LABEL Retreat, Delusions of Grandeur, Wolf Music

Releasing an unparalleled energy behind the decks, you won’t find a duo with a more visceral connection to soul than Hauke Freer and Matthias Reiling, AKA Session Victim, in the midst of a DJ set. Their live set pitches the energy levels up further still – the frenzied head banging of two friends jamming like their lives depend on it, now a signature scene.

Since the success of their bedroom-produced debut LP took them a little by surprise back in 2012, the ‘two man house band’ have formalised their ad hoc studio jams and day-to-night sampling sessions into something resembling a schedule and blessed their Hamburg studio with a few more synths and studio tools.

Yet besides that, refreshingly nothing much has changed about their friendship, spanning over twenty years and a regular Hamburg to Berlin exchange. With a record collection covering several decades of hip hop, funk, disco and soul and the ever-present avalanche of vinyl-only house and techno cuts, it’s their passion for uncovering dusty vinyl treasures and the feeling that can be captured on a miniature moment in wax that inspires both their DJ sets and production environment.

Session Victim’s second long player ‘See You When You Get There’ was featured highly on various ‘Best of 2014’ lists, including XLR8R and DJ History. Respected contemporary and Pampa Records head, DJ Koze, got in touch about doing his own version for their track ‘Hyuwee’ for his DJ Kicks 50th compilation and two more tracks made it onto Seth Troxler’s DJ Kicks in the same year.

Defining moments for 2016 have included, remixing hotly tipped Texan thai-funk band Khruangbin (the Session Victim remix has already clocked up 100k listens on Soundcloud) as well as remixing artists such as Boris Dlugosh, Jesper Ryomand Kapote. Having also been on two North American tours this year, recorded a Beats in Space radio show with Tim Sweeney in NYC, played both Concrete in Paris and Rhythm Section’s 5th Birthday in Peckham, plus plenty of action on the festival circuit, personal highlights this year have been free-flowing.

Their ‘Matching Half EP’ released in October, demonstrates an ability to produce a house sound to suit peak time at venues like Panorama bar or Fabric just as easily as groove-laden bombs for vibey basements with low ceilings.

The second, hugely anticipated release on Berlin-based vinyl-only imprint XK showcases another side of Hauke and Matthias’s production talents, with killer cuts from their solo endeavours on both sides of the record.2016 in many ways has been a hard one and it’s easy to feel a bit despondent about that. Yet when you go to a party with Session Victim at the helm, what is striking and refreshing is the degree to which they keep the good vibes alive in their intimate universe, weaving magic dance floor moments, stamping their wild personalities on every performance and leaving a trail of smiling faces in their path.

Forthcoming highlights will see the German duo bring in 2017 at Mad Racket in Sydney followed by the release of their third LP in spring on Delusions of Grandeur…

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