If you’ve spent any amount of time collecting records you know how addicting of a hobby it can become. Aside from the joy that records bring, I find myself drawn to the culture that surround them. From digging with friends to record release parties and visiting new shops to becoming a local at an old favorite, this is one of the things that makes me tick.
Last week I was fortunate enough to find myself taking a stroll through La Source in Paris, the official home of Smallville Records in France. Not only was the staff super welcoming (whaddup Jacques!) but the bins were extremely well curated and I walked away with a stock of new finds and long sought after 12″s.
Among this week’s finds was Treats Vol. 4 from Retreat Records, a missing number from a catalog I’ve been actively seeking to own the entirety of. Started by Session Victim’s Hauke Freer and Yanneck Salvo aka Quarion, Retreat has been churning out funky, sample heavy cuts since 2009. After getting over the initial surprise of seeing this one in the wild, I immediately put it in my “coming home” pile.
Part of the Treats series, RTR-11 is a lovely three-tracker with contributions from Session Victim, The Hints, Iron Curtis & Leaves. Opening up this record and taking the entirety of the A-side is my pick of the release – a rare cover of an already iconic house cut – “Harlequin” by Roostrax. Already a massive fan of the original, I couldn’t pass this one up. It’s all about that bassline and this one nails it with Session Victim’s signature live bass. As much jam band as it is floor-filling house it won’t be leaving my bag any time soon. On the flip side you’ve got “Downtown”, a slow but chugging bass-driven number from The Hints (Quarion & Jules Etienne). The addition of some wonky chords here makes this one quite fun. While it sits at a low 110 BPM, something tells me speeding this one up would get people moving.
Lastly, B2 comes from Iron Curtis & Leaves with the chilled out Rhodes-led “A&F”. I’m a total sucker for nice sounding hi-hats and the texture of this is right up my alley. If that wasn’t enough, the way they’ve played with the timing on the third beat gives it a certain stutter-step depth that adds enough character to get behind.
Flipping through my record bag on any given day you’re bound to find at least two records from the Retreat catalog. If you’d like to track down a few of your own, you can buy direct from their site, retreat-vinyl.de or find the rest on Discogs.
Wax Runoff is a weekly feature that will showcase new finds and crate favorites. Colin Boardway, formerly of Chicago, is now based in Greece as the label manager for Yoruba Records. He has spent the last 10 years developing his sound by digging deep in the bins wherever records are sold.