This past summer we found ourselves in the lovely city of Zurich; and whilst in Zurich we came across one of the best record stores we’ve visited; and whilst in this record store, we found one of the best EPs we’ve ever listened to; and on that EP we discovered one of the best tracks of the year. That track was ‘Journey to Arendal‘, and it turned out to be by local Zurich producer, HOVE. So what did we do you ask? Well we reached out to him of course and then we became friends. Yay. The end. Well not quite…After chatting, we discovered that Zurich has a really cool electronic music scene, and that HOVE (real name Marc Hobwefer) actually runs the record label that his record was released on, Light Of Other Days, alongside La Frere (Georg). By this point you probably know the score with these things…we asked him to make a City Guide, so we could learn even more about Zurich’s underground musical treasures. With contributions by his label buddies Georg and Ethimm, it turns out Switzerland is good for more than just chocolate and trains.
HOVE’s latest release on Light Of Other Days is available for here now.
Check out the map above and interview below for HOVE’s favourite spots, while you listen to a 100% Zurich mix.
Favourite place to buy records
HOVE: OOR records is one of my favourite record stores in town. It’s a small and cozy store with a nice selection of Vinyls and Tapes that is located in Kreis 4. This area is perfect to wander around and explore during the day and night. You’ll find lots of nice bars, restaurants and clubs there. OOR records is super well curated and they have their own funny genre descriptions. I usually go for the experimental/electronica stuff when I’m there, but they have all kinds of good music. From Techno, House to Disco, World, Rap etc. Make sure to flip through the small second hand selection when you’re there, sometimes you’ll find a nice gem there as well.
Georg: Hum Records is a special place for me. Oli, Michel and Michi who run the shop are all fantastic DJ’s and selectors. Hum Records has a great time stock in all things hiphop, rap, soul, funk and boogie but they also have a nice selection of electronica, disco and all kind of obscurities from krautrock to ambient. Beside the quality of their shop they are great guys to hang out and they are always super supportive when we need help with our label.
Favourite live music venue?
Georg: I really like a small venue called Helsinki. This place doesn’t care about the rules of business. The programming is very open minded and there is always a nice mix of people. The whole vibe reminds me very much of the great “Golden Pudel” club in Hamburg. Make sure to check out the Gaul (Horse) it’s a small Restaurant just in the back of the club.
HOVE: Rote Fabrik is a great place for live music. It is a legendary autonomous centre since the 80s that was pretty influential to the youth culture of Switzerland. It is quite big, with different rooms and stages. There are Ateliers for artists and a restaurant too. Its especially nice in summer time because it is located right at the lake. It’s easy reach by foot from the city centre and you can even go for a swim before a concert if the weather is nice.
Ethimm: Make sure to check out Nik Bärtsch’s Monday nights at Exil if you like tantric rhythm music.
Best soundsystem / favourite club?
Club Zukunft in Kreis 4 is our favourite soundsystem/club. They are killing it since they opened up 11 years ago with a great line-up of DJ’s and Bands. We’ve had some nice parties there as we invited Max D, Jonny Nash, CFCF or recently Public Possession to play with us. The Bar upstairs called Bar 3000 is also worth a visit during the week. They usually have nice concerts on Wednesdays.
Best party in the city?
We are big fans of all the parties Cio is doing under the name of Spezialmaterial. He brings a great deal of fantastic artists to Zurich (e.g. Molly Nilsson, Andrew Weatherall, Daniel Avery or Morgan Hammer just to name a few); and he has always supported our ideas. I think it was even Cio who organised the first live-gig for ETHIMM.
Best view of the city?
To have a look at the older part of the city you best go to Lindenhof and try to beat one of the chess players there. On a beautiful day you might even see the mountains. Or you can go to the University/ETH to get a nice city overview.
Favourite Cafe’s and Restaurants?
HOVE: There is this great new place called Put Put which is only a take-away for now. But I think they are going to fit in some chairs and tables in there pretty soon. Its really small though. The owner cooks an amazing homemade Japanese curry. If you prefer sushi, hit Bimi, hands down the best tuna in town. Another place I like and I’m a regularly customer at, is called Italia. It is located next door from where I work twice a week. They have amazing lunch menus. It is also possible to have these as take-away, which is nice in summer time because there is a beautiful small park in a courtyard on the other side of the street where you can go and enjoy your meal.
Georg: Acid is the place for a good espresso. I know Kasper (the owner) since back in the days when I was a barkeeper and I really dig the special atmosphere there. It’s a small place but they really did a great job with the interior design. Besides great coffee you’ll find a great selection of not too fancy cocktails and long-drinks. Cucina is my wife’s favourite Italian restaurant and I think they serve the best pizzas in town. It’s a great place for a romantic dinner for two. Make sure you make a reservation. It’s very busy, especially on weekends.
Ethimm: If you’re looking for something a bit more special, try to find out if Chef ValeFritz has one of his pop up joints going. They’re a bit more expensive, but usually quite spectacular and all ingredients a regional.
Is there somewhere you like going to escape the hustle and bustle and take some time away for yourself?
The best place to escape the city is walking on top of Üetliberg which is really close to the city centre and is about 869 meters above sea level. There are lots of different small paths through the forest to go up there and once you’ve made it, the view is amazing. If you can, go late in the afternoon to enjoy the sunset, it is stunning from up there. There is a big view tower up there as well, which is totally worth to climb up to if you are not afraid of heights.
Best place to experience something unique to Zurich?
Georg: Zurich has a beautiful lake and a super fun river. Both are in the middle of the city. They are clean and really nice for swimming. Make sure to pick the right spot to avoid the mass of tourists. My favourite spot is Landiwiese. It’s a great place to swim, barbecue or just hang out. There’s always something going on but it is never to crowded. If you like action, try Unterer Letten. It’s a bath house in the river with a gate at the end. Don’t smash into it! There is also a sauna on the lake with a spectacular view of the mountain panorama called Sauna am See worth to check out. If you happen to be in Zurich on the 1st of august (national day) you can see a lot of fireworks going of all around the lake.
First thing you miss after leaving Zurich?
Our bikes and the short distances. In Zurich you can reach everything within 10 minutes on bike. Everything is very close by and biking or walking are the perfect means of transportation. For tourists and those not owning a bike the city offers free rental-bikes at every railway station.
Best place to see another medium of art other than music?
Ethimm: There are tons of galleries in Zurich and a couple of fun museums. Find an overview here. Make sure to drop by Haus Konstruktiv and Cabaret Voltaire, the museum of the biggest Swiss art movements of the 20th century. Try dropping the art school ZHDK, and ask around for the latest exhibition space.
Georg: I’m really not a big art-guy but make sure to visit the Landesmuseeum. They often host exhibitions that focus on Zürich or Switzerland. The Landesmuseeum lays right next to the main station and it’s a great majestic building. There’s also a beautiful park which has a very interesting story of it’s own and a nice restaurant/cafe called Spitz which is worth to check out.
What are your favourites shops for things other than music?
HOVE: Soeder is the shop and a brand from our Swedish friend Johan and his wife Hanna. They have all kinds of products you’ll need for everyday life. From furniture to clothes to soap or even coffee and beer. Everything is beautifully designed and fairly produced. The Soeder team, which consists of 6 people in Zurich and Basel, designs most of the products they sell in the store themselves. It is the best shop around for simple, basic and quality things. We usually go to the shop to hang out and drink coffee in the afternoon and have a chat with Johan about his newest addition to his modular Synth set-up.
It’s not really a street it’s a small path. It’s the Kloster Fahr-Weg. Start at the Chuchi am Wasser , which is a friendly coffee place and then just follow the river Limmat. You will discover some of the nicest bars and hangout spots. There is all kinds of stuff and I’m sure everybody can find something that fits. It’s also great with Kids. But make sure to pick a sunny-day.
Are there any markets in your city worth checking out?
HOVE: There is a nice small market for vegetables, fish or just food in general at Helvetiaplatz on Tuesday and Friday. Sometimes i pass by before work and get my lunch from there. When its sunny its really nice to sit outside at a restaurant/cafe called Bank which is located on the same square. And on Saturday there is a small second-hand market for clothes, vinyls, electronics or all kinds of stuff right across the road of Helvetiaplatz in the Xenix areal. The Xenix Areal in general is a great place to have a beer late in the afternoon, watch the pétanque players and have a chat with locals. There is a nice small cinema too.
Where will you find the friendliest, most interesting locals to have a chat with?
Georg: To meet some true locals you have to go to the Meyers Bar. This place is legendary. It’s run by two siblings, and it is open late every night. It’s some kind of a last refuge for a lot of interesting folks. I really love the place as there is nothing fancy about it. It definitely has it’s dark side but people are always happy and open to share their opinions.
Ethimm: In summer I always like to hang out at Dynamo. Its a youth centre and restaurant right at the river Limmat. There’s a wild mix of people there when the sun is shining, from kids, to students, punks to bankers, both from Zurich and the rest of the world. Can’t go wrong in that.
What’s the best and worst thing about living in Zurich?
Ethimm: Zurich has a shit ton of clubs, restaurants, bars, galleries, cinemas, etc. most of which are really high quality. The swiss usually are friendly and helpful. Unfortunately all this has a price. An expensive one. Zurich minds are quite conforming too, so you’ll be looked at quite often if you fall out of the order, which can be great, or really shit, depending on the day.
HOVE: The quality of life in Zurich is amazing. There is a lake and rivers to go swim in. If you bike like 15 minutes you are already out in the nature and there are lots of hills and forests around to go and explore. The public transport system works really well and everything is quite close to each other. The worst thing is definitely that it is expensive as hell. The rents are really high, the restaurants in general are pretty expensive too. If you know people you can find your way around, but its always a hustle.
Who’s doing good things for Zurich music right now, who you’d like to shout out?
There is so much great stuff going on right now. It’s hard to remember everyone, but here’s a little list:
Phantom Island (Record label run by Lexx, Kejeblos, Foster and Ron Shiller)
45rpm (music blog and great DJs)
From Here Till Now (Music blog and amazing Podcast series by Jauss, a true music lover)
Lustpoderosa (Record label run by the great guys from Jack Pattern)
Comfortnoise (Another great Podcast series and club night by our studio buddy Marius)
GDS.FM (Online Radio, run with a lot of Herzblut by Chrigi and Adi)
Moreeats (Singer / Songwriter and great guy)
CNDR (DJ, Digger)
Bit-Tuner (DJ, Musician)
Niklaus (Promoter, Booker for Irascible and emerged-agency)
Ink! from ous
Crack Schaeppi (Dj, promoter and the most handsome guy in Zurich)
Leo Gretener (DJ and Selector)
What are some of your favourite up-and-coming DJs/producers/musicians bubbling up in Zurich right now?
Georg: Siegwart, he’s been around for some time, but he’s still young and such a fantastic DJ. He has a great feel for weird and strange jams. Always fresh and always surprising. He is also a great guy just to hang out. Also ZAYK, a young and very fantastic psychedelic rock band. We saw them at Zukunft and they just blew our mind. The show was one dark and wild ride. Loved it.
Could you tell us about the mix you’ve made for us? Where and how did you record it, what was the idea behind it and are there?
The mix was recorded in our Studio on two turntables and two Cdjs. We tried to include all kinds of music that inspired us through the years. There is some influential music from the 80s on there as well as some dance tracks we used to play a lot and some nice new music from friends.
And finally, what’s on the horizon for you in terms of live dates or releases we should look out for?
We gonna support our friends from Munich, Public Possession on thursday 16.2 at Club Zukuft. Then we celebrate HOVE’s record release at Nordbrücke with a live-set from HOVE and a Dj set from Le Frère on 18.2. and on 24.2 HOVE is playing a DJ set alongside Kalabrese at Kauz.
As far as releases go, there is an EP coming from Miajica (Alma Negra) in late spring and we are working on a remix-EP / compilation for late summer. We will also release some new tapes in 2017. Also, check out our LOOD-Podcast series on our Soundcloud page and our radio show on GDS.FM every other month.
Steinbrüchel – C
Zigitros – Cocktails & Dreams
EKR – Rekrut Bollinger
ETHIMM – Your Own
Jack Pattern – Pensiola D’Amore
Fuga Ronto – Camel Ride
Kleenex – Boatsong
ZAYK – Trance
CCO – Pale Distant Lights
Yello – Pumping Velvet
A Touch of Class & Waldorf – You’re my Disco (Original Disco Mix)
Look Like – Arms Akimbo
Headman – So Now!
Kalabrese – Let the Good Times Roll (feat. A.C. Kupper)
Bit-Tuner – Prelove
Fai Baba – My Love is Dripping
MoreEats – Moonrise