I revisited the refreshed landscape of ‘Niemandsland’ and...


I revisited the refreshed landscape of ‘Niemandsland’ and found song heaven

Koos Kombuis's 1989 album has been demixed and rereleased on vinyl, and it's stood the test of time. It sounds better than ever and it still bring tears to the eyes, writes FRED DE VRIES.

THIS is a story about my all-time favourite South African album, with a long and winding Beatles preamble. So let’s start there.

In 1966 the Fab Four released their seventh album, Revolver. It’s generally seen as a work of genius, a giant step for pop music. Suddenly, John, Paul, George and Ringo laced their catchy melodies with druggy experimentation and daring instrumentation. Rolling Stone voted it the best Beatles album ever.

According to Discogs (https://www.discogs.com/), no fewer than 821 versions of Revolver have been released worldwide, from Taiwanese pressings to Croatian cassettes. Last year we saw the latest addition: a deluxe box set containing four full stereo LPs, a seven-inch single and a book (for those of us who don’t have record players, there were also CD and FLAC versions). But unlike all the previous re-issues, this was a completely new mix. Cynics had a field day. Why, they sneered, tamper with something perfect? Why touch it? This is sacrilege, they shouted. Leave mono as it is, mono!..

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