– a hybrid of two words:
"Kraut" – a favourite root vegetable of the Deutsche
Volk; also used colloquially by English speakers to refer to the
"Pop!" – a music and art style popular with the
masses; also used colloquially by German speakers to refer to the
act of making love!
Hence Krautpop! – a musical form for the masses, sometimes
sung in German, sometimes in English, but always
The idea for a label called Krautpop! was something which Paul J
Greco, the veteran bass player from Chumbawamba, had been mulling
over since he left England and moved to Cologne, Germany following
At the turn of the Millennium Paul and another old-timer, Klaus
Cornfield of Throw that Beat in the Garbage Can, founded the band
Katze. Together they were determined to release something before
they got too old for
After seeing Katze performing one night at the legendary Gebäude
9 in Köln-Deutz, an impressed Stephan Plank invited the band
to record at the studio his dad built in Wolperath. Conny’s
Studio, in the '70s, was the groundrock of
Many seminal bands had recorded there, including the influential
Neu! It was into this hallowed place, a quarter of a century later,
that Katze came to record their first session with in-house engineer
Marc Weis –
"Katze play Krautpop!"
On Katze's second visit to Conny’s during the long cold winter
of 2002, Paul invited Axel Hilgenstöhler, a chum from Thumb,
to produce some new tracks with Marc. There was one stand out track
from that session –
"The Girl, the Fame and the Money"
Paul and Stephan tried hard to get some record company interest
in Katze, but alas this was the time of no reply. Never one to give
up, Paul decided that now was the time for action, and thus started
his own label.
The first release on Krautpop! in the spring of 2003, was the seven
inch split single from Katze and local band
Locas in Love
With eye-catching original artwork from both bands on the sleeve
of the red vinyl 45, the Köln based label had set its standards
high. Indeed, Axel had persuaded Paul to allow him to mix Katze
directly onto a 2-Track Studer hired from
The mastering of the single was in itself a study of probably the
best two mastering studios in Germany.
The Locas employed Kai Blankenberg of Skyline Studios, while Katze's
side was mastered by Michael Schwabe at
During the tumultuously long hot summer of 2003 Katze and Paul unfortunately
parted company. Around this time Paul briefly joined another local
band to help them make a demo, and find a new bass player. That
Although he didn't stay long, he was sufficiently impressed by the
band to invite them to release a CD on Krautpop! While the band
busied themselves recording at various locations, the talented Henning
Moersen joined Paul and Stephan in getting the new label going.
When the time for mixing came, Gloria also made the pilgrimage to
There they spent a lovely weekend in the beautiful old farmhouse
adjacent to the studio, where they succumbed to the culinary delights
of Stephan's mother, Christa Fast. On their first day in the studio
with Axel and Marc they mixed
The next day, guest producer Christoph Schneider, (bassman in Clayton
Farlow and Klee ) mixed the track
“Stars (coincidentally shot down)"
This is the main song of a similarly titled 4-track CD which is
released on Krautpop! as a Digipack on Monday,
19th. January 2004
the Story of Krautpop! so far.
Krautpop! is a growing label and plans new releases this summer.
In striving to promote new talent we have added to the artist roster
singer-songwriter of Furthurs fame (and who is also drummer with
Locas in Love and Leatherette).
Here at Krautpop! we look forward to a krautpoptastic! year and
hope that all you Krautpop! - Pickers out there do too.