Oval at Soup Kitchen

Johnny James, Managing Editor
Double Blind

Oval at Soup, Manchester 14 August 2019 Tickets from £12 — Book now

Oval, one of the most influential forces in contemporary electronic music, will descend the sticky stairs of Soup Kitchen this August. He’s why you should join him.

Like many great creative minds, Germany’s Markus Popp aka Oval is a shapeshifter. Back in the mid 90’s, he pioneered the glitch movement with two now-legendary records: Systemisch and 94Diskont. Ambient masterpieces, these weird and dreamy creations featured the sounds of technology hitting its limits, with entire tracks built out of digital distortion and skipping CD’s. Landing like alien ships, Oval’s albums sent shockwaves through the emerging electronica landscape, and continue to inspire musicians around the world to this day.

After a long hiatus, Oval returned in 2010 with a startlingly new style, which he termed ‘hyper-real’. An EP called Oh and an album called O saw him drastically change up his methods of creation. Rather than mutilating CD’s and processing the odd samples they produced, he now met modern music on its own terms, essentially seeing how much weirdness he could get out of stock sounds, plugins, and, surprisingly, live drums. More accessible? Sure. Still future-leaning? Absolutely. Ranging from delicate pop vignettes to brutally torn, electro-acoustic oddities, Oval’s work from this period is both beguiling and challenging – in a completely different way to his early output.

This pioneer is still pioneering.

To collaborative records with Brazilian singers came next, bringing their own musical shifts, before Oval changed tact yet again in 2016. Self-referentially entitled Popp, this solo record felt like a club album from an alternate universe. A joyous information overload from beginning to end, it is, in Oval’s words, “a relentless, euphoric love letter to a long-lost musical utopia”. At times approaching Holly Herndon’s Platform, each track is stunningly complex, often inexplicable and always masterfully-produced. Representing his most outrageous reinvention yet, the album serves as an exciting reminder that this pioneer is still pioneering.

As Popp closes, an obvious question lingers…

…What next?

The answer might just lie in the basement of Soup Kitchen on the 14 August.

Oval at Soup, Manchester 14 August 2019 Tickets from £12 Book now

Where to go near Oval at Soup Kitchen

City Centre
Restaurant
Blockbusters NQ

A quirky bar, paying homage to the unfortunately deceased Blockbusters video rental stores, with aptly named cocktails and a great atmosphere.

Castle Hotel pub in Manchester
Manchester
Bar or Pub
Castle Hotel

A pub with a 200 year-long history on Oldham Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, the Castle Hotel has a musical past.

Manchester
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Behind Closed Doors

A hidden den of debauchery and indulgence. A fresh take on a basement cocktail bar in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

UNITOM bookshop
Manchester
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UNITOM

UNITOM is home to a wide array of publications on contemporary art, design, fashion, photography and counterculture, alongside an extensive range of independent magazines.

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Selina NQ1

Selina NQ1 is a creative and charming yet sophisticated hotel in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

The Corner Boy
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The Corner Boy

Back in action for spring/summer 2021, Corner Boy is a welcoming, dimly-lit bar on the edge of Stevenson Square in the Northern Quarter.

Manchester
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Gullivers

Head north on Oldham Street and you’ll come across Gullivers, a ‘no gimmicks and no pretensions’ pub and gig venue.

Bakerie, Manchester. Courtesy Bakerie
Manchester
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Bakerie

Bakerie in Manchester’s Northern Quarter is an open-plan restaurant which features comfy booths, ordinary tables and communal-style benches.

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Flok

A much-needed addition to the fast-growing Stevenson Square area of the Northern Quarter. Flok offers sophistication, superb tapas-style food and an impressively well-stocked bar.

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