‘Concrete’ marks Andre van Rensburg’s 1st solo full-length album project. Recorded and produced in Taipei from 2006 – 2007, it reflects the surreal environment of a modern world in conflict with itself, finding beauty and sensuality in the chaos of the modern city.
Blending rock, jazz, classical and ambient styles and textures, it creates an album that will startle, amuse and entrance.
The music on Concrete is highly intense and is filled with unexpected turns and changes, a sonic blend of dissonance and harmony. Rather than seeing his work as ‘experimental’ or ‘avant-garde’ Andre prefers to describe his music as ‘hyper-realism’, reflecting daily life and thought in sound texture. As such it does not always have predictable repetitions or outcomes. Never taking himself too seriously, however, ‘Concrete’ is still highly enjoyable, playful and humorous in its experimentations.
South African born guitarist, composer & improvisor, André van Rensburg has been a well-known musician in the South African music scene since he was 21. Always trying to redefine the sound and role of the guitar in composed/improvised music his journey has lead him to Asia, where he has been living and performing for the past 5 years. In addition to his past discography, he has to date released 3 remarkable solo albums.
When he was 6 years old, André van Rensburg strung a guitar string to a plank of wood, attached the other end to his bedroom window bars and yanked the string until it broke. His musical vision has changed little since….
After leaving school he moved to London and Paris for a year, writing his first material. On his return to South Africa he formed the band ‘Supernature’. Supernature recorded 2 albums and was infamous for their intense theatrical live performances, often ending in chaotic noise. André then teamed up with Brendan Jury and Trans.Sky. They later formed the band ‘Ohm’, which recorded 2 albums for the British independent label M.E.L.T.2000. Ohm toured London and Holland to great reviews. The band had a unique blend of rock and middle-eastern melodies, techno beats and ambient guitar work. In 1999 he joined one of South Africa’s most well-known and popular underground industrial groups, Battery 9. This was an industrial band/theatrical live act that included scrap metal percussionists and a painter on stage. He recorded on one album with the group, ‘Sondebok’, released by BMG in 2000.
In 2004 he also released an album with Battery 9’s vocalist Paul Riekert as “Die Menere”, reinventing American country music in an Afrikaans idiom. The album, ‘floukop’ was reviewed as a breakthrough in the local scene. André has also done numerous Sound Installations in art galleries in South Africa and composed extensively for experimental theatre, dance & film.
His 1st solo album ’Concrete' (an extremely varied composed/improvised instrumental album) was released in 2007, breaking away from electronics and performed by his own ensemble.
His second solo album (featuring, among others, Chieko Mori and Yuko Ikoma) was recorded in Tokyo, Kyoto & Taipei. Chieko Mori (on Japanese koto) is well known for her work with ground-breaking theatre Director Robert Wilson as well as releasing an album on John Zorn's Tzadik label in 2005.
Yuko Ikoma is an amazing multi-talented musician (member of mama!milk and esquisse) performing accordion and toy piano on the album.
At the end of 2008 'Scopophilia (7 etudes for solo bondage guitar)' was released as a digital album only. It is his 1st album featuring only solo acoustic guitar on all tracks. Recorded in an analogue studio, these compositions and improvisations dig even deeper into sonic madness and brutal texture.