The Levellers- Levelling The Land - Box Set with 5.1 mix

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DuncanS

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The Levellers are releasing their cult status breaking album in a Box Set with a 5.1 mix on DVD, so probably DD or DTS - the Box is limited edition of 300 - which I've just coughed up for. I suspect it may eventually appear on streaming services in Atmos as its mentioned but its a DVD in the box.

https://www.levellers.co.uk/collect...ng-the-land-2023-remix?variant=42411119640767
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The Album

Jon: Levelling The Land was recorded at Ridge Farm studios in Surrey, in July and August of 1991. Al Scott was the producer, we had 24 tracks of analogue tape to work with and we used them all.
Al’s original mixes of the album were perfect but music in the early 1990s was bound by technology. We were told that too much bass would overload people’s tiny TV and car speakers. Subsequently low frequencies were removed from the EQ leaving a slightly disappointing listening experience (compared to modern recordings).
The advances in music mixing technology have given us a ‘wider’ stereo image to listen to these days and, at its most extreme, multi-channel 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Atmos, allowing for more space in the music between instruments and voices.
The idea was to remix the album from the original multitracks so it sounds current, but (really importantly) without losing sight of the album that everyone knows and loves. I called Al Scott. He was immediately up for it and in my opinion has done the perfect job.
Once Al’s new mixes were finished I set about creating surround sound 5.1 mixes, the perfect platform for all those guitar and percussion overdubs. And because Dolby Atmos is the ’new thing’, why not some of those as well…
We planned for a 30th anniversary release, 2021.
Except the global Covid pandemic caused massive backlogs with vinyl pressing plants around the world; there was no chance of getting all this material together in time.
So forget the anniversary, it’s just a number. Far more important is that this definitive collection of material is finally seeing the light of day.
Songs as relevant today as they were in 1991.
Sounding great.

The Remix

Al: I was amazed when I got the multi tracks through from Jon.
To hear the recordings we’d done 30 years ago brought back so many memories - putting speakers around the indoor pool to get reverb, recording guitar parts out in the fields to get that vibe.
It was an album everyone put heart and soul into, and I will always remember that.
Some albums kind of mix themselves. The parts are all there with loads of energy, the songs are great and it’s just a matter of balancing it all up. This was one of those.
It was great to get more bottom end in the remixes as that was something the band and I had felt for ages. In my head it sounds more like the band actually sound like.
I just wish Sell Out started: ‘The year is 2021’. It’s more relevant now than it was 30 years ago.


The Artwork

Jeremy: When I first heard of this new LTL project I knew exactly what I had to do with the artwork. The same way the listener’s enjoyment has been amplified, so I had to expand the visual world.
The triple gatefold format allowed for exactly that: I drew back the curtains a little more from the classic LTL cover scene, so now u can see the suburbs and what’s going on there!
I decided on a black + white lino cut because I wanted to keep the same, iconic LTL image central, but having it look different at the same time; something familiar + yet not.
 
Wow, that's unexpected. Great album, I hope it's 1.509 Mbps dts on there but maybe some contact with the label/artist might result in FLAC 5.1 downloads for those who purchased the set? This would be the type of release that would fit well in @PaulatSDE surround series - lossless 5.1 and Atmos mixes plus high rez 2023 stereo mix...day one pre-order for me.
 
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The Levellers are releasing their cult status breaking album in a Box Set with a 5.1 mix on DVD, so probably DD or DTS - the Box is limited edition of 300 - which I've just coughed up for. I suspect it may eventually appear on streaming services in Atmos as its mentioned but its a DVD in the box.

https://www.levellers.co.uk/collect...ng-the-land-2023-remix?variant=42411119640767
View attachment 96307
The Album

Jon: Levelling The Land was recorded at Ridge Farm studios in Surrey, in July and August of 1991. Al Scott was the producer, we had 24 tracks of analogue tape to work with and we used them all.
Al’s original mixes of the album were perfect but music in the early 1990s was bound by technology. We were told that too much bass would overload people’s tiny TV and car speakers. Subsequently low frequencies were removed from the EQ leaving a slightly disappointing listening experience (compared to modern recordings).
The advances in music mixing technology have given us a ‘wider’ stereo image to listen to these days and, at its most extreme, multi-channel 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Atmos, allowing for more space in the music between instruments and voices.
The idea was to remix the album from the original multitracks so it sounds current, but (really importantly) without losing sight of the album that everyone knows and loves. I called Al Scott. He was immediately up for it and in my opinion has done the perfect job.
Once Al’s new mixes were finished I set about creating surround sound 5.1 mixes, the perfect platform for all those guitar and percussion overdubs. And because Dolby Atmos is the ’new thing’, why not some of those as well…
We planned for a 30th anniversary release, 2021.
Except the global Covid pandemic caused massive backlogs with vinyl pressing plants around the world; there was no chance of getting all this material together in time.
So forget the anniversary, it’s just a number. Far more important is that this definitive collection of material is finally seeing the light of day.
Songs as relevant today as they were in 1991.
Sounding great.

The Remix

Al: I was amazed when I got the multi tracks through from Jon.
To hear the recordings we’d done 30 years ago brought back so many memories - putting speakers around the indoor pool to get reverb, recording guitar parts out in the fields to get that vibe.
It was an album everyone put heart and soul into, and I will always remember that.
Some albums kind of mix themselves. The parts are all there with loads of energy, the songs are great and it’s just a matter of balancing it all up. This was one of those.
It was great to get more bottom end in the remixes as that was something the band and I had felt for ages. In my head it sounds more like the band actually sound like.
I just wish Sell Out started: ‘The year is 2021’. It’s more relevant now than it was 30 years ago.



The Artwork

Jeremy: When I first heard of this new LTL project I knew exactly what I had to do with the artwork. The same way the listener’s enjoyment has been amplified, so I had to expand the visual world.
The triple gatefold format allowed for exactly that: I drew back the curtains a little more from the classic LTL cover scene, so now u can see the suburbs and what’s going on there!
I decided on a black + white lino cut because I wanted to keep the same, iconic LTL image central, but having it look different at the same time; something familiar + yet not.
Would love to have the surround disc…but not at that price. Bleeders 😡
 
I have an order in for this, but don't expect it to deliver here to the colonies before the new year.
Curious if a UK cousin has any shipping news now that we're halfway to Christmas Eve?
 
I got mine the day I left on a business trip out of the country!
Cool, hoping for a shipping email any time now.

I see it still in stock on the web site, even with the 300 limit.
However, the price has gone up to 130 GBP from the 100 I pre-ordered it for.
Which takes the sting out of a 30 quid shipping charge to the USA.

It was on a weeks-long training course in Southern California I heard One Way in frequent rotation on KROQ radio while making the Orange County commutes, became a bit of an anthem for me.
Flyers & discs on display in the record stores with the unique art, so had to pick it up.

Looking forward to the box, though the vinyl will likely remain unplayed fetish objects.
 
I got mine the day I left on a business trip out of the country!
Have you had a listen to the 5.1 yet? Any good? I did email the Levellers directly with a few suggestions ie SDE etc, had a reply saying my email had been passed on to Jon and the management, fingers crossed something comes of it. The box is £130 now, I'd love to hear the 5.1 mix but £130 is a little too much. If A Weapon Called The Word had also been included I probably would have bitten!
 
I pinged them about doing a hi-res download not long after the box set was announced, and they said in no uncertain terms that they weren't interested :(

In the interview they do mention an Atmos version, but that's only going to work on Blu-ray isn't it? As the box only has a DVD and 5.1 I was sort of assuming that an Atmos download would appear at some point, if they've done the mixes...
 
In the interview they do mention an Atmos version, but that's only going to work on Blu-ray isn't it? As the box only has a DVD and 5.1 I was sort of assuming that an Atmos download would appear at some point, if they've done the mixes...
It's a similar situation to Bruce Soord's last solo album, where the 5.1 mix was released on physical disc (DVD) in a deluxe set while the Atmos version was commissioned solely for streaming delivery. However, KScope also allowed the Atmos mix to be released as an MKV download with lossless TrueHD (the exact same audio you'd get on a Blu-Ray). I was hoping the same strategy could apply here.
 
Have you had a listen to the 5.1 yet? Any good? I did email the Levellers directly with a few suggestions ie SDE etc, had a reply saying my email had been passed on to Jon and the management, fingers crossed something comes of it. The box is £130 now, I'd love to hear the 5.1 mix but £130 is a little too much. If A Weapon Called The Word had also been included I probably would have bitten!
Embarrassingly I haven't, I hope to reduce the size of the to-listen-to mountain this Xmas period, but failing so far!
 
Dispatched from UK 15-12-23, delivered to Cornstock Nation 20-12-23.

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I was charged 30 British pounds shipping.
Her Majesty's Royal Mail stamp appears to indicate The Levellers paid £41.80 to get my £99.99 pre-order to me in time for Christmas. Much appreciated.

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I bought this knowing the emphasis was on the LPs, with 45 RPM pressings, white vinyl, deluxe triple gatefold covers, etc.

Shamefully, for the work that went in to making a 5.1 mix & remaster, the discs were carelessly tossed into the box unprotected, allowing them to slip out of their loose cardboard sleeves in transit.


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How is the mix?
It's what I was hoping for so far: discrete, improved bottom end, crankable.

One Way opens with centered vocal, wah clavinet RR, fiddle LR.
After the first chorus, cowbell RR.

During the instrumental break after the second chorus, eight bars of congas isolated across rears.

When the wah wah rhythm guitar chords come in, they pan twice around the room for eight bars in a lemniscate or "infinity symbol" shape: LF -> RR -> RF -> LR.
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Here in Nebraska, when that brand is used on cattle, we call it a "lazy eight." 🤠
 
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