so we won’t reveal more information now…but you can be sure that a trailer will surface on this site very soon!

We’re also excited to offer even more choice for all you vinyl junkies out there via our dedicated online shop: apart from the full Retreat catalog and selected artist-related releases on other labels, you can now order Frank Music’s first output (featuring a killer rework courtesy of Iron Curtis) as well as the indispensable Fried Tofu edits, a series of Disco reworks that are known to turn any dancefloor upside down!

Stay tune for more news coming soon!

Iron Curtis/Quarion/Session Victim – Treats Vol. 3 – RTR09

After a short break, Retreat is back in full swing with its first 2011 release: an essential new installment in the infamous Treats series! Featuring exclusive tracks from Iron Curtis, Quarion and Session Victim, Treats Vol. 3 represents a fascinating snapshot of each artist’s current musical evolution, whether it’s Iron Curtis’ own take on Detroit Techno, Quarion’s stripped-down House with a twist or Session Victim’s endless quest for the perfect groove.

You, On A Friday Night begins flat out with one of the dirtiest square wave bassline this side of the Atlantic, promptly followed by tambourine beats and offbeat FM stabs. It’s a rock-solid foundation and Iron Curtis unfolds it delicately for a good minute and a half before introducing the breakdown with a piercing synth chord. As the rhythm kicks back in with extra percussive elements, the iron man gets down to work on the bassline by twisting, filtering and stretching it in a very impressive manner. The beat drops once again while the sharp Juno synth reveals a proper chord sequence, bringing an unexpected emotional feel to the entire track. After an exciting build-up, the drums reappear and an additional hi-hat implements the final touch to this bouncy masterpiece.

Quarion deliberately ventures in tooly house territory with the super-effective groove of Mysteries Of Time. This tune highlights dubby chords revolving around a heavy 118 BPM rhythm and a strong sub-bass. Although pretty basic in its form, Mysteries Of Time has a very live feel as the beat seems to drift in and out of the foreground while someone speaks about the confusion of our awareness of time. The madness happens after 3 minutes as Quarion flips the script on time manipulation and introduces a bold tempo change! But you won’t be bobbing your head for too long as the track soon goes back to its original form and concludes as enigmatically as it began …

Turn the record over and the shuffling beat of Good Intentions will instantly pull you in Session Victim’s realm. The groove provided by these dusty Rhodes licks is nothing short of addictive and it will get your hips moving in no time. Subtle vocal snippets and a flowing drum programming lock the whole track on rails while keeping your behind on the floor. Your excitement grows as the SVM boys filter the main theme and Jupiter chords appear from the background. No doubt that you’ll be sweating that last shot of Tequila when the drums slam you back in the track and the loop makes a glorious comeback! But you’ll be able to catch a breather when a sweet synth melody plays along these dusty keys until Good Intentions reaches its well-rounded conclusion.

A1 – You, On A Friday Night
A2 –Mysteries Of Time
B1 – Good Intentions

[audio:http://www.retreat-vinyl.de/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/RTR09-A1.mp3,http://www.retreat-vinyl.de/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/RTR09-A2.mp3,http://www.retreat-vinyl.de/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/RTR09-B1.mp3|titles=You On A Friday Night,Mysteries Of Time,Good Intentions |artists=Iron Curtis,Quarion, Session Victim]

Release: May 25th 2011
(RTR-09 Releasesheet)