As a DJ and curator who thrives on the heartbeat of the dance floor, and as a blogger constantly tuned into the pulse of the music industry, I have witnessed a multitude of soundscapes that promise to transport the listener to another dimension. Today, I’m delving into an album that accomplishes just that, with an effortless grace that’s become rare in our hyper-digitized world. Session Victim’s fifth studio album, ‘Low Key, Low Pressure’, released under the evocative Night Time Stories label, is a blissful anathema to the pulsating rush of contemporary rhythms.
A rhythmic retreat from the world’s rush.
From the outset, the album signals a departure from the relentless pace that defines much of modern life. Following two dancefloor-dominating 12″ releases, Hauke and Matthias have dialed back, inviting us into a space that feels secluded, almost sanctified. As I played the vinyl, the weight of the record in my hands felt like a portal to their world, this isn’t just an album; it’s an invitation to be part of something akin to a jam session between old friends.
The intuitive process behind the album.
“The music was playing us – we just pressed record,” say the duo, and you can feel it. The pandemic may have spurred them to produce dance tracks, but it’s the aftermath, the introspection and the craving for calm, that has shaped this creation. There is no forcing, no deliberate shaping of sound to meet a preconceived idea. The tracks on ‘Low Key, Low Pressure’ are born from a pure state of flow, from needle drops that inspire and synthesizer jams that lead to unexpected aural territories.
Track-by-Track Journey into ‘Low Key, Low Pressure.
The album unfolds over ten tracks, with a special nod to collectors through a limited bonus 7″ featuring two extra tunes. Each piece is quintessentially Session Victim, bearing the imprint of their hands-on approach to music-making. Yet, the inclusion of Carsten ‘Erobique’ Meyer on ‘Soft Landing’ adds a texture that feels like a precious find in a crate-digging session, an auditory treasure that’s both rare and intimately familiar.
One of the standout tracks, ‘Jazzbeat 08’, serves as a continuation from their 2020 album ‘Needledrop’, echoing a tradition but also marking an evolution. It’s a testament to Session Victim’s ability to build upon their foundations while still pushing the envelope. Their take on Instra:mental’s ‘Photograph’ is respectful yet inventive, a tightrope walk between homage and originality, with field recordings from their Neukölln neighborhood adding a grounded, raw authenticity.
The music was playing us – we just pressed record.
Visual artistry: The album cover.
The storytelling extends beyond the music. The album’s artwork, created by Xavier d’espinay Saint Luc, encapsulates the auditory experience with visual poetry. I can’t help but smile, thinking about Hauke and Matthias reaching out to the now-octogenarian creators of Bo Hansson’s album covers, and finding a serendipitous connection with Saint Luc.
The vinyl experience.
This album, with its pristine drum chops and hazy melodies, invites you to zoom in on the minutiae of sound or to simply zone out and let the textures wash over you. As a DJ, I often look for tracks that will move the crowd, but ‘Low Key, Low Pressure’ moves something else, the soul. It’s a reminder of the days spent lost in the rhythmic weaving of beats and life, and the nights when the music spoke, and we all listened deeply.
I urge you, whether you’re a longtime fan of Session Victim or a newcomer to their sound, to experience ‘Low Key, Low Pressure’. Allow it to play you as much as you play it. And if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself returning to it, seeking solace in its grooves and finding new details in its depths with every listen.
My end conclusion: More than just music.
As I sign off this review and the hypnotic beats begin to fade from my speakers, I feel compelled to not just carry the memory of ‘low key, low pressure’ with me, but to also extend an invitation to you, my fellow audiophiles. Immerse yourself in the world that Hauke and Matthias have crafted with such dedication and soul. It’s more than just an album, it’s a sonic journey meant to be experienced fully.
So, before you move on to your next task, take a moment to explore the soundscapes of Session Victim. Whether you’re behind the decks, in the studio, or simply needing an escape from the day’s pressures, let this album play its tranquil tunes for you. Head over to Session Victim’s ‘Low Key, Low Pressure’ and let the music envelop you in its warm embrace.
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