Kraut heads, synth lovers and those into their cool wave and minimal electronics need be aware of Kraut und Owt, a monthly night at Soup Kitchen, Manchester. Here I get together with the organisers to find out more.
Can you tell Manchester’s finest about Kraut und Owt?
Kraut und Owt is a music night held at the Soup Kitchen every third Thursday of the month from 6pm – midnight. We play Krautrock, Electronica, Library Soundtracks, Minimal Wave and owt. The ‘owt’ bit in the title means we can play anything that complements Krautrock etc. whether it’s some fresh digitally released music from LA or a forgotten piece of vinyl from central Europe.
*** Just for those who don’t know the term ‘Krautrock’ refers to post Second World War (from the late 60’s onwards) experimental German music. This phrase was originally coined by the British and American music press and has stuck. We did think about calling the music we play German rock but to most people that probably means the Scorpions! So we stuck with the less than perfect term Krautrock. ***
How long have you been running KuO?
It’s been going for well over a year but at its current location, the Soup Kitchen, it’s been running since November 2012. The Soup Kitchen is a perfect fit for the night really – it’s a bit different and has a nice atmosphere.
Tell us about the music you play there. You’re bringing together some quite uncelebrated genres and styles, what is the basis of your selection?
Ultimately we play stuff that we like but the reason we picked these particular genres stems from the origins of the night. A few years ago we (Andy & Spencer) introduced our friend Bethan to Krautrock. She was so enamoured with it that we suggested she do a night that we would help her with.
We started with Krautrock as the basis and thought about other music we could play alongside it. As there were loads of different genres and styles we thought would compliment it we decided on calling the night Kraut and Owt i.e. Krautrock and other stuff! We changed the ‘and’ to ‘und’ for a Germanic flavour and that’s how Kraut und Owt was born.
Whether its music that sounds like it could have been made years ago or something that has a quality that works well with the older stuff it gets played
The good thing about using the term ‘owt’ is that it allows us to broaden the scope of the night. It also means the night is continually evolving and doesn’t become stale. We do play music from the past but this isn’t a retro night as we play a lot of contemporary stuff too. Whether its music that sounds like it could have been made years ago or something that has a quality that works well with the older stuff it gets played.
What is your favourite music to play and why?
That’s a difficult question to answer as we have a wide-ranging taste in music and to be totally honest I don’t think we have a favourite type of music. In terms of music we play at the night we just go with the flow it’s quite organic really. We pick the next track if the mood takes us that way or there’s a track that will work well with the one currently playing. We’ll quite happily play Neu! and Boards of Canada back to back followed by some off kilter French pop by France Gall or Serge Gainsbourg. If we like it and it works well together we play it simple as that!
We’ll quite happily play Neu! and Boards of Canada back to back followed by some off kilter French pop by France Gall or Serge Gainsbourg
What makes KuO unique?
Musically I don’t think there is anyone in Manchester (or outside of Manchester come to think of it) doing the same kind of thing. It’s not just music as we usually set up slide projectors and super8 projectors to accompany the music. I suppose it’s a little bit like the original punk ethos as its very much DIY – we make everything ourselves whether it’s home made signs, film or the flyers. Crowd reaction wise its unique too I don’t think there are many nights around where you get kissed by a man for playing “Stay” by David Bowie! Whether we get acknowledged with a kiss, a firm handshake or a knowing nod it’s all very welcome.
It’s not just music as we usually set up slide projectors and super8 projectors to accompany the music. I suppose it’s a little bit like the original punk ethos as its very much DIY
What can people expect from coming along to KuO?
They can expect a friendly, unpretentious, good left of centre music night in a lovely venue in the Northern Quarter. Whether it’s a post work drink/meal or a pre-weekend night out we’ve got it covered!
What plans do you have for the future?
Kraut und Owt will continue doing our regular night but we have thought about doing a few bigger events downstairs at the Soup Kitchen. We were involved with a big event in December (Psychmare Before Christmas) in the Soup Kitchen basement that went really well so we’d like to do more specials featuring bands, DJs, visuals and creative things.
Outside of Kraut und Owt we’re thinking of doing another night in the future playing underground dance music.
Big tracks at Kraut und Owt:
Can – Mother Sky (Liberty)
Tropic of Cancer – The One Left (Mannequin)
Neu – Hallo Gallo (Brain)
Michael Bundt – The Brain of Oskar Panizza (Asylum)
Kraftwork – Spacelab (EMI)
John Carpenter – The President Is Gone (Milan)
Goblin – Profondo Rosso (Cinevox)
Serge Gainsbourg – En Melody (Philips)
Boards of Canada – Amo Bishop Roden (Warp)
Suicide – Ghost Rider (Red Star)
Silver Apples – I Have Known Love (Kapp)
Pye Corner Audio & The Advisory Circle – November Sequence (Ghost Box)
Scott Walker – The Electrician (GTO)
James Pants – Strange Girl (Stones Throw)
Zomby – Trap Door (4AD)
Kuedo – Ant City (Planet Mu)
Ohama – The Drum (Minimal Wave)
Xander Harris – Tanned Skin Dress (Not Not Fun)
Symmetry – Blood Sport (Italians Do It Better)
David Axelrod – Urizen (Capitol)
John Barry – Midnight Cowboy (EMI)
Check out the music we play at our mixcloud site.