Artist : Nicolaas Kroese
Publisher : Counter Culture Chronicles #16
Year : 2018
Box Set of a C-30 cassette and 5 laser printed inserts
158 x 237 x 30 mm
Limited edition of 26
Postage & packing not included
Nicolaas Kroese (1905-1971) started a restaurant in Amsterdam in 1939. Soon after its foundation Kroese expanded his business, bought four adjoining houses in the Spuistraat plus a couple of warehouses in other parts of town, and renamed his restaurant d’Vijff Vlieghen (The Five Flies). When after World War II KLM opened a direct airline to the US, it brought to Amsterdam many American servicemen on leave from their stations in Germany and on their way to or from the US. Kroese, not only a clever businessman but also a flamboyant showman, knew how to promote his business in the US and lured celebrities such as Clark Gable, Jayne Mansfield, Orson Welles and Walt Disney to his place in the heart of Amsterdam. And in their wake many American tourists.
His business prospering and his restaurant for the greater part run by employees, Kroese gradually slipped into a grand vision of the world that was fuelled by pseudo-cabalistic numerology, ideas for world peace, a new set of Commandments to achieve it and an agricultural invention that could rid the world of hunger. It is no coincidence that Kroese and Provo artist and fellow visionary Robert Jasper Grootveld instantly hit it off in the mid-1960s. Kroese became one of Provo’s earliest advocates and patron saints.
Kroese shared his rambling utopian views with his guests at the restaurant, in the press whenever he could, in long and expensive telegrams to world leaders and had a single pressed with his secret numerology on one side and his New World Commandments on the other. This single, plus a promotional single of d’Vijff Vlieghen, has now been re-released by Counter Culture Chronicles as a limited edition C-30 cassette. Both the English and the Dutch version of the singles are included on the tape, which comes in a box together with five inserts. The recordings take the listener to the heart of Kroese’s empire. Accompanied by corny organ music and pseudo-futuristic sounds, Kroese is heard teaching and preaching his extravagant views and discoveries. Together with small xeroxes of the sleeves of the two singles and a xeroxed photo of Kroese in his restaurant, this Counter Culture Chronicles box set has turned into a beautiful document. Kroese, it’s now here for all to witness, was too big for this world.