The Reeperbahn Fest strikes again

The Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg has grown up fast and just celebrated its 18th anniversary at the end of September. Around 49.000 attendees took over my old neighborhood St. Pauli in search for networking events and to celebrate fresh talents. Once again, the festival presented an ambitious program and tried to explore important topics like sustainability and diversity, AI and parenthood in music. And yes, it’s true: navigating the sheer number of events and showcases can be a little overwhelming. But there’s never anything wrong with just going with the flow.

During the four days and nights of the festival, I mingled with international colleagues and had many interesting talks to old and new friends. And of course, I saw all sorts of showcases. Here’s a handy round-up of the best of them:

Zaho de Sagazan @ Nochtspeicher

The first pleasant surprise was the French shooting star Zaho de Sagazan. Her music is a hybrid of soulful nouvelle chanson and dark electronic pop. As I already heard her debut album „La symphonie des Éclairs“, I was curious to see how the young artist would translate this on stage. It was simple, but effective: while in the back two guys each enthusiastically turned the knobs of cabinet-like modular synthesizers, the 23-year-old artist swept across the plain stage in normal everyday clothes. Her announcements in English were absolutely charming and within no time the club was fidgeting and sweating. A great performance by Zaho de Sagazan, even for people like me who don’t particularly like dirty techno beats.

Noth @ Hamburg Haus / Grüner Jäger

Clever and witty German lyrics, a foot-tapping rhythm and jazzy arrangements is the package I received from Noth playing a tiny place upstairs of Grüner Jäger. The stage was way too small for the six-piece ensemble, well equipped with saxophones and flute. There’s something special about this band, not only because of the great musicianship. Although Linus Kleinlosen and Luis Schwamm are from different cities, they collaborate on all songs and lyrics. They filled the room with a wide musical range, rooted in jazz, avant pop and in crisp indie rock – and every nuance sounded great. I would like to see Noth get a bit more recognition (at least in the German-speaking world) abecause they have already released two fabulous records. Well, my old colleague Carol v. Rautenkranz of L’Age D’Or fame stood next to me during the whole live set. And I can tell you: he was sceptical at first, but quite impressed in the end. No doubt, Carol still knows what is good.

The Bug Club @ Molotow Backyard

It was a huge disappointment that the Canadian songwriter Julie Doiron had to cancel her shows on the Reeperbahn Festival due to personal matters. But her slot was taken over by a fabulous three-piece from Wales: The Bug Club play catchy songs with so much verve and fun that it’s hard not to fall for their infectious harmonies from the start. Two-minute pop hits like „Little Coy Space Boy“ set the bar, new songs from the upcoming double LP were also included in the setlist, all in the not too busy backyard of the famous Molotow club. Dressed in 80s jeans and white T-shirts, the power trio played on with irrepressible energy, driving and dizzying. Drummer Dan Matthew wiggled his head like Ringo Starr while bassist Tilly Harris pulled some moves as if she was playing with AC/DC. And guitarist Sam Willmett showed some incredible work on the fretboard. Like fast and crazy country licks that I can’t quite put my finger on. Definitely something you don’t hear very often in modern day indie rock.

Vanity Mirror  @ Nochtwache

In the 19th century, the unique red bricks housed a schnapps distillery. Today, the vaulted cellar called Nochtwache is a popular venue and served as the stage for the festivals best-kept secret: Vanity Mirror have released the fantastic debut album “Puff” and they wear their influences on their sleeves. The band consists of singer and songwriter Brent Randall hailing from Toronto and drummer Johnny Toomey, who lives in LA. In tow they had two guest musicians who stepped in with style on bass and analog keys. And immediately I felt transported back into the late 60’s. Not only because Vanity Mirror create perfect pop in the vain of the Kinks or Emitt Rhodes. From using vintage equipment to wearing original outfits from the 60’s, every detail seemed authentic. The venue was dark and slightly too warm, and it could have been a brilliant show, if only the sound would have been less muddy. But no matter, Johnny kept twirling his drum sticks and Brent casually chewed his gum, while Vanity Mirror delivered an impeccable performance. Another hit from their other group Electric Looking Glass rounded off the set – and I was more than satisfied.

Although the Reeperbahn Festival is a great spot for discovering the next big thing, there’s also space for a couple of well-known names: Chrissy Hynde was in town and performed with The Pretenders. Arab Strap played a stripped down, but solid showcase as a two-piece with material from the old “Philiphobia” days. And then there was Billy Bragg.

Billy Bragg @ Große Freiheit

I’ve never considered myself a fan of Billy Bragg and would probably have missed this wonderful show full of inspiration, solidarity, laughter and great songs if my dear colleague Alice hadn’t been so keen to go. (By the way: Alice is well known for her hand-picked radio shows “Off Beat” on and “Kaleidoskop” on ByteFM and I can only recommend her detailed recap of the festival here). We both agreed, that Billy Bragg has aged well. It’s hard to believe he’s 65, as he has the energy and enthusiasm of a young person. His career is built on the foundation of being a protest singer for the working class – and he still has a lot to say. He is absolutely on top of his game, talking about trans rights and the Nazis in suits (referring to the German right-wing Party AfD). And yes, it sounded like a sermon when he spoke about his activism and the power of music: “Maybe it can’t change the world, but it has the power to make you think that change is possible.”.

Braggs setlist was mostly focused on welcome classics and the night was closed with one of his biggest hits “A New England”, which got the enthusiastic festival audience singing along.

This Is The Kit @ St. Michaelis

One of the best things about this club festival is that alternative spaces open their doors to host different showcases. For me, the grand finale of the four-day festival was This Is The Kit in Hamburg’s St. Michaelis Church on Saturday evening. The building is considered one of the most beautiful Hanseatic Protestant baroque churches and has 2500 seats. Not all of them were occupied when This Is The Kit played their set with a full band. What is immediately noticeable is the enormous delay in the sound. Even normal speech is difficult to manage in such a space. Paris-based bandleader Kate Stables was keen to play it safe and chose some quieter songs for the setlist. And although the intimacy suffered and was lost in the large building, the magic of Stables‘ swirling vocal melodies won the hearts of everyone present. At the latest shortly before midnight, when the audience sang along a mantra-like „be okay“ to the song „Dibs“, the warm feeling of good company and community came up. What a perfect ending for the second post-pandemic year of the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg.

Gebeutelte Seele, heiterer Klang

Traurigkeit und Verzweiflung in fast allen Songs: Da fließen dienstags Tränen, da wird im Pool geweint, und sogar einen Selbstmord gibt es zu beklagen. «Alles ist vergänglich» singt die Gruppe Noth aus Hamburg, «Tired Of Being Alone» klagen die Lieblingsschotten Teenage Fanclub und The High Water Marks berichten über «Trouble From The East». Aber keine Sorge: Mögen die textlichen Themen auch noch so düster sein – die Musik in der heutigen Sendung zeichnet zumeist ein ganz anderes Bild.

Gebeutelte Seele, heiterer Klang war zu hören am Mittwoch, den 09.08.23 – 17:00-19:00 Uhr. Wdh.: Donnerstag, 10.08. von 7:00-9:00 Uhr und Samstag, 12.08. von 15:00-17:00 Uhr

Stream online here: ByteFM
Hamburg UKW: 91,7 & 104,0 MHz & DAB+
Berlin DAB+: Kanal 7B

West Coast Pop Art Experimental BandShifting Sands Reprise Recordings
Jenny Owen YoungsAvalancheNext Door Records
This Is the KitStuck in a RoomRough Trade
MotherhoodWanderingForward Music Group
Teenge FanclubTired Of Being AlonePeMa
NothAlles ist vergŠnglichBackseat
Au Revoir SimoneSad SongMoshi Moshi
Annie HartI Never DoUninhabitable Mansions
Angelo De AugustineAnother UniverseAsthmatic Kitty
Life StrikeTears On TuesdayBobo Integral
The KinsmenGlasshouse Green, Splinter RedDecca
The GoodsDavid Jones Is DeadDandy Boy Records
Soft on CrimeCrying PoolEats It Records & Tapes
The High Water MarksTrouble From The EastMinty Fresh
The Apples In StereoQuestions And AnswersEarworm
The High Water MarksDream Some MoreMinty Fresh
PodcastsStor lordags kveld/No Singing in the GymPrefect Records
Vanishing TwinAfternoon XFire Records
Girl RayLove Is EnoughMoshi Moshi
Orange JuiceI Can't Help MyselfDomino
Four TopsI Can't Help MyselfMotown
Die ZŠrtlichkeitStarTapete Records
Cut WormsTake it and SmileJagjaguwar
FlypaperLooking For CluesPNKSLM
Salim NourallahUnder AttackHappiness Records
Salim NourallahI Don't KnowHappiness Records
LispectorGive Up On Your DreamsPonytail Records
OrwellNow That You Are The Nightblue-very label
Bonnie "Prince" BillyCrazy Blue BellsDomino
Symbol SoupDark HorseSad Club Records
The Radio FieldOther OneLess Records / Subjangle
BraakeHinter unsern GitternTapete
Julie ByrnePortrait Of A Clear DayGhostly International
Astrud GilbertoThe Shadow Of Your SmileVerve

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

Gemischtes Doppel

Wir kennen das Prinzip des gemischten Doppels aus Sportarten wie Tennis, Tischtennis und Beachvolleyball. Doch auch in der Musik ist die geschlechts-paritätische Duo-Konstellation nicht unbekannt. Hat diese spezifische Art der Gruppierung besondere Stärken – oder Schwächen?! Wir wollen das in der heutigen Golden Glades-Ausgabe anhand einiger Beispiele überprüfen:

The Left Outsides sind ein gemischtes Doppel par excellence: Alison Cotton und Mark Nicholas sind verheiratet und sorgen als eingespieltes Team schon seit Jahren für gute Musik. Zunächst wirkten sie in der psychedelischen Folkband The 18th Day of May, woraus sich später Trimdon Grange Explosion entwickelte. Auch als reines Zweiergespann The Left Outsides fühlen sich Cotton und Nicholas dem Folk verpflichtet, wenn auch mit einer stimmungsvoll-düsteren Note. «Are You Sure I Was There?» heißt ihr neues Album und macht noch einmal deutlich, welches Potenzial in dieser gewachsenen Zusammenarbeit steckt.

Worthitpurchase mögen es gerne dizzy – ihre Musik klingt alles andere als strukturiert und aufgeräumt. Sie wurde eigenhändig in nächtlichen Stunden im Tiny Telephone Studio zu San Francisco produziert. Nicole Rowe und Omar Akrouche sorgen für so entspannten wie spannenden Art-Pop, der sich mit reduzierten Mitteln ausprobiert. Doch auch hier liegt der besondere Reiz im gemischten Doppel: zwei Songwriter, die sich hervorragend ergänzen und auf ihrem Debüt «Dizzy Age» ein solides Team abgeben.

Abgesehen davon gibt es natürlich allerhand neue Musik zu hören, die in ganz anderer Formation entstand.

Gemischtes Doppel war zu hören am Mittwoch, den 04.11.20 – 19:00-21:00 Uhr.
Wdh.: Samstag, 07.11. von 15:00-17:00 Uhr

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


El Perro del MarThe BellsMemphis Industries
LunchboxDream ParadeSlumberland
LunchboxOver Way Too SoonSlumberland
Gary OlsonNavy BoatsTapete
Bye Bye BicycleA Messed Up FamilyLazy Octopus
The Left OutsidesBetween the LinesCardinal Fuzz
Trimdon Grange ExplosionSpinning WheelBorley Rectory
The Left OutsidesThe Wind No Longer Stirs the TreesCardinal Fuzz
Human BarbiePortrait of a Life in BloomPoor Man Records
El GoodoHomeStrangetown Records
Anna McClellanRaisinFather/Daughter
AnjimileGiver TakerFather/Daughter
Gabe GoodmanUnlovableSalient Recordings
Ben EdgeTell Me AnywayGlass Modern
This Is the KitComing to Get You NowhereRough Trade
The BathersDialMarina Records
The Late CallHold Up A LittleThe Late Call
Fraˆncois & The Atlas MountainsCoucouDomino
BinoculersBut Oh!Insular
abracadabraCherry SodaAnniversary
abracadabraComb Your HairAnniversary
BobNowOptic Nerve Recordings
Everything But The GirlBallad Of The TimesWea
The Innocence MissionWe Don't Know How to Say WhyBella Union
Louis Philippe & The Night MailFall In A DaydreamTapete
Yukon BlondeIn Love AgainDine Alone Records
Obscura HailIdle HandsDot Dash/Remote Control
WorthitpurchaseTurnaroundWiggle World Records
WorthitpurchaseDizzy AgeWiggle World Records
Golden TeardropsYou'll Never Really KnowÉEmma's House Records
Circle Meets DotPaper and InkOlive Grove
Slow WeatherClean LivingLast Night From Glasgow

From Fear To Hope

Heute gibt es bei Golden Glades Musik zu den Themen Furcht, Zweifel und … Hoffnung. Die Verlustangst wird besungen, die Krise verflucht, das Dasein als schändlich gescholten. Und doch geht es immer auch um das Licht am Ende des Tunnels, denn was wäre Popmusik ohne Aussicht auf Erlösung?! Sandra Zettpunkt hat einen düster glitzernden Topf wohlklingender Beispiele für euch zusammengerührt.

Diese Sendung war zu hören am Mittwoch, den 06.12.17 – 20:00-22:00 Uhr.
Wdh.: Samstag, 09.12. von 15:00-17:00 Uhr & Montag, 11.12. von 08:00-10:00 Uhr

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


Toro y MoiGirl Like YouCarpark
Darvid ThorRest Of Your
JontiSleeping and FallingStones Throw
Faith HealerTry 😉Mint Rec.
The Magic LanternHolding
This Is the KitBullet ProofRough Trade
Little TornadosI DisappearRiver Jones Music
Caroline SaysMy Fiance's
Paul CherryLike
FloristThe Fear of Losing ThisDouble Double Whammy
Angelo De AugustineTruly GoneAsthmatic Kitty
BibioCapel BethaniaWarp
The Black
The Soda StreamLet You DownOff Ya Tree
Spinning CoinMetronome RiverGeographic
Field MusicCount It UpMemphis Industries
Marker StarlingStrong SuitTin Angel Records
Wesley FullerMiranda Says1965 Records
Icy DemonsPower
VagabonFear & ForceFather/Daughter
Rocky WoodBail OutOn The Camper
CorridorL'espoir sans finRequiem Pour Un Twister
CrepesMild ConversationDeaf Ambitions
Lowland HumPalm LinesGreywood Records
Soft FangsFolk GuitarDisposable America
French For RabbitsIt Will Be OkayLefse

Best of 2017

Here I am, doing it all wrong again by releasing my Best of 2017 list way before Xmas. Every year it shows, that I discover fabulous artists with some delay and I feel sorry these albums are missing the list, only because I wasn’t quick enough! Like in 2016, I failed to mention these excellent records:

Merk: Swordfish (self-released)
Snails: Safe in Silence (Fearl Child Records)
Minta & The Brook Trout: Slow (NorteSul)
CaStLeS: Foresteering (Hafod Mastering)
Ben Reed: Station Masters (Gare Du Nord)

If you haven’t heard of any of those artists, please check them out!

And here they are, the winners of the 2017 Golden Glades award:


Corridor: Supermercado (Requiem Pour Un Twister)
Mauno: Tuning (Tin Angel)
This Is the Kit: Moonshine Freeze (Rough Trade)
Brent Cash: The New High (Marina Records)
Raoul Vignal: The Silver Veil (Talitres)
The Parson Red Heads: Blurred Harmony (Fluff and Gravy)
Crepes: Channel Four (Deaf Ambition)
Sweet Baboo: Wild Imagination (Moshi Moshi)
Andrew Taylor: From The Outside Looking In (Rock Indiana)
Hand Habits: Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void) (Woodsist)
Omni: Multi-Task (Trouble In Mind)
Faith Healer: Try (Mint Records)
Balduin: Bohemian Garden (self-released)
The Proper Ornaments: Foxhole (Tough Love)
Travis Bretzer: Bubble Gum (Human Sounds)
Baby Island: Break the Lease (Hello Records)
Human Heat: All Is Too Much (Offline Records)
Midnight Sister: Saturn Over Sunset (Jagjaguwar)

Of course this list is a purely subjective affair, but if you feel like I missed a highlight, please let me know!!

Also worth checking out: the voting of my ByteFM colleagues
best songs & best album

Indian Summer

Die Jahreszeit gab eine treffliche Vorlage, denn goldene Lichtungen finden sich gerade und vornehmlich in freundlichen Herbstmomenten. Der Indian Summer – kristallblauer Himmel, Blätter in dramatischem Bordeaux – lässt sich zum Glück nicht nur in Neuengland, sondern auch anderswo bewundern. So lag es nahe, ein paar lichtdurchflutete Musikeinlagen zu sichten und sorgsam zu sortieren. Voilà, in der heutigen Sendung erleuchten Painted Hills, Aquaserge und Minimum Chips.



Soy ChristmasOh
SobsGirlMiddle Class Cigars
Beachwood SparksSomething I Don't RecognizeSub Pop
Painted HillsKaleidoscope EyesParasol
GospelbeacHIn the DesertAlive Records
Sandy RealmsLocal
Minimum ChipsKnow You Too WellChapter Music
AquasergeSi Loin, Si ProcheCrammed Discs
Hologram TeenMagique AfriquePolytechnic Youth
Antoine DiligentReasonsX Off Records
Dent MayAcross the MultiverseCarpark
Ty SegallAltaDrag City
Faith HealerWaitingMint Rec.
Swimming TapesWhat's On Your MindHand In Hive
The ClienteleThe NeighbourTapete
Happy DaggerIndian
Shake Some Action!Waiting For The
Lina TullgrenAsktellCaptured Tracks
Jack CooperOn a Pier in the WindTrouble In Mind
This Is the KitBy My Demon EyeRough Trade
MaunoAnything AnymoreTin Angel Records
WeavesWalkawayMemphis Industries
Ted LeoUsed to BelieveSuperEgo Records
Black TailSleepy VolcanoLady Sometimes
The Burning HellNurse & PatientBB*Island
Taylor KnoxLove Love LoveCadence Music
Ralegh LongSleeping On My DreamsMake It New Records
DartoCharacter StudyAagoo Records
The SeamsRememberance DayHand Drawn Dracula

More Music More Happy

Das Motto der heutigen Ausgabe sah ich unlängst in einem Winterthurer Schaufenster, und es stimmt ja ohne Frage: Musik hat einen ungeheuren Einfluss auf unsere Stimmung. Selbst Landwirte drehen im Stall die Lautsprecher auf, damit die Kühe glücklicher sind und – so das perfide Kalkül – die Milch zügiger fließe. Glückseligkeit ohne Produktionszwang winkt all denen, die heute Golden Glades einschalten. Unter anderem gibt’s einen ausführlichen Ausblick auf das kommende Reeperbahnfestival sowie neue Musik lebensfroher Zeitgenossen wie Alvvays, Ariel Pink und Lee Ranaldo.


Aunt SisFastest AnimalSorry Records
Human HeatBest For YouOffline Records
Abram ShookNo ReturnWestern Vinyl
Archer PrewittO, KYThrill Jockey
AlvvaysPlimsoll PunksTransgressive Records
No MenPart Time PunksBeautiful Music
Ariel PinkDedicated To Bobby JamesonKemado
Bobby JamesonCandy Colored DragonVerve
MunicipalityRemnantsHuman Sounds
Travis BretzerEvergreenHuman Sounds
Tandem FelixWere You
Lord YouthParable BluesBB*Island
Caroline SaysGod KnowsWestern Vinyl
unhappybirthdayHimitsuWave Tension Records
Griffin RodriguezCandyCimiotti Tapes
The Parson Red HeadsTime After TimeYou Are The Cosmos
Jon Cohen ExperimentalFeed On MeSugar Gator Records
MaunoHow LongTin Angel Records
Owen PallettOn A PathDomino
SuperorganismSomething For Your M.I.N.D.Domino
King CreosoteLove LifeDomino
This Is the KitMoonshine FreezeRough Trade
Marika HackmanRound We GoSub Pop
Jane WeaverDid You See Butterflies?Fire Records
Nadine ShahPlace Like This1965 Records
Jen CloherForgot MyselfMarathon Artists
Lee RanaldoCircular (Right As Rain)Mute
The Babe RainbowPeace Blossom BoogyFlightless
Angelo De AugustineFadeAsthmatic Kitty
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