RETREAT: Berlin-based Vinyl Only Collective Turns Five



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Session Victim
Mr Beatnick

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The promise of summer is in the air and fitting this mood perfectly the excellent RETREAT label has released a very special double-vinyl anniversary release featuring nine brand new killer house jams from the extended Retreat label family.

From the acid-drenched groover ‘Hold On To Your Dreams’ to the rhythmic patter of ‘ Co Co Jam Boo’ and the melancholic hip hop of ‘Blush’ Treats Vol 5 is a heartfelt illustration of the house music spectrum and it’s outer peripheries with some big secret weapons tucked into the waistband for good measure.

Much like Retreat’s exquisite catalogue to date there really are too many musical highlights on Retreats Vol 5 for this short intro. If you own a turntable this is definitely one you should wrap up and gift to yourself.

We caught up with Retreat founders Quarion and Hauke for a few words.

Congratulations on five years of the label and parties!

What is the ethos of the label and becoming part of the Retreat family?

Quarion: It was important for Hauke and I to create a vinyl-only label; we’re literally drowning under the amount of music in this digital age so we felt that going for a 100% physical medium was the best way to keep the focus solely on the music. Plus all the ‘members’ of the Retreat family are vinyl junkies so it just makes sense to release our compositions on wax.

Mr Beatnick wrote the sleeve note for the double vinyl as well as delivered a track. How did you guys meet?

Quarion: I’ve known Mr Beatnick since the beginning of the 2000s, I’m from Geneva and he was living in the city around that time as well. We met at a record store: I was working behind the counter, playing a broken beat record when this guy came up to me and talked to me in French with a very cool English accent: “Oh, tu connais le Broken Beat”? From then on, we started hanging out, DJing and organizing parties together. Nick left for London after a few years and I moved to Berlin, but we’ve always stayed in touch, checking in on our respective music over the years. Now it feels great that he’s part of the Retreat family!

What is the right reason to start a record label in your opinion?

Quarion: I still think that music alone should be the reason for starting a label: we don’t have any agenda with Retreat, we only put out a release when we come across great tracks!

Hauke, you’re one half of Session Victim. What have you got coming up?

Hauke: We’re currently writing music for our second LP, everything else is hold. Remixes for Let’s Play House, Permanent Vacation, Tartelet and Giegling are about to be released. Besides that we are touring with Quarion to celebrate Retreat’s birthday

Obviously vinyl is your preferred way to hear music in the club, but what do you recommend for a quality listening experience outside the club?

Hauke: Similar to making music, I think there is no right way, whatever suits you. I personally like to listen to a new album while cooking dinner.

What is your number one rule to live your life by?

Hauke: Face your fears.

Which person has had the most effect on your creativity?

Hauke: My brother pointed me towards lots of music. When I was a ten, he recorded tapes for me of ‘In Order To Dance’ compilations on R&S and drum and bass albums. That really sparked my interest for music.

I’ve heard you guys have a penchant for a nice breakfast, where is the best place to go in Berlin?

Quarion: ouhh...too many to mention! I loved the English breakfast at ‘Hudson’s’, but unfortunately it’s closed now. I think I would go for good ol’ ‘Bâteau Ivre’ on Oranienstraße in Kreuzberg.

What else is happening around the release, will you have a special breakfast

Quarion: Well, we were thinking to organise something when the tour was finished...Breakfast would actually be a great idea ;-)

Hauke: Later this year, we might have a little surprise in mind to honour the roots of the Retreat parties which started in a small basement in Kreuzberg.

Treats Vol 5 is out now: