Session Victim - Listen To Your Heart

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  • One of the best things about sleeping, aside from preserving one's mental and physical well-being, is dreaming. But here's the thing about dreams: even the most exquisite ones soon recede into the ether. That feeling defines Listen To Your Heart, the latest album from Hauke Freer and Matthias Reiling, AKA Session Victim. It's an album aglow with pleasure, but the kind that fades over time. Freer and Reiling have been perfecting their melodic sample- and loop-based house for a decade. Part of their appeal is the tonal richness of their music. Moreso than its predecessor, 2014's See You When You Get There, Listen To Your Heart has a lush undercurrent, enhanced by tasteful live instrumentation. It's a smooth ride from the get-go: keyboards and guitar licks blend seamlessly on opener "Over And Over," with its shimmering four-chord progression. "Moons And Flowers" lays a chorus of coos over dusky pianos and a descending bassline to melancholic effect. The swooning "Matching Half" makes a wall of sound out of soaring strings and sparkling keys. Session Victim have a knack for earworm samples. The disco orchestra thrusts and yearning vocal samples of "Shadows," punctuated by jazzy guitar riffs and sax, are a joy. So is "Bring It Back," which lays soulful vocal samples over a fractured synth pattern and tuned percussion. The effect recalls Trus'me's boogie-sampling Working Night$, but with a bit more emotional pull. When you're drenched in this kind of glitterball radiance, though, it's hard for anything to stand out. Listen To Your Heart, bathed in a hazy reverie, has no serrated edges. Everything is buffed to a sonorous sheen. Tunes like the swirling downtempo cut "Unchained," the Sunburst Band-esque "Almost Midnight" and album closer "Thermal Explorer" glide effortlessly along. They might make the spine tingle, but they won't make the heart race. For the most part, it won't make the feet stomp, either. But that's okay—these songs aren't designed for peak-time play. Perhaps they're not made for the club at all. This is house music for lazy Sunday afternoons spent drinking wine and reminiscing with a few friends. Listen To Your Heart is the sound of Freer and Reiling trying to reach their idea of disco nirvana. They're getting close.
  • Tracklist
      01. Over And Over 02. Bring It Back 03. Moons And Flowers 04. The Hatch 05. Shadows 06. Matching Half 07. Unchained 08. If We Can Make It Here 09. Almost Midnight 10. Castle For Sale 11. Up To Rise (LP Mix) 12. Head Over Heels 13. Thermal Explorer