The Upper Strata

a chameleon-like duo blending indie folktronica, downtempo, trip hop and blues.

Johnny and Reg are a Swiss-based songwriting team. The folktronica duo is blending acoustic songwriting with electronic beats and interwoven vocal harmonies. Our latest release Luap Elk is a multi-layered musical journey inspired by the life and work of Paul Klee. His art as well as the story of his life have bittersweet notes and qualities that the album captures and reflects.

If you catch us live, expect a chillout set with Johnny on guitar and Reg on bass and sequencers.


Available on

favorite gigs so far

    Soda Bar (San Diego, CA), Parterre One (Basel, Switzerland), Last Exit Live (Phoenix, AZ), Dantes (Portland, OR), Tempe Marketplace (Tempe, AZ), The Quarry (Bisbee, AZ) Hotel Utah (San Francisco, CA), Sidepony Express Music Festival (Bisbee, AZ), Scottsdale Arts Festival (AZ), Mesa Arts Center (Mesa, AZ)




Various Small Flames (about Luap Elk)

" There is a dramatic, evocative tone here that is very effective, utilising quiet and space to great effect."

Carly Schorman, YabYum (talking about the Album Fog)

"Fog is a hazy soundscape of ambient noises that only touches on the border of shoegaze and indie. ... a monumentally chill album."

YabYum (talking about the album Neon Glitz)

“It tackles not only styles and genres rarely blended together (let alone, so fluently), but also addresses in its lyrics issues and concepts many are afraid to even consider."


Luap Elk - album cover Luap Elk is a multi-layered musical journey inspired by the life and work of Paul Klee. It was recorded in an old church in northern Italy. Ranging from folktronica to R & B, it is available as a limited edition vinyl. Released December 2020.
Fog - album cover Fog is a varied soundscape of lush wet tones and atmosphere. A tone meditation on a natural intriguing trick of the light. Inspired by and recorded in Portland (OR, USA), Basel (Switzerland) and Vaksdal (Norway). Released September 2019.
Fog Instrumental - album cover Fog Instrumental features 12 chillout songs. The perfect soundtrack for your meditation or yoga hour. Sparse sequencer beats, interwoven with spacey guitar and synths create a relaxing soundscape. Released August 2019.
Neon Glitz - album cover Neon Glitz consists of electro indie dance tracks - mixed with soul and trip hop. The album is truly local - written and recorded in Portland, mastered by Telegraph Mastering (Portland) and pressed at Cascade Record Pressing (Portland). Limited Edition Vinyl. 2017
Cabaret Wartaire - album cover Cabaret Wartaire blends Old World accordion sounds with modern electronic elements and beats. Thematically, the album is a collection of conflicts (man vs. nature, peace vs. war, female vs. male, corporations vs. individuals).
Shadow Upon The Snow - album cover Shadow Upon The Snow is an eclectic mix of genres - funky rock, reggae and folk flavors - add up to a fun little romp.
Phantastic Pigeon-Holes - album cover Phantastic Pigeon-Holes takes you on a bluesy trip through the desert southwest. Songs are littered with saloons, old mining towns, and haunted hotels. The influence is ranging from Tom Waits to Son House and Muddy Waters to Morphine. The resulting album is an eclectic mix of genres.
Manifest - album cover Manifest is an EP featuring Blues, Pop, and Alternative sounds that form an eclectic and varied collection.
From Restless To Ruin - album cover From Restless to Ruin is a raw, emotional recording of acoustic songs that have been played in many coffeehouses and galleries.