Now in their tenth year of DJing and producing together, Session Victim started releasing music when the opinion was firmly stacked that vinyl was dying and embracing digital was the only way to sustain a career as a producer. Having both been able to give up their day jobs somewhere along the way, their formula, based on a solid foundation of friendship, is proof that if you’re making music for the genuine love of the process, it’s possible to go against the grain, stick to your principles and still win out.
With a record collection covering several decades of hip hop, funk, disco and soul and as well as countless house and techno records, 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. 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, weaving magic dance floor moments, stamping their wild personalities on every performance and leaving a trail of smiling faces in their path.
It is our honor to have the duo back at Elsewhere for an exclusive DJ set, rounding out a special Halloween weekend with friends and fam. Dig into an hour of gems and make sure to grab tickets early!
Last time Session Victim came through Elsewhere, it was a party for the 5-year anniversary of Razor N Tape. When did you first meet Aaron and Jason, and how did the night go down for you?
Matthias: We met the boys for the first time when we played together at Good Room in 2016 and have been in contact ever since, as there was a good vibe between us right from the start. JKriv and I have a lot of similarities in our musical upbringing, so there’s never any shortage of nerdy topics like early 90’s hardcore records or shows to talk and laugh about.
Hauke: The party was great fun. Certainly tried to make use of that huge stage. We improvised a bit more during our live show, feeling the connection with the audience. The sound system is sounding dope and the room itself has a nice vibe.
You’ve recently remixed one of KiNK’s seminal tracks, “Leko” out originally via the Croatia-based Burek label and now re-released alongside others like Rachel Row, and KiNK himself. How did this come about? What was the remix session like, and how do you feel about the result and reception?
Matthias: We’ve known Mario Pytzek from Burek for years now and have had many good times together playing and dancing. When he asked us to do the remix, we really did not have to think twice, as we always loved the original and had been playing it many times in our DJ sets.
The session turned out lots of fun and fairly easy, as we knew from the start, which direction we wanted to take it. The reception surprised us a bit, suddenly seeing clips of people like Josh Wink playing it out and so many people writing us about it. We’re very happy with it obviously.
You’ve also started a new label, Pen & Paper to publish new Session Victim tunes as well as remixes from friends like Vril, and Iron Curtis. Had plans for a new label been in the works for a while? What is the ethos behind this new imprint and where do you hope to take it going forward?
Hauke: During 2017 when our LP “Listen To Your Heart” got released, we had already written several new songs. The label really was born out of the necessity to make a home for those tunes. After brainstorming for a while, of whom to send some music, we always gravitated back to the idea of being in full control. The label is centered around our output, but if a friend gives us something irresistible, we will definitely release that too.
What else have you both been up to since being back home in Germany?
Hauke: We spend lots of time rehearsing with our three-man band, which includes the German keyboard wizard Erobique. We’re writing lots of original material for this and we both learned a great deal working under these more band-like conditions. The debut show at Jazzcafe was a really memorable experience, playing with a new setup to a packed out spot and taking the roof off, that was something I certainly did not expect. Besides, we are playing solo shows on the weekends and trying to hit the studio as much as possible.
Matthias: Also, we have been working on our solo records for Pen & Paper, a new Delusions EP and a few remixes that will all be out soon.
Tell us a little about the mix you’ve made for us. Where was it made, and are there any standout tracks for you?
Hauke: We met one afternoon at my place in Berlin and threw some records together. After more sessions to distill and find a good balance between the different styles and keeping the flow, we recorded the mix using just two Technics and a mixer. Some recent breakbeat influenced stuff found its way into our bags and into this mix, as well as some records we’ve had for 15 years or so and we even added some marimbas and steel drum tunes.
We included my upcoming Pen&Paper EP and a dubplate of the incredible Sven Weisemann remix for a song we produced together with Nebraska at our studio in Hamburg.
What else have you been listening to recently for inspiration?
Matthias: The last Evidence album has been on my record player a lot lately, also Cannonball Adderley, Roc Marciano and that fantastic Nino Ferrer album, Nino and Radiah. I was so happy to finally get my hands on an original copy of that last one about three months ago and just saw the repress arriving at my store in Hamburg today.
Hauke: Pan Amsterdam LP, Nu Guinea – Nuova Napoli, Express Rising albums, Broke One, Pat Metheny and Melba Moore.