Reeperbahn Festival // The 405 Preview
With the summer festival season all but completed, the 405 have found time to squeeze one last sun-drenched (hopefully) weekend of delight into the calendar. Reeperbahn Festival is Germany's biggest club festival with over 200 acts gracing this year's event. Taking place from 20-22 September in the centre of Hamburg at over 40 venues along the Reeperbahn (-bahn referring to road) the line-up has an impressive coagulation of established and 'unknown' artists.
The Reeperbahn is located in St. Pauli, the poorest quarter of the city and in formative years was an infamous red-light district synonymous with the romanticism of profanity and promiscuity. Subsequently, the Reeperbahn was adorned with its nickname: 'The Mile of Sin'. Those days of drunken sailors wandering the backstreet brothels are a distant memory but the Reeperbahn Festival and Hamburg itself, are proud to present this part of the city to the world as a dynamic and rich cultural hub. The road itself may have a fascinating history but in modern times it has assumed the role of hosting this festival with great warmth.
It would be unreasonable to expect you, the reader, to trawl through this year's line-up to find pockets of brilliance in the obscurity of the vast number of artists. But, I, have done just that. I hope to introduce you to music that you both know and recognise along with something that you may find either a little disconcerting or unfamiliar or both. Needless to say these are also my tips to see at this year's festival should any of you be attending, if not, look out for our festival review to hear all about it.
Electric Guest (Uebel & Gefährlich, Sunday 23 September, 1.50am)
Pop, Motown and all the loveliness in between. Electric guest is the project of Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton, whose debut album Mondo was released earlier this year. Produced by the acclaimed Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz, The Black Keys), Electric Guest write soulful, jazz-infused pop music with the instantly recognisable tones of Taccone at the fore.
Glass Animals (Prinzen Bar, Thursday, 20 September, 9.10pm)
Sinister and intriguing grooves emanate from this dub-electro-indie hybrid that encapsulates your imagination. Recent EP Leaflings is an effervescent and indelible signature from an understated band with stand-out track 'Cocoa Hooves' a haunting whisper of pleasure for your ears. You're welcome.
MS MR (Prinzen Bar, Thursday 20 September, 10.20pm)
How about some shadowy-synth-pop from NY band MS MR? First single, 'Hurricance,' churns gut-wrenching bass-lines with delicate pop melodies and delivers a soothing amalgamation of understatement and eccentricity. Having recently toured with Marina & The Diamonds for a bit, this band straddle the commercial boundary but have a listen and see what you think.
Pool (Molotow Bar, Thursday 20 September, 10pm)
Hamburg's very own Pool are the perfect example that we here in the UK and over in the US do not have all the great music (it would be extremely disappointing if we did). Their differing aspect of Indie-pop has a slightly darker edge than others of the genre but they have all the inciteful lyrics and tempting bass-lines you need.
Skip & Die (Grüner Jäger, Saturday 22 September, 11.15pm)
South African/Dutch collaboration Skip & Die make intense experimental Hip-Hop that's confrontational, invigorating and pretty nasty. Their album, Riots in the Jungle, is coming this October and features songs in English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu, Spanish and Portuguese. Here's their first single 'Love Jihad, and like it says on their website: It's Skip & Die, Muthafukka's, you'll see what I mean.
TOY (Molotow, Thursday 20 September, 10.30pm)
If you visit this website anywhere close to regularly you'll know of TOY; seen an interview with them; read the album review and probably heard the album as well. They'll be playing their psychedelic post-punk on the opening night of the festival at Molotow, and are an absolute must see. Listen their self-titled debut below.
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