Focus 2023

Reeperbahn Festival 2023

September, 20 - 23

Setting the scene for an intense winter season of conferences and music business get-togethers, the Reeperbahn Festival is definitely the one not to miss. It is one of the most enjoyable and picturesque networking events in Europe, turning the whole of the St. Pauli district into a kind of garden of Eden for musical exploration and discovery.

September 21, 2023

Andrina Bollinger

Andrina Bollinger’s musical repertoire is as diverse as her projects. The Swiss composer and performer is a singer and multi-instrumentalist whose sources of inspiration can be found in classical music, jazz, folk, and pop. Always in a state of flux, Bollinger also cites poetry and painting as forms of expression that inspire her eclectic artistic visions. With a sensitive yet always-precise timbre and melodically accomplished piano playing, she creates spaces in which her audience can lose themselves – or in which they can find themselves again. The fact that she is also active in award-winning projects such as Eclecta, the art-pop duo JPTR, and the collective LAB Junges Theater Zürich (LAB Young Theatre Zurich) is proof of the fact that she is a versatile artist whose creative horizons know no bounds. With us this September, she will show what new ideas she has prepared for stages large and small.

September 21, 2023


According to some, the world is falling apart. What we thought was a safe bet is all up in the air again, and society is choking on its contradictions. For Robyn Trachsel, these contradictions are also a real personal burden. And as the shouter for the Basel trio Asbest, she uses each studio session and every live performance on stage to send them hurtling through the air. She has years of insecurity and emotional ordeals behind her. These also fuel Asbest’s distorted post-punk, which is often enough more noise rock, which can turn into catharsis through her fervent vocals. But even if songs like “Driven” or “Chain Reaction” are deeply biographical, Asbest leave a lot of scope for interpretation and want to let their audience rediscover and conquer their own past, their own problems and demons. You can hear as much Nirvana grunge in their sound as Mogwai post-rock or the no-wave escapades of Sonic Youth. And their new album “Cyanide” also combines the political and personal, translating them into laconic prose that shocks at first and then liberates. Afterwards, everything is turned down and one thing is quite clear: punk is alive.

September 21, 2023

Soft Loft

Like the musical portrait of an inner life, the sound of Soft Loft is the result of years of self-reflection and artistic maturation for Jorina Stamm. The 25-year-old and her band translate the ups and downs of biographies into songs full of grace and lyrical depth whose warmth makes one thing quite certain:vulnerability and imperfection are part of existence. It is also clear that we only really get to know dreams and memories, friends and soulmates when we open up to them and reveal all our wounds. Soft Loft sing about loving and being loved in picture-perfect indie pop songs and have performedthem at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Zurich Openair, and the Openair St. Gallen, leaving a stunned audience in their wake. They will be coming to us in September with new material, such as the achingly beautiful single “Little Less” – tissues recommended.

September 21, 2023


Mel D and Bill B use the element of surprise not just as an integral part of their music, but also in the creative process behind it. For their debut album “Violet” (2021), the duo from St. Gallen and Grisons teamed up with producer Simon Jäger in the studio of a remote mountain lodge to fine-tune songs that started out as loose notes and sketches of ideas. And here they let chance and intuition fuel their creative energy in all-night jam sessions. Under the name mischgewebe, roughly translating as ‘blended fabric’, songs like “Cornwall” or “I Wanna Know You” repeatedly show how far they can exploit their rousing verve to really push experimentation and improvisation to create their celestial trip-hop and electronically adorned pop sensibilities. Ultimately, there's nothing left to chance here, despite the relaxed approach. Delightfully stretched out arcs of tension spread their mesh over multifaceted songwriting and invite you to forget time and space – whether listening to it on the turntable and letting your mind roll, or experiencing it live on stage.

September 21, 2023


Mehdi Belkaid was a passionate skater before the sport led him to hip-hop culture. Born and raised in Geneva, it was mainly rap greats from the Swiss capital – such as Makala, Slimka, and Varnish La Piscine – who shaped the young artist’s style. With the release of his first mixtape, “Focus, Vol. 1”, he made a name for himself in the local scene under the pseudonym Di-Meh and positioned himself somewhere between French rap, drill, and the good-old virtues of boom bap. Further mixtapes and gigs in the French-speaking world followed before his debut album, “Mektoub”, appeared in 2021 and catapulted Di-Meh onto the European hip-hop map for good. The album is a tribute to his father’s restaurant, where Di-Meh’s interest in music was further awakened as much as it was in the skate park. Now that his second album, “OV3”, also took the rap scene in Switzerland by storm last year, Di-Meh will be joining us in September with fresh material.

September 21, 2023

Mehmet Aslan

Inquisitive globetrotter with taste, crate digger with a nose for what's good, DJ with a finely honed skillset: the past ten years have seen Mehmet Aslan establish his own niche on the international club scene, successfully fusing folk sensibilities with electronic rhythms. The Swiss producer with Turkish roots uses traditional Levantine sounds alongside the organic beats of southern European house DJs or the idiosyncratic sampling of Scandinavian techno icons to generate tracks for sultry nights under the stars. From the Tunisian desert to the dance floors of Berlin or the London underground: while flitting seamlessly between disco and tribal, physical beats and blissful melodies, Aslan still retains a signature style. His live sets are instantly recognisable yet unique experiences that will resonate for a long time to come.

September 21, 2023

La colère

After causing a big stir in Switzerland in 2018 with her debut EP "Surface", La colère ticked off the early stages of the typical modern pop career at lightning speed: first gigs at festivals like M4music in Zurich, followed by an award for best newcomer in the electronic genre and then getting rave reviews on the relevant online platforms. Spurred on by this success, the first album "La Vague" (2020) soon arrived, only for everything to be halted by the pandemic shortly after its release. Not to be deterred, the Swiss singer-songwriter continued working on new material, which was released last November as the "Electrum" EP and serves up surreal, groovy synth pop with a vibe that gracefully hovers between a stylish club sound and lucid nostalgia. It’s safe to say that no other artist from the tranquil Alpine state currently sounds like La colère. She effortlessly delivers a contemporary update of chansons with tracks like "Rayon" or "Voyage", backed by a meticulously produced fresh style for the big stages – which she'll be bringing back to Hamburg this year.

September 22, 2023


If you look around, you might think the world is going to hell. But if you take a closer look, you’ll notice that it’s all a question of perspective. COBEE is one of the people we now call “bloomers” in Western parlance. In other words, he is an optimist who does not let himself get dragged down by the turmoil of the times. The Swiss rapper and crossover artist also applies this attitude to his music, which is a mixture of 2-step and breakbeats, alternative rock, and punk that is accentuated with the young star’s idiosyncratic chanting. His EP, “Bloomer”, defies common trends and has established an entirely new style in the German-speaking world. At once reminiscent of a pop-like version of Yves Tumor, a bedroom indie update to Machine Gun Kelly, or simply a completely unique style of contemporary rock music, COBEE has found his way and is ready for the big stages of Europe, the USA, and beyond. “Now, I’m really where I’ve always wanted to be: With myself.” Right on.

September 22, 2023

Sirens Of Lesbos

As soon as Sirens of Lesbos’s debut was released at the end of 2020, the truly big names of the international music scene – ranging from BBC veteran Gilles Peterson to hip-hop producer Christo to funk legend Bootsy Collins – rallied around the collective from Switzerland. These critics understood what makes the music of Sirens of Lesbos so extraordinarily intoxicating: transculturally sparkling pop hooks in every song, instrumental diversity (despite limited resources), and a great sense of timing and timbre. Whether sensitive soul or country, soft rock or contemporary R&B, neo-psychedelia or dance – Sirens of Lesbos’s second album, “Peace”, also clearly demonstrates that its members are virtuoso musicians, arrangers, and collaborators who keep up with their idols as well as with the ever-changing zeitgeist. If you want to dance, laugh, cry, and really feel something, you definitely can’t miss their gig with us in September. A cult band in the making.

September 22, 2023

Sam Himself

Only his closest friends know how many different faces Samuel Koechlin actually has – but maybe his more attentive fans do too. The Basel-born and New York-based artist shuttles effortlessly not just between the two cities, but also between musical styles, influences and vocations. As familiar with the craft of bar tending and comedy writing as he is with songwriting and music, he collaborates with renowned rock, folk and pop stars all over the world. His debut album “Power Ballads” (2021) instantly entered the Swiss charts and showed Koechlin, under his alias Sam Himself, as a stylistically confident yet open musician, astonishingly well-connected and collaborating with professionals who’ve worked with the likes of Jeff Buckley, Iggy Pop or Lee 'Scratch' Perry. In the crossfades of post-punk and pop, the driven “King Of Tears”, as he's been dubbed by the international press, has found a way to combine the auditory with the cinematic. Hence his self-described “fondue western” style, inspired by the ground-breaking compositions of Ennio Morricone, as well as his Swiss-American roots. Play on deezer

September 22, 2023

Alina Amuri

Alina Amuri's music breathes new life into contemporary soul like a warm June breeze. Born in Kinshasa, raised in Switzerland, the singer and multi-instrumentalist's velvety soft tones evoke images and moods that transcend cultural backgrounds. In a world that seems to be veering off the rails, the lively, multi-faceted neo-soul of this multi-award-winning artist feels like welcome relief for the soul, gives you hope for a better future. Inspired by early icons of female empowerment like Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill or Alicia Keys, Amuri recounts emotional rollercoaster rides, moments of oppression and liberation, but also the magic of being human. As audiences at Montreux Jazz Festival and Mondo New York Festival, will tell you, prepare for some eye dabbing.

September 22, 2023

Yet No Yokai

here was a time during the 70s and 80s when rock music from Germany, Austria and Switzerland was setting international standards. It was the era of Krautrock, progressive electronics, "cosmic music". Yet No Yokai's pulsating psychedelic rock not only recalls those glory days, but also draws on the influences of that time to develop their own unique sound signature for the 21st century. The whirring guitars combine with driving beats that sometimes stem from the drums, other times from the drum machine. Spatially expansive vocals make the sarcastically peppered lyrics seem like reverberating proclamations to the zeitgeist, accentuated with sharp, crashing bursts of riff. Yet No Yokai understand how to steer dopamine outbursts via sophisticated songwriting that can turn into their very own trip. This year's debut album "Wir sind da" shows that in this regard they are in no way lagging behind their artistic forebears of yesteryear. They are now the ones taking rock music to the next level. Right here, right now.

September 22, 2023


Art pop that catches the ear with its broad instrumental palette and idiosyncratic songwriting topped by its danceable qualities. Alois packs all this in, and still makes it all sound like a relaxed day swimming at the lake. Somehow futuristic and retro at the same time, with razor-sharp production one minute and then other sounds that just swirl around at will, the songs on Alois’ new album "Night Vision" are inspired by Balearic beats, disco funk of 1973 and flattering bossa nova guitars with a dash of Caribou and Daft Punk. You couldn't ask for a better soundtrack for the summer. Drinks and good food with friends, switching off and leaning back, enjoying somewhere peaceful – you just have to hit play and immediately you drift off with Alois towards your holiday. ‘Psychedelic dance-pop’ is the Zurich band’s name for what they do. And each tune proves they have a knack for creating feel-good vibes that go straight to your ears and legs, all done by juggling every trick in the book. Live, this bunch are pure bliss.

September 22, 2023

La Nefera

With a name inspired by the Egyptian pharaoh Nefertiti and a sound that combines Afrobeats and cumbia, Latin American hip-hop and baile funk, as well as reggaeton and jazz-rock – when it comes to cultural diversity, Jennifer Perez – under her alias La Nefera – is no fool. The rapper from Switzerland has been active as a musician for over ten years and has given concerts all over the world with bands such as Kallemi and Error 404. With her own project, La Nefera, she manages the balancing act between musical rhythms and socially critical content, encouraging people to dance and think in equal measure. She makes empowerment rap that is not afraid of controversial topics and taking a clear stance but that does not need to point fingers. After all, it’s about community and understanding, not condemnation and division. With seemingly boundless energy, La Nefera demonstrates how live shows can become interactive exchanges between artists and the audience. A uniquely inclusive experience.

September 21, 2023

Dirty Sound Magnet

The name says it all: Dirty Sound Magnet play dirty psychedelic rock with an immense appeal that can quickly get out of control in the studio as well as on stage. This was a deliberately calculated risk because the Swiss trio love the excessive dynamics of passionate rock music and like to take a chance on what can result from jams and improvisations. Aware of their credo, as it were, the trio recorded a whole three albums during the pandemic instead of hunkering down. “Live Alert” (2020) consequently became their most successful work to date, followed last year by the enormously multi-faceted and fiercely grooving “DSM III”. In the best DIY manner, Dirty Sound Magnet let retro vibes collide with unpredictable songwriting and carefully integrated wah-wahs, phasers, and echoes. Comparisons are futile because their style is both their own and timeless. Play on deezer

September 21, 2023


Many try to combine classical music with modern electronic production. Most fail because of their own pathos, get bogged down in ideas that lack tonal consistency, and end up in kitsch. Erol Sarp and Lukas Vogel have managed to elegantly avoid these pitfalls since the beginning of their joint engagement as Grandbrothers. On this year’s new album (and their fourth overall), they create grandiose visions of post-minimalist music that integrates progressive electronics with downtempo and electro-acoustic experiments. After just a few minutes, “Late Reflections” turns out to be a melodic meditation without a clearly defined, pre-determined thematic reference. Instead, the two composers encourage their audience to project personal images as well as memories, feelings, and thoughts into their music. The result is a soundtrack to the listener’s one’s own biography that successfully defies strict categorisation and reveals paradises as well as paradoxes – just like life.

September 20, 2023

Veronica Fusaro

Veronica Fusaro has always had lofty ambitions. There is hardly any other explanation for her stellar career since her participation in the second season of The Voice of Switzerland. At the age of 17, she reached the Knockouts as part of Stefanie Heinzmann’s team, won the title of “Demo of the Year” at the Demotape Clinic two years later, and promptly landed in hot continuous rotation on the SRF 3 radio station. Her first EP, “Lost in Thought” (2016), was a surprise success and put Fusaro on the radar of music journals and fans alike. Her following EPs also testify to the talent with which the singer–songwriter knows how to embellish sunshine pop, laid-back indie rock, and nuances of jazz with her bluesy voice. This year’s debut album, “All the Colors of the Sky”, makes it clear in eleven outstandingly produced songs what kind of artist has taken shape over the years. Live, she is a truly unforgettable experience.