Orges & The Ockus-Rockus Band feat. Thomas Gansch & Benny Omerzell (ALB/A)

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January 2024

After “Aheng, Aheng” and “Export-Import” comes the third album by guitarist and singer Orges Toçe. It is all about rebellion, swimming against the current - it is not for nothing that it is called “Peshk”, which translates to “fish”. The music is captivating, the lyrics are critical and address social and political problems. Even if you often don't directly understand the texts, some of which are German, English and Spanish, but largely Albanian, the music alone expresses a lot of the content and carries an incredible energy. Stylistically, the creative trio is, as always, very open; Harmonious diversity combines with creativity, virtuosity and joie de vivre to create an extremely charming and musically excellent mixture of rock, jazz and gipsy. The music of Orges & The Ockus-Rockus-Band awakens the need to jump up and dance wildly together.

Austria and Albania become a vibrant unity

The Albanian-born Orges Toçe (vocals, guitar) and his fellow musicians Bernd Satzinger (double bass) and Christian Marquez-Eberle (drums) create a stirring energy on “Peshk” that is hard to resist. The first-class guest musicians do the rest: Andrej Prozorov (saxophone), Michael Hornek (keys), Benny Omerzell (keys) and Milos Todorovski (accordion). The frontman's unmistakable, smoky voice is sometimes cajoling and mischievous, sometimes demanding, sometimes melancholic. Then suddenly it heats up again like crazy and Orges Toçe brings out all the facets of the Albanian language until you really believe that you can understand every word he says despite speaking a foreign language.

A wild mix becomes a unique style

“Don Tirona”, the first track from the album “Peshk”, immediately impresses with its bluesy-rock character, paired with great guitar lines and a bit of southern melancholy. “Kesh” shows influences from reggae and country, “Vagabond” combines ska grooves with distorted western guitar. Country music can generally be seen more often and, together with elements of jazz and gypsy music and the wild sounds of Balkan rock, it creates a mixture that only Orges Toçe and his Ockus Rockus band can afford and that has their unique style. “Next Week I Pay Guaranteed” has the charm of a bluesy Viennese song, the closing number of the album, “Vapë”, consists only of voice, walking bass and whistled melodies.

They call their music style “Balkanbilly” and that makes perfect sense – the rock’n’roll is clearly noticeable and performed at the highest level. Refreshingly different! (Yvonne-Stefanie Moriel)

Program and cast

Orges Toçe: vocals, guitar
Tobias Vedovelli: bass
Christian Marquez Eberle: drums
Martin Eberle: trumpet, fluegelhorn
Benny Omerzell: keyboards, fender rhodes

PORGY & BESS Jazzclub

Porgy & Bess (actually, Jazz and Music Club Porgy & Bess ) is a jazz club in the Riemergasse 11 in the 1st district of Vienna. The club , founded in 1993 is considered " the most important jazz organizer and trendy meeting point " of the Austrian capital .

The program of Porgy & Bess speaks to a very large audience , about 70,000 guests a year ; is accordingly Jazz " understood very pluralistic ," and the program " even in fringe areas , such as electronic music , contemporary music and world music penetrated . " Many international artists , particularly from the U.S. space , see also Austrian musician here an opportunity to perform . The club also offers the stage for events, such as the award of the Austrian World Music Award.

Musicologist Christian Scheib According to the Porgy & Bess " at the same time essential for the development of the musical ( jazz ) reality of a City" and needs and uses ' plain commonplace as urban space music. " It creates itself " through artistic preferences, acoustic quality , capacity and real capacity, the necessary exclusion of other clubs. " Here, the different areas of the jazz clubs allow - the area in front of the stage with tables, upstairs gallery , a lateral area with a bar at counter - different intense concentration on the concert scene . For Jazzthetik Porgy & Bess is even a " traditional club . "

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