I honestly couldn’t believe my ears when I discovered that this great artist called Balduin is hailing from Bern (Switzerland) – what a pleasant surprise! Fact is, I live in this city for almost 10 years now and I always had to struggle with the local scene, which seemed to be different and difficult for me on all terms. Eventually I made my peace, thinking there’s nothing to expect from this city music wise… But then I heard the songs from Balduin and his second album All In A Dream (2014) which left me relieved and excited at once.

The one-man-orchestra of Balduin shows a great sensibility for shimmering 60ties pop and psychedelia. And I can tell you: he gets better with every release! His third long player Bohemian Garden was just released and the first minutes are like a clear statement: Balduin wasn’t made for these times and his music wasn’t made for the small world of Switzerland.

Between sophisticated baroque pop arrangements, where vibraphone meets analog synth tunes, there’s a colourful cosmos to discover. Some of the tracks achieve a cinematic quality from the likes of Morricone or Theodorakis, taking you on a trip with compelling sounds and melodies. Listening to A Song For The Moon makes you think that Syd Barrett joined The Beatles for an unreleased hit single. All this sounds unique, although the aesthetic is very specific and some influence easy to pinpoint. Because Balduin makes sure, that his music takes a playful approach, that it’s resolving in some unexpected turns and vibes. The effect is simply highly enjoyable and worthwhile.

Minta & The Brook Trout

It’s a rare treat, but sometimes it happens: you hear a tune and suddenly it’s holding you spellbound. You’re captured by a voice or melody, trapped in a special sound or mood. I experienced such a moment when I discovered Minta & The Brook Trout.

The project from Lisbon (Portugal) started out in 2006 as an outlet for singer-/songwriter Francisca Cortesão’s home recordings and developed into a five-piece band. Earlier this year they released their third longplayer Slow which offers folk-inspired indiepop with a mesmerizing and intimate quality. It’s easy to get lost in the graceful arrangements with double tracked harmonies and the soothing timbre of Francisca. I could add a lot more attributes here, but really: just give it a listen and you’ll start to understand why the music of Minta & The Brook Trout is a splendid thing.


I always keep my ears open and try to discover new fresh sounds. This compilation is kind of perfect: it’s variegated and full of good material. It’s not called HPSTR GEMS for no reason! Responsible for this and other great releases is the DIY label Spirit Goth from Los Angeles. There’s lots of great stuff worth checking out. What are you waiting for?

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