By / Off The Press / Wednesday, 09 June 2021 09:15

Spoorlangs is ANDRIES BEZUIDENHOUT’s fourth solo album. This new album’s title is derived from the first track, also named ‘Spoorlangs’ (translated: Along the railway tracks). – Presents trains as limited to fixed tracks, as opposed to feet and wheels that can lose their way. Like the title track, the album is an exploration of direction and aimlessness and the idea that the process of getting lost can also be a means to finding your way.

Andries and his wife Irma du Plessis moved to Alice in the Eastern Cape in 2018. The album is Andries’ first offering that contains only music composed in the Eastern Cape. About this, Andries says: “My music has always dealt with places and landscapes, people who live there or who travel there, on their way to somewhere or nowhere. My father’s side of the family is from this part of the world, they lived in Adelaide and King William’s Town. I had to discover the landscape anew, though, the idea of returning to my roots were merely symbolic. This place has a deep and dramatic history. There were wars, the first mission stations were founded in the area. Many of the old buildings have gone to ruin, some are restored again. For me, music, poetry, and painting are ways to make sense of where I am, which is most probably why the landscape is such a prominent theme.”

Spoorlans also contains two tracks with lyrics in isiXhosa. The chorus of ‘Umasizakhe’ comes from a traditional struggle song that deals with land (“umhlaba”). The other track is about Alice and the role of missionaries in the establishment of the town. Andries quotes the classic hymn ‘Lizalis indanga lakho’ by Tiyo Soga – the hymn is so widely known that even members of Sesotho congregations typically sing the original isiXhosa version.

‘Linte vir twee trourokke’ (translated: Ribbons for two wedding dresses) is an unconventional recording. It starts out sounding like a gramophone recording. Andries explains: “In part this is inspired by a conversation with co-producer Willem Möller about the history of sound recording. I also really like a re-interpretation of the old Yiddish song 'Bei mir bistu shein' (by Vibers), which is a response to the original recording by the Andrews Sisters. With my recording, I tried to mimic an album from the 1930s – recorded in mono and with a limited frequency spectrum. I wanted to hear what happened when this sound morphed into a more contemporary sound, in full stereo.”

The track ‘Klavierles by Mev. Kaplan’ (tr: Piano lessons with Mrs Kaplan) contains a musical theme from Claude Debussy’s popular “Clair de lune”, the third movement from his Suite bergamasque. About this, Andries says: “This is my most ambitious music project to date. The song is about two children who must practice and perform a duet by Claude Debussy. The theme in the song doesn’t come from a duet though but from Debussy’s Suite bergamasque. I wanted to give it a kind of jazz arrangement and had to play the bass myself, an instrument I’ve not mastered. Let me put it as follows: I recorded it slowly and patiently. Nevertheless, I’m happy with the product.”

Andries’ friend Joey Kok, who also appears on his previous album Onplaats, does backing vocals. Her voice was recorded in a huge rondawel in the Bushveld near Bela-Bela. Andries explains: “Thatch is wonderful for acoustics and rondawels don’t have corners where wayward bass frequencies conspire against you.”

Vocals, music instruments, programming, recording and mix by Andries Bezuidenhout, backing vocals on “Spoorlangs”, “Klavierles by Mev Kaplan” and “Waarheen vandaan” by Joey Kok. Mastered by Willem Möller. All lyrics and melodies by Andries Bezuidenhout, except for a theme by Claude Debussy on “Klavierles by Mev Kaplan”, isiXhosa lyrics on “Umasizakhe” traditional and on “Lied vir Dikeni” by Tiyo Soga. Recorded in Alice, East London, Nieu Bethesda, and on a farm near Bela-Bela. Mastered at Sharp Street Studios in Glencairn.

Spoorlangs cover

Spoorlangs is available on streaming platforms: Spotify, Apple Music & YouTube

Good news for fans of Andries Bezuidenhout and Brixton Moord en Roof Orkes is that a selection of their popular albums from way back is now also available on digital platforms. These titles include: Brixton Moord & Roof Orkes' Slaaptyd in die suburbs, Terug in skubbe and Spergebied with bonus tracks (live recordings from 1999)  - and Bezuidenhout’s Insomniak se droomalamanak.


1. Insomniak se droomalmanak (2003, Rhythm Records) – Solo.
2. Bleek berus (2009, One-F Records) – Solo.
3. Onplaats (2020, Die Wasgoedlyn) – Solo.
4. Spergebied (2002, Rhythm Records) – BMRO.
5. Terug in skubbe (2005, Rhythm Records) – BMRO.
6. Slaaptyd in die suburbs (2014, Independent) – BMRO.


a) Retoer (2007, Protea Boekhuis)
b) Veelvuldige gebruike vir huishoudelike toestelle (2014, Protea Boekhuis).

Follow Andries Bezuidenhout: Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube


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