Finally 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
B2 You Were The Only
Release: August 17th 2015
Retreat 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
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!
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!
Rounding 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
After 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)
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
Release: July 25th 2012
Well not really, but we couldn’t resist bulding another “trailer” for our upcoming release, “Treats Vol.3”, which features 3 banging tracks from Iron Curtis, Quarion and Session Victim! Each tune is edited down to 2 minutes and the whole EP is once again sequenced as a trailer, hollywood-style!
More than a year after his last EP, Quarion returns to Retreat for a fantastic expedition: a journey to the »Moons around Jupiter«. Consisting of four tracks dedicated to the four Galilean satellites, »Moons around Jupiter« is a sonic masterpiece that blurs the lines between House, Techno, Broken Beat and Disco. A certain Detroit mystique (the futurism & outer space themes) also surrounds this mesmerizing ep which Quarion himself ranks as possibly his best work to date … come and take a ride!
We may share the ultimate bond with the moon Europa: the presumption of oceans underneath its crust of ice as well as an atmosphere that is mostly filled with oxygen make this satellite a good candidate for possible extra-terrestrial life (more micro-organisms than 3-eyed aliens though). Quarion’s »Europa« hopes to reveal the secrets underneath the ice layer: beginning with a skippy beat and a tinkling piano, the track evolves rapidly as subtle keys and a cosmic choir appear from beyond. The voices morph into pure excitement during the breakdown while gorgeous new chords are being introduced. The bassline drops and an irresistible groove settles in, soon followed by a catchy synth melody. The song rises to its apex only to be brought down immediately with a new set of Boogie drums. Extra analogue synths make a welcome entry while the main chords rise again from the background. That is until the reappearance of the Boogie beat which tones the music down and brings the mysterious »Europa« to its conclusion.
The moon Ganymede has much in common with Europa but scientists agree that it is impossible for the former to harbour life. This is why »Ganymede« is the beatapella version of »Europa«, a short but effective rework with only the basic drum elements…
The moon Callisto is the furthest away from Jupiter’s radiation. It is said to be highly suitable for a human base, in case we intend to explore this part of the solar system one day. »Callisto« is therefore Quarion’s ode to space travel in the form of lush organ chords, heavy drums and ethereal pads. The track is a deep and dreamy journey that flows effortlessly as cosmic rhodes melodies and detroitish synths move around the stereophonic landscape.
The moon Io has over 400 active volcanoes and its atmosphere is made up of sulphuric dioxide. A very, very dangerous place indeed, which inspires Quarion to show his rougher side via a raw and heavy 110 bpm workout. The sounds are kept to a minimum (weird pads, strings and a heavy bassline) but »Io« is full of surprises, the best of all being a minute long break where the listener feels suddenly lost in deep space … before »Io’s« gravity pulls him back on its perilous grounds.
A1 – Europa
A2 – Ganymede
B1 – Callisto
B2 – Io
Release: December 15th 2010
We’re thrilled to welcome IRON CURTIS as a new character in the retreat saga! Hailing from Nuernberg but now based in Berlin, Mr. Curtis is known for his contemporary take on the classic Chicago House sound and has been making waves for the past two years with quality releases on Mirau, Morris Audio, Mule Electronic and Jackoff. However, we strongly believe that Iron Curtis is presenting a different aspect of his personality with »Stumbled Across«, an EP that ventures in weirder territories with the help of Hip-Hop, dubstep and techno influences. A definitive statement from a blossoming producer who brings the element of surprise back to the dancefloor!
»Cover Me« provides the tone for this EP, starting off with a distinctive un-straight kick drum that underlines a pad motif and a percussion build-up. The aquatic bassline lures you in the track while new chords are rising up from the background. The whole song breaks down after 3 minutes only to start again with renewed energy. Shuffling hi-hats, vocal snippets and quirky synths provide an ecstatic groove and lift the track to new heights of bounciness. No doubt that »Cover Me« would become a Co-op classic if the party was still happening in London …
Flip the record over and »Stumbled Across« introduces guitar stabs, crowd noises and reversed chords until the whole thing crashes down into a House beat that is jacking beyond comparison. A tribute to one of the founders of the Chicago sound, “Stumbled Across” is that seldom tune that manages to feel 100% classic yet 100% fresh at the same time: the 808 & 909 sounds are familiar but the arrangement and overall vibe allow the track to stand proudly on its own two feet. A masterpiece!
»Creeps« clocks around 90 BPM and showcases Iron Curtis’ talent in leading music into unexpected directions. The track begins with melancholic chords but evolves quickly into a fascinating journey, complete with strings, organs, bell-like sounds and bizarre interjections from what appears to be cocktail aficionados in an upper class party! The beat alone is definitely not your average Hiphop drum track (with a gated snare that Phil Collins would die for!) but excels in providing depth and consolidation to the whole structure.
The Ep concludes with the mind-bending »All My Friends«, a 2 minutes, 80 bpm neck-breaker whose wonky synth could make your body want to perform krump moves. Lethal!
A1 – Cover me
B1 – Stumbled Across
B2 – Creeps
B3 – All My Friends
Release: November 10th 2010