Every year one of Hamburg's craziest districts, St. Pauli, is invaded by the music press, agents, managers and artists for several days courtesy of the Reeperbahn Festival. If you've never been to St. Pauli (or Hamburg), in a nutshell it's a port area with a red light district, strip clubs and a very 'Blackpool-esque' feel of a night time. Equally, it has a very strong left-wing contingent, which is ever present, helping to combat the threat of gentrification and supporting campaigns such as Germany's recent 'Refugees Welcome' movement, among other worthy causes. We popped over to the German city to check out some of the action, and here are five of the best electronic acts we saw there…
Former Bodi Bill members Fabian Fenk and Anton K.Feist rocked our world when they dropped that firing EP on Life And Death a few years ago. Since then they've kept up a consistent run of strong releases. Their appearance at Reeperbahn, held at the superb Mojo club, was typically energetic with dark overtones and mesmerising melodies. Live electronic music with an indie twist, and very nice at that.
Royce Wood Junior
Sometimes all it takes is one track and you're seemingly made. Royce Wood Junior's "Hardly" thrust him into the limelight last year and he's been killing it ever since. In Hamburg he was on stage at the wonderful Prinzenbar club, where he hit the venue with his band and proved why so many people have touted him as one of the music scene's most exciting newcomers. Funk, grooves and electro all whisked up into an infectious cocktail is what got this show into our top five.
This German trio are absolutely on point with their music; as part of the 50 Weapons family they have established a strong rep in a very short time. At Reeperbahn they brought the house down with their live show, which is being constantly refined and improved. The persistent thud of the kick drum counteracted by bright licks of synth and sometimes dreamy pads. Their show, also at the Prinzenbar, was one of the best of the whole week.
French electronica at its finest came courtesy of Rone, the Infine mainstay gave us all some food for thought as he delivered one cerebral masterpiece after another. A few cuts from his most recent LP 'Creature' made their way into his live set, which was a delight. Being a Saturday night, Moondoo was rather busy throughout and Rone's excellent music kept the crowd captivated right up to the very end of his performance.
One of our favourite artists of 2015, LoneLady's groovy electronica has had us bouncing around our bedrooms, and several clubs, ever since we first heard it. Her album 'Hinterland' has been smashing it and this performance totally did her justice – a great space, occupied by the lady herself, and an audience who were clearly there just for her. The ambience and energy in the room was, literally, electric. If you don't know about this woman, get to know and go check her out when she's in a town near you.