New Internationalist

Attac! Another World is Possible

August 2004
370another-world [Related Image]

Here’s an album that embodies contradiction. Indeed, Another World wears it in the form of a bar-coded atlas – right on its very handsome sleeve.

Nothing could be worthier or more radical than anti-globalization collective Attac – an impressively organized group that has taken full advantage of internet communications to promote its ideas. It’s just a pity that the content doesn’t match the intentions. Which is not to say Another World is a dummy. Its sleeve includes an integral 60-page booklet containing essays by fellow travellers like Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky and McDonald’s trashing farmer José Bové. Its 15 tracks are pretty good, too: Asian Dub Foundation and Zebda’s ‘Police on My Back’; Moby’s ‘Afterlife’ and Nitin Sawhney’s ‘Falling (at Jazz Dub)’. Some of them will be familiar; from their original releases or from the plethora of compilation albums circulating the world. Massive Attack’s ‘Karmacoma’ has probably now appeared on so many collections one could host a game of snap.

Of course this isn’t Attac’s problem, per se: they can only work with what they’re given. But is what they’re given governed by the management and record companies whose interest lies in restricted release? Compilations are a cheap way of revenue-raising. It doesn’t take much imagination – look at the Help! album used to raise funds for the Warchild charity – to get unreleased tracks, out-takes or one-offs. Now that would be truly radical.

Louise Gray

Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 370 This column was published in the August 2004 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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