Skip to main content

Swiss Music Ensemble Sonar to Release New Live Album with Legendary Guest Guitarist


Recorded live at Moods Jazz Club, Zürich

Swiss music ensemble Sonar will be releasing their new live album “Live At Moods” with guest soloist/texturalist David Torn on November 16, 2018 on 7d Media. It was recorded live at Moods Jazz Club in Zürich, Switzerland, on May 24th 2018.

Fusing a rigorous minimal concept with the power of a rock band and the sensitivity of a jazz combo, Sonar have quickly gained international reputation for creating a unique blend of music. With their slow-build approach to dramaturgy and avoidance of conventional forms, they focus on collective group efforts and a deeper kind of interaction amongst their members Stephan Thelen (guitar), Bernhard Wagner (guitar), Christian Kuntner (electric bass) and Manuel Pasquinelli (drums). Sonar's music is complex but still visceral, hypnotic but still dynamic. The ground feels as though it's continuously shifting beneath your feet in opposing directions as multiple motifs and rhythms flit about your head, circulating in different orbits.

Sonar was formed in late 2010 and has been on tour in the USA, UK, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, France, Romania, Liechtenstein and Austria. In 2012, they released their first CD A Flaw of Nature on Nik Bärtsch's Ronin Rhythm Records label. Cuneiform Records released their second full-length CD Static Motion in 2014. Their third album Black Light was recorded and mixed by Peter Gabriel and Tool producer David Bottrill and released by Cuneiform in 2015 on CD and vinyl.

For their 4th full-length studio album Vortex, Sonar invited producer, guitarist and film-composer David Torn to work with them. During the recording, the chemistry between Sonar and David Torn worked so well that Torn was invited to play on every track. David Torn is regarded by many as one of the most influential electronic guitarists of our time. He's worked with many well-known musicians including David Bowie, Madonna (also co-writing), Tim Berne, Jan Garbarek, The Pineapple Thief, Jeff Beck (Grammy-winning production of “Jeff”), Kit Taylor, Mick Karn, David Sylvian, Craig Taborn, Tony Levin, Meshell Ndegeocello, Bill Bruford, Don Cherry, John Legend, Laurie Anderson, k.d. lang, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Matt Mitchell, Tori Amos, Kaki King, Donna Lewis etc.

The stylistic blending of Sonar's precisely structured, polyrhythmic rock music and David Torn's freely improvised, raw and emotional guitar interjections - a trademark of Vortex - is now continued in a live context on the six tracks of the Live at Moods album. There are three pieces from Vortex (“Waves and Particles”, “Red Shift” and “Lookface!”), a piece from Static Motion called “Twofold Covering” (the title of the track refers to the fact that the main bass riff of the piece is exactly the same as the guitar riff, just played half as fast and two octaves lower), a completely improvised David Torn solo piece called “For Lost Sailors” and “Tromsø”, a piece that Sonar played without David Torn. “Tromsø” is one of the first pieces that Sonar rehearsed together and it is the first track on the band's first album A Flaw of Nature. As a composition, it is a very minimal and austere piece that consists of only six small fragments in 9/8, but it remains one of Sonar's most dramatic and dynamic pieces.

Watch Sonar's video for “Twofold Covering”:


Tracklist:

01 TWOFOLD COVERING 12:37
02 WAVES & PARTICLES 7:43
03 RED SHIFT 10:03
04 TROMSØ (SONAR) 10:23
05 FOR LOST SAILORS (DAVID TORN) 10:18
06 LOOKFACE! 5:22

Recorded live at Moods Jazz Club, Zürich, May 24, 2018

David Torn: Electric Guitar & Live Looping
Stephan Thelen: Tritone Guitar
Bernhard Wagner: Tritone Guitar
Christian Kuntner: Tritone Bass
Manuel Pasquinelli: Drums

Edited & Mixed by Stephen Thelen except “For Lost Sailors” Edited & Mixed by David Torn

All tracks written by Stephan Thelen except:
“For Lost Sailors” written by David Torn
“Lookface!” written by Stephan Thelen, Bernhard Wagner, Christian Kuntner, Manuel Pasquinelli & David Torn

Cover photograph by Tim Berne, Band photo by Joel Gilardini

Special Thanks to Nicole Grau, Trey Gunn, Anil Prasad & The Moods Team

David Torn appears courtesy of ECM Records

Here's what the press has said about Sonar:

“Sonar, Swiss masters of multi-rhythm tritone minimalism, continue their career-long quest for a state of grace with Vortex, an album made with American impressionist guitar slinger David Torn, a combination of opposites that compliments one another marvellously on a scintillating journey into the abyss.” (Roger Trenwith, The Progressive Aspect)

“Torn's blasts, arches, and suspensions decisively enrich the sound of the quartet. Their mutual fascination for sonic textures is contagious, and I found myself exploring every minute of this well-weaved tapestry of polyrhythmic rock lustiness and groovy backgrounds. Vortex is a masterstroke that treats sound with prestige.” (Felipe Freitag, JazzTrail)

“One listen to even just a minute or two from Vortex and it becomes crystal clear that, in the 21st century, few groups have emerged as incomparable, innovative and imaginative as Sonar.” (John Kelman, All About Jazz)

“The combination of two seemingly disparate and distinct musical styles can often be an abject failure, or surprisingly may occasionally create an unexpected delight. In the case of Sonar’s Vortex, the band's polyrhythmic math rock style has been mixed and melded with David Torn’s exquisite tones and expressive, improvised guitar interjections to create something that is rarely unappealing, but is frequently magnificent.” (Owen Davies, dprp.net)

“Sonar is life at ground level; Torn is the weather. Their interaction feels at once organic and bifurcated. The aptly named title track could be a 10-minute sonic simulation of a tornado moving through a town...Torn add(s) a sunset-like brilliance to the already translucent beauty of Sonar's tuneful math.” (Britt Robson, The Jazz Times)

“Torn explodes chords into millisecond shards and sustains single notes through eons of emotion in rhythmically complex multipart compositions that sound unlike anything else in rock.” (Richard Gehr, Relix)

“Why else did I, one day, play this mesmeric album continuously, seven or eight times straight through? Is it rock or is it jazz – and, who cares? It”s brilliant.” (Michael Tucker, Jazz Journal)

 “An anti-hero's masterpiece ... a revolutionary shot across the bow ... Sonar has defied the norm by crafting something singular and magical.” (Jeff Miers, Static Motion review, The Buffalo News)

To purchase Sonar With David Torn Live At Moods:
In Europe: sonar-band.bandcamp.com
Rest of the World: https://sonar7d.bandcamp.com/


Live videos available at: 




For more information:
www.sonar-band.ch
www.facebook.com/sonarband

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (USA), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

New Age Instrumental Review: Anaya Music-AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music)

Release Date: February 2, 2018 Label: Anaya Music Website
Around this time a year ago I had the experience of listening to Anaya Music and providing coverage of Eternity.  It was an uplifting experience and a memorable listen as I recall.
Now with February drawing closer AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music) will arrive.
Once again, the recording features several exceptional collaborations between Anaya Music and a live virtual symphony orchestra recorded in the heart of Prague, the capital of the Czech republic. The orchestra combines members of the finest ensembles in Prague, including the Czech Philharmonic.
I think they should rename the orchestra to “The Live Spiritual Orchestra.” If you have been exposed to Anaya Music you will understand what that means. If this is your first journey with this music you will find out very quickly. Either way, this is spiritually uplifting music that leaves a smile on your soul. It’s like the term digital footprint, there is an everlasting m…

British Post-Punk Veterans 1919 Return With A Brand New Masterpiece Of Darkly Melodic Goth Rock, FUTURECIDE!

Los Angeles, CA - Like the mythic phoenix rising from the ashes, British post-punk band 1919 have gone through Hell and back over the course of their harrowing career, but they keep returning stronger than ever! Founded in 1980, the band released its debut album Machine in 1983 and one EP a year later before calling it quits. However, the band reformed in 2014 to great acclaim, performing numerous tours and at festivals across Europe. Then, tragedy struck as the band’s founding guitarist Mark Tighe was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and succumbed to the disease in January 2017. Tighe insisted that the band should carry on without him, which they have done in finest form with their newest effort Futurecide. The album, which will be officially released on April 12 via Cleopatra Records, features brand new compositions and includes special guest performances by Tighe as well as former member Steve Madden, who also passed away this year. The first single, “Anxiety,” was released at the en…

Concert Review: Ghost At The Palace Theater Albany NY

Ghost At The Palace Theater Albany NY December 13, 2018 http://ghost-official.com


With winter upon us in the great Northeast, it was just another night. We never have a reason to stay in because of the weather, we just go. It so happened that it was a nice evening for a drive to a Ghost concert.We secured our tickets months ago and have been anticipating this night for months on end.
Last July I attended a “bucket list” concert, the great Iron Maiden was coming to Mansfield, MA. Opening for them was Ghost. This was a turn of a friendly card for the band, a great way to get worldwide exposure otherwise not afforded by a lesser band. They were already on the rise and the lead singer Papa Emeritus had a helluva a band (no pun intended there). At that time my prediction was that when the new year began Ghost would be headlining their own shows. So, then it happened, here we are tonight watching this incredible metal band headlining their own show, with no opener may I add.
For those of you unf…