Andries Bezuidenhout Releases New Album 'ONPLAATS'

Andries Bezuidenhout Releases New Album 'ONPLAATS'

Andries Bezuidenhout Releases New Album 'ONPLAATS'

By Press Release / Off The Press / Wednesday, 27 May 2020 12:30

ONPLAATS is Andries Bezuidenhout’s third solo album. It contains twelve original compositions, with lyrics and music by Andries, apart from the track “Tussen Platvoet en Stoompomp”, for which Herman van Veen composed the melody. The album is dedicated to the old and the new Gereformeerde Blues Band, in part in appreciation of the roles played by Riku Lätti and Willem Möller in producing the album. Riku assisted with arrangements and sourcing musicians to contribute and Willem Möller was responsible for the album’s final mix and master.

Thematically Onplaats deals with South African characters and the places where they find themselves, from Elvis du Preez, who struts through Pretoria’s streets in the 1990s, to Lukas, who traverses Johannesburg’s inner city on his skateboard. There are station towns without stations and late-night revellers who take the last bus home. The arrangements are mostly acoustic, but with the support of a solid rhythm section and melodic backing vocals. Background soundscapes are used to create atmosphere. Andries explains: “There are soundscapes from the environment, mostly from the Eastern Cape – the ocean, the Karoo. My idea was that people should also be able to hear the landscapes described in the lyrics, there has to be something familiar to the ear, very much like successful landscape paintings that remind you of a familiar place and feeling.”

What does Onplaats mean?

Andries answers: “The title plays with the word ‘plaat’, which can refer to a music album in Afrikaans. So the fact that this is an ‘onplaat’ means that it is not an album, a humoristic comment on the fact that it is only released online. This is my first album that won’t be released as CD, never mind printed as an LP! So this is not an album, it is a non-album."

“At another level, the word refers to the Dutch word ‘plaats’, which means ‘place’. This is also the origin of the Afrikaans word ‘plaas’, for ‘farm’. This part of the title-pun was inspired by an interaction with the Dutch musician and visual artist Herman van Veen. In 2005 I performed at a festival in Utrecht hosted by him, along with a number of other South African musicians. As part of the programme, he requested me to send a lyric in advance, which he then put music to. The lyric I sent – ‘Tussen Platvoet en Stoompomp’ – speaks about someone who wants to farm between two places called Platvoet (“flat foot”) and Stoompomp (“steam pump”). These places actually exist in the Free State Province, but very few South Africans will have heard of them. So the lyric is really about wanting to farm in a place that does not exist – an unplace, or onplaats. Herman van Veen discussed the possibility of translating the lyric into Dutch, but in his proposed translation he referred to a farm ‘between nothing and nowhere’. I wanted to know why he didn’t pick Dutch equivalents for Platvoet and Stoompomp. “His answer was that there wasn’t a single place in the Netherlands that most people will not have heard of. I used a map to pick a few names, but for each of my suggestions, Herman could relate the history, for example, that some or other bishop had been executed there in, say, the year 1415. The discussion pointed to a contrast between the Netherlands and South Africa. The Netherlands is more intimate, generally familiar, whereas in South Africa there are many places that are marginal to the imagination of those in power. So this inspired, in part, the title Onplaats – a place that only exists in the imagination, an un-place.”

Musicians on 'Onplaats'

Andries Bezuidenhout: Vocals, steel and nylon string guitars, Emma van Biljon and Lisa Bezuidenhout: Children’s voices, Vangile Bingwa: Backing vocals and choir, Rosa Da Costa-Bezuidenhout: Backing vocals and choir, Mark Ellis: Bass guitar, Lathitha Espin: Backing vocals, Joey Kok: Backing vocals, Jackie Lätti: Choir, Riku Lätti: Electric guitar and keyboards, Jean Marais: Drums and another percussion, Willem Möller: Electric and acoustic guitar, Jake Rabie: Choir, Lukas van Garderen: Keyboards.

Production:

ONPLAATS was recorded from September 2018 to April 2020. Andries’ vocals and guitars recorded in Alice, Nieu-Bethesda, Lowlands Farm (near Cradock) and East London. Vangile’s vocals recorded in Alice. Joey, Jake, Lathitha, Rosa, Emma and Lisa’s vocals, as well as Lukas’ keyboard, recorded at Lowlands. Jean’s drums and Mark’s bass guitar recorded at Mark-Tunes Studio in Stellenbosch. Riku’s guitar and keyboards and Jackie’s vocals recorded at Wasgoedlyn Studio in Strand. Willem Möller’s guitar recorded at Sharp Street Studio in Glencairn. Final mix and master by Willem Möller at Sharp Street Studio in Glencairn.

Listen to some tracks below!

Listen to 'Vertrek' below!

Andries Onplaats1

Stream Buy/Stream the album on these popular streaming platforms

Tracks on the album:

1. AASVOËLS BO LANGENHOVENPARK
2. SOMER
3. TUSSEN PLATVOET EN STOOMPOMP
4. ONDIEN SE WIEGELIED
5. VERSKONINGS
6. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS
7. SUSTER GELUK
8. WILGEDORP SE RASIONALISERINGSBALLADE
9. DIE SPOORLOSE VERDWYNING VAN ELVIS DU PREEZ
10. LAST ROUND REGULARS
11. VERTREK
12. LUKAS IMPOSSIBLE

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