Interview: Session Victim


Session Victim is a musical project that spent almost a decade gently simmering, until Hauke Freer and Matthias Reiling opened the lid in 2006 and started serving underground music something rather tasty. Bolognese metaphors aside, the German duo are quite something to behold. As producers, their music marries the funk and groove of off-kilter house, on full display through their debut 2012 full length for Delusions of Grandeur, The Haunted House of House. As DJs, they mix a similar sound with a fun-loving attitude and devotion to entertaining a crowd and will be one of the highlights at the now sold out the now sold out Gottwood Festival this year. In anticipation for their appearance, we caught up with Hauke and Matthias to talk obscure record sleeves and crate-digging with DJ Format, among other things.

Session Victim play Gottwood Festival (19th-22nd June)

Hey guys. How’s 2014 been so far for you? Any highlights and standout memories?

Matthias: Our American tour in January, the 5 Years of Retreat Tour together with Quarion and spending so much time in the studio jamming as we are at the moment. Basically our 2014 couldn’t be better.

With such a fun-loving attitude to your DJ sets, do you have a particular philosophy you abide by?

Hauke: We have only records in the bag we like to dance to, so it’s impossible to stand still and look like those boring laptop DJs. This feedbacks to the crowd and that makes us DJ better.

As notorious crate-diggers, what is your favourite and weirdest record sleeve that stands out?

H: My favourite sleeves are the two Express Rising LPs.

M: Hauke has a record with a picture of Homer Simpson’s head tattooed around a pussy. I always found that one very weird.

Away from the decks and your original material, you’ve put out some great edits over the years. Can you pin-point any edits from others that you wish you’d come up with?

M: Well, I wish that I made I’m God instead of Clams Casino, but that’s not really an edit right? I also wish I could play drums like Al Jackson and rap like MF Doom, but more importantly I need to be those guys’ fanboy. Same goes for Todd Terje, LTJ, Riccio and Nebraska. There’s a lot of guys who know how to craft edits the way I like them.

This one’s for Hauke…have there been any recent releases that you and Quarion wish you’d signed to Retreat?

H: No, because we are not actively looking for new music. There has been a time where every Retreat artist lived in a 800m radius. We would not release music from someone who we don’t have a personal connection with. We received great demos that we declined for that reason, most of them found other good homes.

You’re playing Gottwood Festival for the first time in June. Have you heard any good things about it so far? Is there anyone you’re particularly excited to check out?

M:  Maybe nine years ago, I went to Budapest to look for Hungarian records, stuff to sample from. So I went into this store, lots of records, but no listening stations and a store owner who did not speak English. I started to get really sad when the impossible happened.  DJ Format tapped me on the back and not only offered me to use his portable fisher price turntable as much as I want but also rushed through the store and gave me a big stack of his recommendations. That was one of the happiest moments in my life and I’m very excited to see him again. I doubt that he remembers me though.

Looking forward to the summer, can you predict any tracks that will be taking festivals by storm this year?

M: I’m sure Innervisions and Crosstown Rebels have something up their sleeves.

And finally, do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the summer, in terms of releases and live dates? 

H: Yes, we have many great parties and festivals to look forward to. In particular we cannot wait to be back at Garden Festival and taking Panorama Bar apart with the Oye Records crew.

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