cosman's mix (S.i.W. 4)

august 09, 2005.

[ podcast :: sbpc 01 ... s ]

Strolling through Amsterdam this saturday with the kids, to have a look at the 'nostalgic fair' set up on the Dam, and - later in the afternoon - at the colorful and noisy swinging Gay Pride Canal Parade (the 'flotilla of faggots').

We passed the Waterlooplein 'flea' market, the former jewish market (which for the known sad reasons in the early 1940s obviously ended being primarily and typically 'jewish').

I used to love that market.
I spent lots of time there, ever since first arriving in Amsterdam in the late 1970s, and saw it change places several times, until eventually it ended up where it is now, squeezed in between the infamous Stopera (the City Hall/Opera building) and the Mozes and Aäron church. The Waterlooplein is where I bought my 'white albums', furniture, loads of books, and until the mid 1980's also got most of my clothes - and all of my shoes, second hand.
The past decade, though, I have been there but seldomly. Over the years, there seem to be less and less worthwhile things left to be had there. And the little that is left appears to get pretty much drowned by ever more 'tourist trap booths'. Ah well, I guess it's all part of the ways of our world and times.

cosman waterlooplein
cosman waterlooplein

But fortunately there is Cosman mr. Okhuizen. There still is good ol' mr. Okhuizen. Old mr. Okhuizen sells old audio and film/video equipment. Vintage radio's, record players, tape machines, projectors, vhs, loud speakers, oddities. All brands, all sizes; both 'amateur' and 'pro'. Whatever he gets hold of, I guess. I remember having seen the piles of stuff there before, rather often. And I guess Okhuizen has been selling on the Waterlooplein market for many, many years. This time however it was not so much that the fun 'ancient' equipment caught my eye. It was rather that they caught my ear ... Somehow I did never notice it before, but an awful lot of the old radio's, record players, reel-to-reels are actually playing. Continuously. All together. Each radio tuned to another station, and all blah-ing on ... Commercials, rock, talk shows, plays, techno, news flashes, weather, dixieland, be-bop, german Schlagers ... In his booth, which in big red letters says 'J. Cosman B.V.' (being the name of the company renting out the booths), Okhuizen every now and then changes a record, puts on another reel, or rewinds a tape that reached its end only to start it again ... It all adds up, on the spot, to an absolutely amazing random - and for all I know quite unintentional - 'radio mix'. Which just goes on and on and on, all day long ... Try hanging around a bit; pass along the booths, and then go back again; step into the 'deep' one, then go out again; stand still for a while, turn your head, shift position ... thus you may yourself adjust the relative loudness of the many sources, and experience your own private and unique audio event ...

Yes, I do confess! I already went back there twice over the last couple of days, just to listen ... :-) .. And so should you, rain or shine: go there, dig Cosman's Mix!

[Of course I recorded some of it. Here you can listen to 4+ minutes of the mix around Okhuizen's booths on the Waterlooplein market, as it was picked up at about 15h30, saturday august 6th, by my MD walkman. Except from the short looped 'intro' and 'outro' to mark the extract's beginning and end, the recording is straight, no edits.]

So. And then I had this idea. Wouldn't it be great to one of these day do my own mix there? Bring records and tapes and what-d'ya-haves, and then - for an hour or so - use this equipment to play them? Out there in the midst of the ongoing Waterlooplein market hassle? With nothing else added, just using the radio's, record players, tape machines as they are standing there.

Now isn't that a great idea for a concert, performance or whatever you would like to call it?

... So let me try to make this happen!

[ I podcast enabled the harsmedia feed. This means nothing more than that whenever in the future in a soundblog entry I refer explicitly to downloadable mp3 files, I will add the links to these files as enclosures to the feed; which, for all practical purposes, as of "Cosman's mix", makes the harsmedia feed into a 'podcast' ... :-) ]

[ added aug. 20th 2005: Several visitors asked for the precise location of Cosman's boutique. You will find it in the outmost row of booths, opposite Waterlooplein nr. 73 ('Body Piercing Amsterdam'). The (approximate) geo-coordinates are Lat: 52:22:07N (52.3687) and Lon: 4:54:05E (4.9014) (that is inside the red circle on this 'multimap'). There is market on the Waterlooplein all days except sunday. Cosman is closed on wednesday. ]

[ modified march 11th 2006: In the original version of this entry I mistakenly presumed that 'Cosman' was the name of the man selling the vintage audio equipment on the market place. It was only recently, when I went back there to try and see if indeed it would be possible to organize an 'open air market' mix and I asked for 'mr. Cosman', that I discovered my mistake. 'Cosman' is the name of a company renting out booths on the market. The man who is selling the equipment there is called Okhuizen. Mr. Okhuizen ... old mr. Okhuizen. ]

[ added march 20th 2006: We did a Raudio 'open air mix' using the equipment in old mr. Okhuizen's booth, on the morning of tuesday march 14th, 2006 ... 1980's master tapes, scratchy found vinyl records picked from the streets, comments, radio, news, and sirenes wailing for an 'illegal' chinese, an immigrant that jumped to his death ... it all added up in the mix, that has been documented in the 20th edition of our Raudio Podcasts ... Listen to the mp3 file, and read more ... ]

tags: raudio, marcel okhuizen, waterlooplein, amsterdam

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