Various Artists – Four Corners of the Global (OCCII Live Recordings) LP
OCCII in Amsterdam is one of these stations, already for more than 25 years. It’s a free port for all kinds of music that don’t fit the commercial entertainment template. And it will be clear that they won’t be mainstream pop. It’s folk and grass roots music from around the world. It’s jazz and improvised music, rooted in freedom. It’s punk, based on anger and spontaneity. And that is precisely the music presented on this LP, recorded at Occii and other cultural oases in Amsterdam.
Like freedom, music doesn’t have constraints. The record opens with Zea and Afework Nigussie, a Dutchman and an Ethiopian, singing a topical American folk blues song from the early twentieth century. Les Filles de Illighadad from Niger and Ghanese kologo champion King Ayisoba take over, simply to prove that music is a language that is understood around the world. Improvisation-based rock band Kurws from Poland presents a piece from their album ‘Alarm’, anticipating the B side of the LP, which opens with a fifteen-minute explosion of energy and creativity by Cinema Soloriens. Filmmaker and musician James Harrar and Marshall Allen – the cosmic Sun Ra’s musical right hand for almost half a century – with the help of a few more like-minded souls aim straight for the stars in ‘The Man who Married the Moon’. The record ends on some drops of healthy, undiluted punk. Rhode Island’s Dropdead and Dutch veterans LäRM with former Rondos frontman Johannes ‘Red Rat’ van de Weert as a guest singer. ‘Every day is a new start’ says Rooie Waas’ Gijs Borstlap. It’s something to remember. Like Dropdead singer Bob Otis’ words on this LP: ‘If one voice can change the future, then what can a hundred voices do? Or a thousand?’ In other words: Do It Yourself, All Together.