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!

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!

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!

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)

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!

Double-digit action!

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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!

Back in the game!

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How are you supposed to go to work after such a breakfast?!!!?

Phew, it’s been so long since the last post, it almost feels like a resurrection!

As always folks, I’m the one to blame: maybe it’s a renewed love affair with music that keeps me inhouse with my beloved instrument? or maybe it was a relaxing stay in Australia that infused a delicious-but-dangerous slackness in my work ethic, long after I rotated back to Berlin? Anyway, I haven’t visited WordPress in a while and now there’s a lot to say!

Concerning Australia, the Session Victim boys and myself had a wonderful stay at the other end of the world a few weeks ago: great gigs, great food, great friends and all in all just a bloody great time! Special thanks to Mad Racket, Christian Vance, Future Classic and all the aussie crew for setting up Retreat’s first international tour, we’ll be back soon!

It’s a bit late for this one, but we still wish to express our gratitude to everyone that has supported our label in 2010: it’s been our best year so far so we thank you all for helping us promoting the vinyl cause! Despite the fact that more and more labels are doing only digital releases and that Technics has (apparently) finally stopped producing the world’s best turntable, a certain “vinyl-niche” (with vinyl-only labels and vinyl-friendly DJ’s) has definitely settled in the music underground and we’re proud to be part of this movement…

So what’s in store for Retreat this year? Well, since we’re sometimes eager to continue with our traditions, we’ll start the 2011 catalogue with another edition of the “Treats” series…which brings us now to volume 3! Iron Curtis, Session Victim and Quarion have all submitted an exclusive track for this record and while we can’t divulge more info at the moment, we promise you that “Treats Vol.3” will be the best episode so far! You can also expect some hot new music from Session Victim and Quarion on Retreat later this year as well as exclusive podcasts and a few surprises…

And don’t forget that if you’re looking for previous releases from Retreat’s two main artists and their affiliated projects, our webshop has got all the goodies! From Session Victim’s first bangers on Real Soon to Quarion’s classics on Drumpoet Community via Matthias Reiling’s recent masterpieces on Giegling, you’ll be able to complete your collection at a very fair price.

Before signing off, we’d also like to mention that our super designer Gesine Todt has just finished crafting an open font for Google’s Web Fonts API! A very classy typeface that you can download here.

Thanks for your ongoing support, we promise to hit you up with more news very soon!

ps: our special heartfelt thoughts go out to our followers in Japan, as they are facing a terrible crisis. We wish you a lot of courage and hope during these tough times…

 

 

Back in stock!

We wish we could have our own pressing plant...pretty hard to fit in an appartment though!

Since the beginning of 2010, we’ve noticed that the stock of Retreat 12″s has been slowly but surely decreasing. Before we knew it, our 2009 releases were all sold out and we started receiving e-mails from people asking us to please repress those earlier records…

Well, we’re happy to inform you that RTR01, 02 and 03 are now back in stock! Packaged in a new, mat-black sleeve, these records sound as fresh as if they came out yesterday. From the heavy “Treats vol.1” split EP to Quarion’s PBar classic “Turn Off The Light” via Session Victim’s highly praised “Out On Love” release, now’s your chance to continue your Retreat collection or start it from scratch!

Available at your favourite record store or via Retreat’s own webshop.

Summer Time Gone

our own little retreat in the countryside...Changdeokgung in Seoul

Well, I was beginning to enjoy slacking around with my flip-flops but now it seems like I’ve got to wear thick socks again…Bam, that’s it, summer is gone, the show is over, time to get back to work. Thankfully, the bittersweet J-pop of Mai Kuraki prepared me for this doomsday: there was no way in hell you could have missed her new single if you were in Shibuya during the last week of August…

Indeed, I was lucky to spend the last days of summer travelling between Tokyo and Seoul: seeing old friends, meeting new people, performing in front of the ocean, eating the best food on earth and just enjoying this incomparable pacific vibe…yup, it was the good life. Special shout outs to DJ KentUdo and Baya for the amazing moments!

Now I’m back in cold, grey and rainy Berlin…but what the hell, I love this city! It’s still bubbling with creativity and for what I’ve heard in various home-studios or work-in-progress demos, there should be some spectacular music coming out soon!

Here at Retreat HQ, we’re particularly excited about our new artist, Iron Curtis. This young man has been hammering out track after track of old-school-tainted-yet-still-contemporary House but guess what: he actually kept his most bugged-out music for your favourite vinyl-only label! Hauke and myself were blown away by his demo and we’re very looking forward to release his EP in the upcoming weeks. Expect RTR07 to hit the stores some time in October!

Speaking of stores, we’ve also decided to add more material to our webshop, including other music labels who are also following the “strictly-vinyl” philosophy. It’s the age-old “united we stand” motto but it’s particularly suited to this tough business.  So as of this month, you’ll be able to purchase the mysterious Skylevel imprint, a label that specialises in quirky edits and whose etching on the record proudly proclaims “vinyl till we die”. Our kind of people…

More news coming up shortly so stay tuned!

More goodies!

Our online shop was looking a bit dull these days with 40% of our releases out of stock, but since last week, we’ve got some pretty neat new items in the Retreat bodega!
First of all, we’ve finally received represses of RTR03 and RTR04, so if you’ve missed Quarion’s classic “dusty fingers” ep or Hunee’s essential “barrio payment” ep, now is the time to complete your collection!
But what we’re the most excited to reveal is our own line of selfmade turntable slipmats! Available in 4 different flavors and crafted with love by Gesine at the Retreat HQ, these DJ essentials will help you cue, spin and scratch your records … not to mention make your fellow vinyl nerds drool with envy over the classic RTR design! These are available only on the Retreat webshop … don’t sleep!