ACCORDING to murmurs on the streets, The Rudimentals are paving the way to a new South African sound. They have blended the essential, tried and trusted elements of Ska with both rural and urban African music. With its roots still firmly planted in the Jamaican dance halls of the 60's, the band have fused ingredients of the local, like Zimbabwean cultural music and Goema, with the familiar back beat of Ska. This contemporary combination makes the music both accessible and fresh. The wicked final product being African Ska.
Like Ska music itself, the band has a long and gregarious history, as one would expect from eight musicians, each with their own story to tell. The founding members of the band were bass player, Barry Clausen (a former member of Tundra, along with Damian Staz, now from Freshly Ground, and Namaqua), guitarist, Etienne Harris (Tundra), drummer, Duane Heydenrych and keyboard player, Milandro Mapengo. This crew met and glued with Zimbabwean talent Teboho (Teboes) Maidza, a born and bred artist who learned a trick or two from performing with the likes of Andy Brown and Oliver Madzukuzi. Out of this highly talented gathering rose The Rudimentals. Their first gig at the Jam, opening for Hog Hoggidy Hog, proved to all, including the band, that they have what it takes, not only to make accomplished and ripping music, but also to entertain and get an audience skanking like no other.
From here the tale unfolds at pace. Gathering momentum and an ever growing following, the band began to pop up all over the place to the delight of those watching. A fair way down this road to success and in true tradition of Ska bands the band then took on a three-piece brass section, all from The University of Cape Town Music College.
Simon Bates (Masters graduate) as saxophonist, Jody Engelbrecht as trumpeter and Ross McDonald as trombonist together rounded off The Rudimentals with a fatter sound to an increasing fan base. At much the same time the band parted ways with Milandro and took on another skilful member, Dirk Meerkotter, and so The Rudimentals as the are look today began to take the world by storm.
2003 saw the demand for an album, as an ever increasing fan base and interest widened. The appeal struck with their multi-racial line-up, highly infectious dance grooves and energetic stage presence struck out to win over fans every time they performed. With no album in the offing they managed to get invitations to perform on all major music festivals in and around Cape Town.
On the 24th of October 2003 launched their debut album, “More Fire" that was mainly a collection of songs they have been performing at their shows.
Semantically, the content of The Rudimentals music deal with very real and distinctly African issues; ranging from the problems of Aids, drug abuse, gangsterism and woman and child abuse.
“More Fire" topped the SA Rock Digest charts and their first single, “Gangsta" enjoying extensive radio airplay on both national and regional radio stations and also topped the Mp3 charts, for most downloaded song. “Gangsta" managed to hold that position for seven consecutive weeks. A further single, “Noh TV" stormed the charts and soon attracted the attention of national television with its accompanying video, which managed to acquire a bronze National STONE award, for best directed video.
With an up on your bootstraps approach The Rudimentals set forth on their first national of South Africa, completely financed by the band themselves.
Beginning 2005 saw The Rudimentals, drawing on their fan base to make a contribution towards the victims of the Tsunami disaster in South East Asia.
In 2005 The Rudimentals will be releasing their second album, followed by another national tour. With international television exposure already in place, 2006 promises an international tour to Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg.
>> THIS BIOGRAPHY PROVIDED BY THE RUDIMENTALS
The Rudimentals Website