Mathijs Bertel (BE, 1983) studied viola and audiovisual technics at the RITCS (Royal Institute for Theatre, Cinema and Sound) and is the brainchild behind the internationally acclaimed indietronica collective Ansatz der Maschine.
The name ‘Ansatz der Maschine’ derives from a Karl Marx quote. In the light of the industrial revolution, Marx wrote that man is nothing but an appendix of the machine. With Ansatz Bertel also uses machines to tell an emotional story and thus provides electronics and machines with an odd form of feeling.
By using a variety of sounds to capture or contain different forms of reality, he tries to ‘tame the chaos’ of everyday life. Edited field recordings and ordinary sounds are put in different contexts. Combined with warm acoustic instruments they shift in meaning and become emotionally charged. For Bertel, also the narrative and poetic level of the music is important, resulting in a special attention to the accompanying visuals.
Bertel is currently working on the band’s fifth album, Burial Songs. In the past he composed music for the dance pieces of Thomas Steyaert in coproduction with Ultima Vez: The dance of Vulpes Vulpes and Of raving Gods and the dogs who made them and coproduced MandolinMan, an interpretation of medieval songs for mandolin and electronics.
Mathijs Bertel joined the CON-FRONT project as artistic director.