Music as transcendence, the musical instrument as an object of fetish.
André van Rensburg, South African born instrumentalist, composer & improviser has given his life in the pursuit of new music, challenging both the performer and listener.
His journey in music has also lead him on a geographical tour. He has traveled the world studying the music of varies cultures.
When he was 6 years old, André 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. Many believe 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 England 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.
His 1st solo album ’Concrete’ (an extremely varied composed/improvised instrumental album) was released in 2007, breaking away from electronics and performed by his newly formed group, the Poisondwarf Ensemble in Taipei, Taiwan.
His second solo album (featuring, among others, Chieko Mori and Yuko Ikoma) was recorded in Tokyo, Kyoto & Taipei. Chieko Mori (on koto) is well known for her work with ground-breaking theatre Director Robert Wilson. 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 download. It is his 1st work 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.
André has also done numerous Sound Installations and composed extensively for experimental theatre, dance & film.
At present he is involved in 3 new album projects.