Reeperbahn Festival 2022

These are special times we are living in at the moment. Amidst all the crises, are we ready for an exuberant music festival? Is Europe’s biggest club festival, where the global music industry and fans from all over the world meet, still as good as it was before the pandemic and before Brexit? Can one drift through the numerous clubs and events without hesitation? Or is the festival in danger of becoming a super-spreader event like SXSW last spring?

To be honest, I had my doubts. But after a two-year break, it was about time to see all the friends and colleagues again. The Reeperbahn Festival usually is a great get-together. A good opportunity to make new contacts and get fresh input. And of course, to see live shows by artists you already know and appreciate, but also to discover newbies. So far, the festival has always provided pleasant surprises. What about #RBF 2022?

Naima Bock

Luckily, my train wasn’t running late, so I was able to catch London singer-songwriter Naima Bock, who performed at Festival Village in the early evening on Wednesday. Bock’s debut album „Giant Palm“ is not the usual folk-inspired songwriter affair. It contains expansive arrangements, jazzy moments and, of course, her Brazilian background. Over 30 musicians participated in the recording. Now for the live performance at the Reeperbahn Festival, everything is stripped down. High up on the stage above the counter of the local drinks company „Fritz Limo“ we see Naima Bock with her acoustic guitar, accompanied by violinist Oliver Hamilton. This strange setting alone did not work well with her soul-searching music. Furthermore it is disturbed by heavy beats blaring from the rollerblade disco just a stone’s throw away. The clash of sounds was very unfortunate for the conversational intimacy Naima Bock usually creates. Clearly, she deserves better than that.

Dana Gavanski

Fortunately, Dana Gavanski’s performance later in the evening was booked at a more suitable venue: the hallowed walls of the neoclassic St. Pauli church. Of course, the reverby sound can be quite a challenge for an electrified ensemble, but Gavanski and her band sounded excellent. I would even say it was the perfect ambience for her stunning voice and her idiosyncratic songwriting, which comes across as elegant and tender. And it is palpable, how everyone is enjoying it: how the band easily connects with the audience – smiles are all around. My friend Dino, who’s hearing Gavanski’s music for the very first time mentions the innovative British act Broadcast. If this is an influence, it’s one of many. During the set we get to hear two cover versions: The sentimental The Kinks composition “Strangers” plus King Crimson’s “I Talk To The Wind”. Both tracks fit seamlessly into Gavanski’s own work. The cozy gig ends after midnight and is already my highlight of this year’s Reeperbahn Festival. But there are three more days to go!

This 17th edition of the Reeperbahn Festival is a pioneer in diversity and equality: 50% of the conference panels and 55% of the music line-up are female staffed. And it’s good seeing this positive change – even if the majority of the audience is still old and male, because that’s the music business, right? Anyway, there are 400 shows on and it’s impossible to see everything. Though some artists play two or even three shows. A good way to cope with it all is just to browse through the clubs, to go with the flow. The Reeperbahn Festival has very few established names in the line-up, it’s mainly for discovering new talents. But I have to confess: a lot of them don’t resonate with me. Some are simply trying too hard, others are just uninspired. A lot of it sounds and looks very much like coming straight out of the pop academy, made for the industry.

November Ultra

However, I was very relieved to discover at least one great artist on Thursday who I had never heard of before, but who seemed authentic and played a wonderfully intimate show at the plushy Imperial Theatre. She calls herself November Ultra, is hailing from Paris and sings soothing DIY lullabys with a soft voice and sparse instrumentation. Her performance started with a mini keyboard and from the very first second on, the audience was absolutely captivated by the tender melodies and overflowing emotions. In between songs the French artist was up for lovely banter, she made the audience laugh and animated to sing along. Although November Ultra only works with simple chords, her music came very close to the listener. A feeling that she conveys with her voice alone, so vulnerable and easy to relate to – it left a lasting impression on me and my friends.

Alex Lahey

Next up: Friday: The day-tickets were sold out and I feared that this means long queues outside the venues. The legendary Molotow was actually pretty packed when Alex Lahey played her solid indie-rock set at 5pm in the afternoon. This is the kind of event when you completely forget about time and space and just bob along with music. A lot of hair was shaken, a lot of hands in the air and wild applause when Lahey unexpectedly put away her guitar in exchange for a saxophone. She knew exactly what she was doing and where she was. At the end of the show she says, she loves playing music to people who love music. Adding, that everyone here is working. Well, yes: some of us are. But Alex Lahey made the most of it. Her live set was fun for everyone, working or not.

Kiwi Jr.

Later that night at the Molotow backyard, Kiwi Jr. played their very first show in Germany. I had this band from Toronto on my radar since they released their fantastic debut album “Football Money” in 2019. At first, the band seemed a little irritated, as if they didn’t quite know what to expect. Maybe because they had to take over the stage after an act that appealed to a completely different audience. Well, there was no need to worry about that. Kiwi Jr. had a couple of fans in the crowd happily dancing and singing along to the upbeat jangly indie rock tunes. They were just as fun and infectious as on record.


On the fourth day of the Reeperbahn Festival, a certain concert fatigue often sets in. I went to see a few gigs, but nothing really captivated me. Even so, it’s absolutely fine. I had my highlights with Dana Gavanski, Kiwi Jr. and November Ultra.

Now I’ve been back home for a few days and haven’t heard of a single case of Covid – phew! Brexit wasn’t an issue either, there were many artists from the UK performing in Hamburg. Almost everything was as good as it used to be. I am already looking forward to the sequel #RBF 2023. Early bird tickets are on sale here.

Halbe Sachen

Golden Glades präsentiert ein volles Programm mit halben Sachen. Anlass ist der Jubiläumssampler «Magneto» aus dem Hause Half A Cow Records. Das Label aus Sydney wurde 1990 von Nic Dalton gegründet und sorgt seither für geschmackvollen Gitarrenpop jeglicher Couleur. Der 30. Label-Geburtstag wird mit Beiträgen von Machine Translations, The Wednesday Night und The Hummingbirds gefeiert.

Außerdem im Fokus steht Outsider Orchester-Pop aus Los Angeles von Midnight Sister sowie der so bissige wie schmissige Indierock von Kiwi Jr. aus Toronto. Und – nicht bloß dem Sendungsmotto zuliebe – Half Japanese.

Halbe Sachen war zu hören am Mittwoch, den 27.01.21 – 19:00-21:00 Uhr.
Wdh.: Samstag, 30.01. von 15:00-17:00 Uhr

Stream online here: ByteFM
Berlin: 91.0 MHz // Hamburg: 91.7 MHz

This Is the KitNo Such ThingRough Trade
U.S. HighballThe Yes, The No, The MaybeLame-O Records
The LemonheadsHalf The TimeFire Records
WarmerFishes Swim and Corals GrowHalf A Cow Records
The LemonheadsDawn Can't DecideAtlantic
Machine TranslationsShe Wears A MaskHalf A Cow Records
Jane WeaverHeartlowFire Records
Tim CohenGive Me YoursBobo Integral
Midnight SisterEscalatorsJagjaguwar
Alex IzenbergSaffron GlimpseWeird World
Midnight SisterWednesday BabyJagjaguwar
TomberlinWastedSaddle Creek
Laura FellGladBalloon Machine
Lydia Daher & †bertragerGut und vergeblichKUS
Field MusicOrion From The StreetMemphis Industries
Stoop KidJust Paint Over ItUhmYeahSure Records
Stoop KidBrave Face DaysUhmYeahSure Records
Tele NovellaNeverKill Rock Stars
Half JapaneseUndisputed ChampionsFire Records
The Wednesday NightOne DayHalf A Cow Records
I do You do KarateOlivia Newton-John In XanaduHalf A Cow Records
The HummingbirdsKitchen #2Half A Cow Records
Kiwi Jr.Guilty PartySub Pop
Kiwi Jr.Nashville WeddingSub Pop
Wurld SeriesNap GateMeritorio Records
Soft on CrimeRubyanneEats It Records & Tapes
The SoodsOh, Mersey DaysGTG Records
Frˆnois & The Atlas MountainsHolly GolightlyDomino
Lael NealeBlue VeinSub Pop
The NotwistInto Love / StarsMorr Music


Let these days of magic bring you round
When those waves of sadness wear you down.


Dieses Leitmotto findet sich im Titelstück der Gruppe Snails auf ihrer zweiten Platte «Hard-Wired». Und nicht nur das: Der Sinnspruch ziert auch eine golden-violette Risografie, die dem Snails-Vinyl beigelegt ist, inklusive handschriftlicher Signaturen der fünf Damen und Herren. Auch die Musik ist handgemacht, mit viel Sorgfalt und Hingabe produziert. So entstanden zeitlose Hymnen, die in aller Zartheit eine deutlich private Befindlichkeit zur Schau stellen.

Eine ebenso privatpolitisch aus der Hüfte geschossene Mischung aus Punk und Twee-Pop offerieren uns Milky Wimpshake aus Newcastle. «Confessions Of An English Marxist» lautet der Titel ihres neuen Albums: Es geht darauf um Klassenkampf und den Brexit. Aber auch romantische Themen werden von Milky Wimpshake unterhaltsam rumpelig abgehandelt.

Ganz alte Hasen sind The Hepburns aus Wales. Die bereits seit 1985 musizierende Band widmete ihr neues Album «Electric Lliedi Land« dem Heimatort Llanelli. Ganze 18 Geschichten aus der Walisischen Küstenstadt gibt es zu hören – mal als Spoken Word-Anekdote, dann wieder im Songformat, aber immer dicht dem perfekten Pop auf der Spur.

Kurzum: Diese Golden Glades-Ausgabe bietet allerhand Musik, die nicht nur gefallen möchte, sondern auch etwas auf dem Herzen hat. Owen Duff, Kiwi Jr. und Birdspotter sind ebenfalls in diesem Sinne dabei.

Befindlichkeiten war zu hören am Mittwoch, den 21.10.20 – 19:00-21:00 Uhr.
Wdh.: Samstag, 24.10. von 15:00-17:00 Uhr

Stream online here: ByteFM
Berlin: 91.0 MHz // Hamburg: 91.7 MHz


SmokescreensFork In the RoadSlumberland
EzratDistortionsBobo Integral
Milky WimpshakeYou Make a Nice Piece of ArtBobo Integral
Milky WimpshakeWelcome To Fascist BritainBobo Integral
BirdspotterWaterZ Tapes
Kiwi Jr.Undecided VotersSub Pop
Owen DuffGenet On Uranusself-released
Owen PallettFire-MareDomino
The ClienteleOrpheus BeachMerge
Theatre RoyalKasherVacilando '68 Recordings
Jenny O.What About That DayMama Bird Recording
Hello ForeverSome FaithRough Trade
SupercrushWhen I'm GoneDon Giovanni Records
BlakePepper ManSubjangle
BlakeSee How The Children PlaySubjangle
Laura VeirsAnother Space And TimeBella Union
Leah SeniorBug In A BathFlightless
GirlatonesI'd Invite
Exploding FlowersTiming Is EverythingThe Beautiful Music
SnailsMy Eyes Are OpenGlass Modern
SnailsWe'll Get ThereGlass Modern
The Reds, Pinks And PurplesForgotten NamesTough Love
Mike GalePastel Coloured
Odessey & OracleLes EnfantsAnother Record/Dur et Doux
Ben EdgeNew TraditionGlass Modern
Swansea SoundCorporate Indie BandLavender Sweep
European SunMy Friend RobinWIAIWYA
mylittlebrotherHowlBig Stir
The HepburnsIn The
The HepburnsMichle Wright (spoken word track)
fanclubwalletCar Crash in G
Julia Jacklinto Perth, before the border closesSub Pop
Peter BroderickStop And ListenErased Tapes

Best Of 2019

Is it too late for a roundup of my favourite albums of 2019? I’m actually glad I waited so long, because a very good album from last year only recently came on to my radar.

Here’s my selection of records I highly recommend listening to, if you don’t already know them.

Tandem Felix: Rom-Com

While everyone kept raving about the latest Wilco release Ode To Joy, I’d like to make sure, this sort of like-minded band from Dublin gets some attention: Tandem Felix is the project of David Tapley, a subtle singer-/songwriter who is giving insights into his and other people’s life. It’s kind of downhearted but witty, filled with splendid melodies and a quality of mellow comfort. In-between showing moments of a slacker attitude and some psycherock tendency with the song “Oil Money”. Surprisingly, Rom-Com is a debut full-length. You wouldn’t expect that, because it shows a very fine and thought through production. The arrangements are meticulous and the song collection is cohesive. And most of all: I can listen to it every day without getting tired of it. Also, worth mentioning is the well-chosen artwork by French surrealist Guy Billout. It perfectly reflects the oeuvre of Tandem Felix.

Vanishing Twin: The Age Of Immunology

Well known for their lead single “Magician’s Success” which comes with a space pop vibe à la Stereolab meets Broadcast, Vanishing Twin have way more to offer. Seeing the band live in early December 2019 in Hamburg was mind-blowing. Percussionist Valentina Magaletti impressed with a versatile playing and obviously enjoyed keeping the group together with her jazzy shuffles, shouting commands to her three international colleagues on bass, guitar and vintage keys. Vanishing Twin are a genre bending affair and nothing like the usual indie outfit. They are modern visionaries taking a different approach in every track: old film scores, psychedelic krautrock, melodic art pop and jazzy soundscapes. The Age Of Immunology takes the listener on to an exciting adventure.

Cate Le Bon: Reward

I always liked Cate Le Bon. Her songs sometimes are kind of strange – but in a beautiful, haunting way. And after all these years, the Nico comparison still lingers on. Not only the light and dark tone of Le Bon’s voice and her Welsh accent reminds of the German singer, it’s also embodied in the artistic self-image. With a credo like: show courage and never confine your sound and vision. The music on Reward isn’t trying to please the mainstream, it’s experimental and playful. But there’s also a pop- and folk-feel and there’s always a connection between the composition and the emotion. It’s open-minded and passionate and with this combination, Cate Le Bon creates songs that sound like nothing else. She’s also an awe-inspiring producer and responsible for the slick production of Deerhunter’s latest album Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? It was a pretty good year for Cate Le Bon and she’s definitely one of the most exciting artists of 2019.

Doug Tuttle: Dream Road

I fell in love with Doug Tuttle’s songwriting a few years back when he started with his psychedelic band project Mmoss. But then he started recording songs alone in his bedroom studio and he got better with every release. On his fourth solo album Dream Road, multi-instrumentalist Tuttle perfected his elegant nostalgia-soaked sound. His vocals are quite hazy, but with full of emotive lyrical content. And although this downer pop moves into delicate grounds, it’s soothing and hopeful. The fragile harmonies are hypnotic, deep and warm. Doug Tuttle’s songwriting recalls all the lost good moments of late 60s and early 70s pop with a haunting touch of psyche and Americana. I have found myself returning to this beautiful record a lot last year and it keeps on spinning on my turntable.

Kiwi jr: Football Money

This fantastic record was released in March 2019 and re-released earlier this year on a label from Leipzig (Germany) called Persona Non Grata – I still remember Persona Non Grata from the 90s, when they started out as a low-key Fanzine, covering all the Indie rock bands I was into at that time. And here’s the thing: Kiwi jr from Canada just as well could have been your favourite act from the 90s. Every track on Football Money sounds familiar: there are jangly guitars and beatific melodies. Catchy hooks and choruses to sing along are combined with a great sense of humour. It’s this kind of nonchalance we fell in love with listening to Orange Juice or Pavement. A ferocious feel-good energy is running through the veins of this debut album. It’s astute and not too calculating in referring to all the familiar sounds. It’s fun! And I hope there’s more to come from Kiwi jr.

Further records I really enjoyed in 2019:

Pernice Brothers: Spread The Feeling

Lens Mozer: Don’t Stop

Max Gowan: Bygones 

Sunbeam Sound Machine: Goodness Gracious 

Froth: Duress

2019 was a pretty decent year for music and it looks like 2020 is going to be a good one too! Stay tuned…


Mit seiner neuen Platte The Neon Skyline knüpft Andy Shauf nahtlos an sein vorheriges Werk The Party an. Wieder haben wir es mit einem schüchternen Erzähler zu tun, der uns einen ganzen Tag lang mit durch sein Leben nimmt. Diesmal dreht sich alles um das Diner „Skyline“ im Szeneviertel Parkdale am Ufer des Lake Ontario, wo man sich trifft und trinkt. Wir lernen Shaufs Freundeskreis kennen, Charlie, Claire und die Barfrau Rose. Das Epizentrum der Konzeptplatte bildet ex-Freundin Judy. Sie ist es auch, die im Protagonisten die titelgebenden Nostalgiewellen auslöst. The Neon Skyline ist ein filmisches Spiel um Fakt und Fiktion. Die Bar gibt es wirklich, und Andy Shauf ist dort offenbar Stammkunde…

Für weitere Nostalgiewellen sorgen Dropkicks lupenreiner Schottenpop auf ihrem neuen Langspielwerk The Scenic Route sowie die Harmonieseligkeit von The Late Pioneers.

Diese Sendung war zu hören am Mittwoch, den 12.02.20 – 20:00-22:00 Uhr.
Wdh.: Samstag, 15.02. von 15:00-17:00 Uhr

Stream online here: ByteFM
Berlin: 91.0 MHz // Hamburg: 91.7 MHz


Remington Super 60The Highway AgainCafe Superstar / Z Tapes
Tom ChristieEveryone Wants the Same
Birgitta AlidaPastBlanca Records
YaehsunShow Me How to Loveself-released
Andy ShaufNeon SkylineAnti
Andy ShaufLiving RoomAnti
Dana GavanskiGood Instead of BadFull Time Hobby
LAKEMy Time, Your TimeHuman Sounds
DropkickA Matter of TimeBobo Integral
DropkickI'm Over You, GoodbyeBobo Integral
Pocket KnifeKick You In The FaceOlive Grove
Young Marble GiantsColossal YouthDomino
OKAY KAYAAscend and Try AgainJagjaguwar
The SufisCan't Go ThereBurger Records
Little FellowWave Of NostalgiaRed Brick Chapel
Cherry ParkeAll Around the
Alexandra SaviorThe Phantom30th Century Records
A Girl Called EddyBeen AroundElefant
Nap EyesMark ZuckerbergJagjaguwar
Pia FrausLove SportsSeksound / Vinyl Junkie
Pony del SolVille
Basic PlumbingKeeping Up AppearancesBasic Plumbing Records
Kiwi jr.LeslieMint Rec.
NutrientsAlways In BloomEarth Libraries
The Late PioneersLet Me Tell You How It HurtsSubjangle
The Late PioneersLeaving TodaySubjangle
Peel Dream MagazineNoveltyTough Love
HanemoonSunday AfternoonJigsaw
Graf Tati & Les AllesLeben kšnntetic trafic
The Highest SeaDreaming AwakeDuchess Box Records
The Innocence MissionI Would Be ThereBella Union
Isobel CampbellVulturesCooking Vinyl
The SaxophonesLamplighterFull Time Hobby

LOVING, Guz & One Of A Million

Der Indie-Sound der Stunde kommt (mal wieder) aus Kanada: Football Money von Kiwi jr ist ein nonchalantes Kleinod. Auch LOVINGs Zweitling If I Am Only My Thoughts hat es in sich: Der streichelzarte Pop des Trios klingt leicht und fluffig, offenbart aber mit der Zeit raffinierte Arrangements und tiefgründige Lyrics.

Desweiteren soll von einem in vielerlei Hinsicht vorbildlichen Musikfestival die Rede sein: Die 10. Ausgabe des One Of A Million findet vom 31.1. bis 08.02.2020 in Baden (CH) statt. Das feine Clubfestival hat ein hervorragendes und gut durchmischtes Line-Up, u.a. mit Common Holly, Mikal Cronin und Shannon Lay.

Zudem gilt es, sich von Olifr M. Guz (Die Aeronauten) zu verabschieden, der vorige Woche einem Herzleiden erlag. Wir werden ihn vermissen und wollen daran erinnern, welch legendäre Songs er hinterlässt. Auf dem beistehenden Foto sieht man Guz mitsamt Frau Zettpunkt auf gemeinsamer Tournee ihrer Bands im März 1995.

Diese Sendung war zu hören am Mittwoch, den 29.01.20 – 20:00-22:00 Uhr.
Wdh.: Samstag, 01.02. von 15:00-17:00 Uhr

Stream online here: ByteFM
Berlin: 91.0 MHz // Hamburg: 91.7 MHz


Stephen MalkmusXian ManDomino
Anna BurchNot So BadHeavenly
Kiwi jrSalary ManMint Rec.
Kiwi jrSwimming PoolMint Rec.
The Stars Of HeavenLittle EnglandRough Trade
Aoife Nessa FrancesLibraMelodic
Shannon LayDeath Up CloseSub Pop
Common HollyYou DanceBarsuk
Mikal CroninOn The ShelfMerge
Fake IndiansCheyenneGazer Tapes
LOVINGVisionsLast Gang Records
LOVINGNihilist Kite FlyerLast Gang Records
The Innocence MissionOn Your SideBella Union
Van der BrŸggeGeckoHand 11
Pia FrausHidden ParksSeksound / Vinyl Junkie
Ian BroudieSong for No OneNeedle Mythology
MushRevising My FeeMemphis Industries
OKAY KAYAPsych WardJagjaguwar
Field MusicBest Kept GardenMemphis Industries
Field MusicA Change of HeirMemphis Industries
Mike GaleLet It
Real EstatePaper CupDomino
Tom ChristieThinking of
The FlaviansEloiseAWAL
The Nature CentreShip (not)
The Nature
Die AeronautenFreundinL'Age D'Or
Die AeronautenDu Bist Nicht AlleinL'Age D'Or
The Umbrella PuzzlesAs Simple As ThatSubjangle
Sandy RealmsEnded
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