STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND ("...ripe for discovery!...", The WIRE)

recordings  tourdates  contact  biographies  press photos  texts  reviews  mp3  Adolf Woelfli

Our new CD is out!
STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND, "Wertmueller" (GROB 655, 2005)

on Grob/Cologne:
12 pieces composed for Steamboat Switzerland by Michael Wertmueller (CH, William Parker Trio, Alboth!, 16-17, W2, etc;

Our newest CD STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND, "ZONE 2" (GROB 859 , 2007) will be released in March 2007 on GROB (Grob/Cologne: ):
STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND with acoustic line up! - live at Qbus Uster/Switzerland
Dominik Blum, Boesendorfer Imperial Grand Piano, Electronics
Marino Plikas, Acoustic Guitar, Electronics
Lucas Niggli, Drums, Percussion

Just back from tremendous tours in China, the Balkans, Germany/Netherlands, Russia/Georgia, England, South Africa, Poland/Austria/Germany the STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND cruises your region again . See our actual touring schedules on:
This time especially featuring material by legendary swiss Alboth! drummer Michael Wertmueller and by also swiss composer Felix Profos.
Actual references: great shows at Termite Festival Leeds Nov 05, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival Nov 05, tour GER/AUT/CZ/NL/BEL in March 06, Grahamstown Indaba New Music Festival 06, Enjoy Jazz Festival Mannheim 06, JazzNOW @ Donaueschingen Festival 06, Interface Festival Berlin 06 etc.

Hammond Organ, Piano, Analogue Electronics: Dominik Blum
E-Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Electronics: Marino Pliakas
Drums: Lucas Niggli

"breaking news":

Steamboat Switzerland recently played on Patti Smith's Meltdown Festival 2005 (Royal Festival Hall London) in John Cale's band together with Flea (Red Hot Chilly Peppers), Nick Franglen (Lemon Jelly, Björk, Pulp etc.), Josh Pollock (GONG, Six Eyed Columbia) and David Dramm a double bill with Patti Smith's live world premiere of her legendary "Horses" program.

Steamboat Switzerland recently recorded the the sound track (composed by David Dramm) of "Langer Licht" (2006), price winning (Rotterdam Film Festival etc.) screenplay by dutch director David Langers.

Steamboat Switzerland recently premiered "get out of my room" by swiss composer Felix Profos at Musikfest Donaueschingen 2006.
"Ce fut la saine et vitale explosion de violence du groupe helvétique Steamboat Switzerland, dans le pur sillage encore radicalisé de Hard Rock dans sa variante Heavy Metal, brodant autour de quatre "modules" de Felix Profos: fracas et hurlements dont l'agressivité divisa le public en fuyards et enthousiastes. J'ai bien aimé." (Harry Halbreich)

Our hammond avantcore trio toures Europe (England, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Norway, Spain, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Russia, Slowenia, Croatia, Georgia, Switzerland), China, South Africa, Mozambique and Northern America (USA/CAN) since 1997 very successfully - more than 200 concerts in venues and on festivals in as various contexts as Jazz, Rock, Avantguard, Museums of Contemporary Art, Improv, Electronica and New Music etc., got various awards/prices/commissions and has been recensioned very well in international media.

Within the scope of our well-tried concept of multiidiomatic modules - decending from hard core rock until contemporary composition - interacting with improvised textures we serve ontage a spontaneous choice consisting of instant composition and various fixed materials such as pieces by Sam Hayden (UK). Stephan Wittwer (CH), Jan-Bas Bollen (NL), Michael Wertmueller (CH/D), Hermann Meier (CH), Ruth Crawford (USA), David Dramm (NL/USA), Felix Profos (CH) - most of this material was dedicated to Steamboat Switzerland.

Hayden's commission appeared in 2001 as 'ac/dB[hayden]' on the Cologne based label GROB ( - at the same time as an integral live recording of 'Budapest', an improvised show in the Hungarian capital (also on GROB). Our first CD "Live" (UNIT 4104, 1999) combines elements of Rock/Metal/HC (Riffs, Power), the dramatic forms of free improvisation and the sounds and structure of contemporary music.
At the moment we are working on new material - and continously integrating it in our live set - by swiss composeres Michael Wertmueller and Felix Profos. A new CD "wertmueller" with material written and dedicated to us by Michael Wertmueller was published in March 05 on GROB. Next CD "ZONE 2": release in April 07 on GROB.

In addition to our usual set up we are also about to establish our reduced, quasi acoustic improv setting: prepared and amplified grand piano with feed back devices, microphoned/amplified concert guitar, small drum set. That's a set up we played already as an alternative to our heavy one on severals occasions and festivals (e.g. at Moers Festival, Rotterdam, Den Haag, Cologne, Paris, China, CH etc.).

Our exclusive STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND Extended Ensemble (Dominik Blum (CH): Hammond Organ/Analog Synthesizer/Piano; Gerard Bouwhuis (NL): Sampling Keyboard/Piano; Marino Pliakas (CH): Bass Guitar; Pete Wilson (UK): Bass Guitar; Lucas Niggli (CH): Drums/Percussion; Pez Zumthor (CH): Drums/Percussion; Marco Blaauw (NL): Trumpet; Reijer Dorresteijn (NL): Trumpet; Bob Koertshuis (NL): Trumpet; David Dramm (USA): Live Electronics) plays on various festivals all over Europe David Dramm's (USA/NL) ) tremendous 60' piece "Orange Slice". STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND Extended Ensemble also premiered Felix Profos' "Large Composition No. 1 (2004) and together with the dutch ăThe Volharding Orchestra" also David Dramms "My Visions of Madame Blavatsky" (2004, with Ensemble De Volharding, feat. Steamboat Switzerland plus Simone Vollenweider and David Dramm, vocals). Both pieces have been played on various festivals in Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Austria.

Festivals (choice): Vancouver (CAN): DuMaurier International Jazzfestival, London (UK): Patti Smith's Meltdown Festival, Leeds (UK): Termite Festival, Huddersfield (UK): Contemporary Music Festival, Grahamstown (RSA): New Music Indaba, St.Petersburg (RUS): SKIF6 Festival, Moskow (RUS): Long Arms Festival, Oslo (N): Ultima Festival, Moers (GER): MOERS Festivals 2001, 2002 and 2003, Bochum (GER): Open Systems Festival, Scheer (GER): Klangbad Festival, Berlin (GER): MaerzMusik Festival, Berlin (GER): Interface Festival, Donaueschingen (GER): Donaueschinger Musiktage 06, Augsburg (GER): Mozart-Festival, Cologne (GER): Nozart Festivals 7 and 9, Cologne (GER): Triennale, Ulrichsberg (A): Kaleidophon, Dornbirn (A): Profiles Festival, Krakow (POL): AUDIOART, International Festival of Contemporary Music, Gent (B)/Essen (GER)/s'Hertogenbosch (NL): Novembermusic 2000 and 2003, Eindhoven (NL): DisTronic Festival, Utrecht (NL): Rumor-Festival, Amsterdam (NL): Gaudeamus Festival, Brussels (B): DOMINO Festival, Barcelona (E): LEM-Festival, L'Espai, Paris (F): Festival au Centre Culturel Suisse, Mulhouse (F): Festival de Jazz, Colmar (F): Jazz Decouvertes, Tbilissi (GEO): Close Encounters festival, Brno (CZ) : Contemporary Music Festival, Krakow (POL) : Autumn Jazz Festival, Wroclaw (POL) : Rura Jazz Festival, Györ (HUN) : Mediawave Festival, Bern (CH): Taktlos02 Festival, Zurich (CH): Tage für Neue Musik, Winterthur (CH): Internationale Musikfestwochen, Biel (CH): Ear We Are, Poschiavo (CH): Uncool Festival, Schaffhausen (CH): Jazz-Festival, Chur (CH): Werner Luedi Memorial Festival, St.Moritz (CH): Fest der Künste

Some press commentaries:
" Is there a place in the world for such music? I doubt it. Too in awe of the transcendent properties of amplification for the jazz and Improv circuits, too wired and volatile for the alt.rock communities, annexed by the classical academy from the parallel soundworlds dreamed by Iannis Xenakis and Edgar Varèse, it exists in a vibrant but diminishing place, sealed off from all enquiry, ripe for discovery." (The WIRE)
"Their first CD (Live) showcases nothing less than an explosion of hard-core Hammond and free improv. On this record you will find elements of rock, metal, punk, hard-core, serial music, contemporary music, jazz, new music and free. Whoa! (...)the band also likes to rearrange works of obscure contemporary composers like Ruth Crawford (1930s) or serialist Hermann Meier (1950s). (...) Frenetic rhythms alternate with minimalistic moods. (...)always managing to surprise the listener for 75 minutes. Did I tell you this record is fantastic?" (DELIRE ACTUEL)
"With an energy akin to perversity, Steamboat Switzerland thrashes empty virtuosity in jazz and fusion." (Fake)
"Steamboat Switzerland's pressure would kill a certain audience on the spot" (URAL online)
"The thrill is back!" (Bad Alchemy)
Lots of reviews:
You will find some additional informations in the liner notes of the new two CDs as well as in in the promotional text of GROB. Please, visit also our page on the label's website:

Influence: Loud'n'clear
Extra info: Our band name stands for our revulsion against Dixieland and for our affinity for Art Brut, especially our band's patron saint Adolf Woelfli

If you need anything more: ask for photos, bios, recensions, CDs, Posters etc. - we'll send it right away:
STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND c/o Marino Pliakas, Goldbrunnenstrasse 46, CH-8055 Zurich, phone/fax +41-1-4517444, Email:

STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND 'Live' (Unit 4104, 1998)
STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND 'ac/dB[hayden]' (GROB 316, 2001) - also on Vinyl-LP, limited edition
STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND 'unknown song/zone' (feat. Simone Vollenweider, voc.), 7"-Vinyl-Single
STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND 'The Box' (MULTIGROB 001, 2001 - limited edition!!):
'Budapest', 'ac/dB[hayden]' plus 'unknown song/zone'-Single plus Photos etc. in exclusive box
STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND/Pierre Huyghe(F)/Tyler Whisnand(USA), SSCL214 (DVD, ‘loud&clear’, Bifrons/Amsterdam 2002)
STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND 'Wertmueller' (GROB 655, 2005)