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:,,,|titles=Woodland,Kalkskar,The Hissing,Malachai |artists=Matthias Reiling]

Release: October 5th 2011

Quarion – Moons around Jupiter – RTR08

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

[audio:,,,|titles=Europa,Ganymede, Callisto, Io|artists=Quarion,Quarion,Quarion,Quarion]

Release: December 15th 2010

Session Victim/Quarion – Treats Vol.2 – RTR05

One year old and four releases deep, RETREAT present its first 2010 offering with the long awaited second volume of the »Treats« series. Featuring 3 exclusive tracks from Session Victim and Quarion, »Treats vol.2« showcases the producers’ ability to move beyond the traditional House sound, incorporating more Soul and Disco influences as well as coming up with a few surprises! Continue reading “Session Victim/Quarion – Treats Vol.2 – RTR05”

RTR Reels 02 – Mark August “Slow Pressure” Mix

We’re happy to have Mark August for our second installement in the Reels series. This talented Dutch producer who has moved to Berlin in 2009 recorded a set that explores the deeper and slower aspects of electronic music, whether it’s House, Techno, Nu Disco or Dubstep. Blending music from artists as diverse as Rhythm & Sound, Theo Parrish, Scuba, Redshape or Tensnake, Mark managed to record a very coherent and thoughtful mix that should soothe your soul and move your feet. After releasing on Perspectiv and Connaisseur, this is how Mark likes to summon his future projects: “loads of plans and new freshness up my sleeve, still looking on how and when to give them their place in this world”. We’re all eagerly waiting!

Quarion’s december chart

Oh yeah, here we go again: another round of honest and uncensored charts from yours truly, Q-chan! As usual, a lot of different music is featured in my selection so I hope that it will inspire you to dig a little deeper…

Rufus & Chaka – Masterjam (LP – 1979) – MCA: Seems like I’m having a little fixation with everything that involved the pairing of producer Quincy Jones and writer Rod Temperton in the late 70’s/early 80’s…these two legends had a  chemistry that was seldom matched in showbiz. Add the slick groove of the Rufus band with the vocal acrobatics of Chaka Khan and you come up with “Masterjam”, another perfect Funk/pop album. My song-writing partner Jules Etienne knows how hooked I am on “Live In Me”…

KiNK – Trevoga – Undertones: This is off his “Psyche Funk EP” and it’s a monster. A very raw track that blurs the boundaries between House, Hip-Hop, Dubstep and Drum n’ Bass, thanks to its prominent old-school breakbeat. From what I heard of his upcoming tracks, you can expect much more madness from KiNK.

Session Victim – The Keyboarder – Delusions Of Grandeur: The Hamburg-Berlin connection is once again in full swing on this cut-up funk masterpiece due out in a few weeks on Jimpster’s label. The groove is undeniable and the disco strings are catchy as hell !

Sigha – Rawww – Hot Flush 2: This is exactly the sort of hybrid track I knew somebody would come up with : a slowed-down dubstep tune that fits in any House or Techno set. The production is so heavy that you’ll feel the whole dancefloor shaking. Continue reading “Quarion’s december chart”

Hunee – Barrio Payment – RTR04

RTR_Label-04After a split 12” and two eps from its founders, your favourite vinyl-only label welcomes an exciting new artist for its fourth release. Hailing from Berlin, Hunee is a true music lover, a passionate dj and an amazing producer (not to mention a top notch friend). His recent productions on Feel Music, w.t. Records and Drumpoet Community have caught the ear of many key players and made him one to watch in 2010. Needless to say, Hunee takes it to a whole other level with his Barrio Payment trilogy: from soulful House to slow-mo Disco via Afrobeat, the producer holds nothing back and that’s exactly how we like it at Retreat hq.
Continue reading “Hunee – Barrio Payment – RTR04”

Quarion’s october chart

I know what you’re thinking: “oh, here we go, another boring chart!”. Well, I hope you’ll find this one a bit more interesting, because from now on, I’ve decided to post my charts ONLY on the Retreat blog (and just copy it to RA for good measure). I was tired to post charts everywhere and most of all, I felt it wasn’t always “honest” enough: a chart for Juno for example contains music that’s only available on their shop and since I play a lot of old music, I felt this sort of chart wasn’t representative enough…

but enough of the talk, here are the tracks/albums that move me in october 2009: Continue reading “Quarion’s october chart”