Session Victim’s music has always hewed towards the core conceits of sample-based house music, embracing an analog hardware approach to sketching out their visions, and it’s been enormously successful. By following their instincts without wavering, the duo have become trailblazers, elevating their peers in the process. They got picked up by Jimpster’s Delusions of Grandeur, where their albums have since made a home.
The duo’s first LP, 2012’s The Haunted House of House, set a tone for all their work to come, where each track built towards the larger story yet carried a life of its own. That significance translated into global set play from DJs across the spectrum, with recent support from Andhim, Bonobo, Moon Boots, Riva Starr, Mark Knight, Bob Moses, Wankelmut, Seth Troxler — and the list goes on and on. They followed that album up with 2014’s See You When You Get Here: songs from both of those LPs, like “Good Intentions” and “Hyuwee”, have seen continual remix revivals to keep them fresh on the dance floor while the people await what’s next.
That wait has thankfully come to an end: on June 9, Session Victim drops their third album with Delusions of Grandeur, Listen To Your Heart. The album shows the duo’s deft range, from the searing chutzpah of “Bring It Back” to its blissed-out back half led by “Almost Midnight” and “Castle for Sale”. Some of the songs, like “Unchained”, even work as score: while playing around with the tunes, I dubbed “The Hatch” into The Matrix‘s office escape scene, and it fit perfectly!
That said, the song that immediately stuck out for a premiere in my eyes was “Shadows”. The sample at its core is heartfelt and cutting, its backing track is as jazzy as Session Victim gets, and then it all resolves into a euphoric escalator of rhythm, melody, and love, riding out the world with glee. When you’re a standout track on an album of standouts, that really says something: I’ve got a feeling this one could be timeless. But really, the whole album will be.
Beyond their work as Session Victim, each of the duo’s members has also established their own unique pedigrees as individual musicians. Hauke Freer, one-half of Session Victim, runs the vinyl-only Retreat label alongside Quavion, which has featured releases from artists like Iron Curtis, Jamie Lloyd, and Hunee. The other, Matthias Reiling, has made a number of exploratory solo releases on Weimar’s Giegling label. Now that they’ve come together for a third Session Victim bout, though, I hope they decide to play this album out live, and also bring it stateside.
Listen To Your Heart is out June 9 via Delusions of Grandeur.