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South African composer releases album in Taiwan

Experimental composer Andre van Rensburg could have easily scored another success with his new album “Concrete” in his home country of South Africa, but has chosen to record and release the new album in Taipei.

Van Rensburg, who has composed extensively for experimental theater, dance and film, has chosen to live and work in Taipei after a visit to the city in 2006. He has acknowledged that he is well aware of “Taipei’s charm,” and has developed a feeling of attachment to the northern Taiwan city.

According to Van Rensburg, his new creation draws inspiration from his life in Taipei after he merged into the local community, which is why he decided to produce and release his first independently composed album in Taipei. The album will be released through Taipei-based Click Music Co.

Experimental music is considered an extension of traditional music, often adding unconventional instruments, noises and other novelty sounds to the compositions.

Van Rensburg’s liking for experimental music appears natural, as he admits that “anything bizarre, mystical and out of the ordinary attracts me.” He said that most of his influences come from other arts and sensory input.

He trained on classical guitar from the age of eight and became both a performer and composer.

In 1996 he created Supernature, an experimental rock group in South Africa, and gained fame with a series of performances through 1998.

He later composed and performed with the band Ohm, which 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 groups, Battery 9. The album “Sondebok” he recorded with the group won a South African Music Award as the best alternative rock album in 1999.

In 2004 he released a second album “Die Menere” with Battery 9’s vocalist Paul Riekert, reinventing American country music in an Afrikaans idiom.

“Floukop,” another album by him, was reviewed as a breakthrough in Afrikaans alternative music, as well as being rated by one critic as “one of the top 10 Americana albums of all time.”

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