Swiss quar­tet team up with US sound­sca­per to spec­tac­u­lar ef­fect.

Prog - - The Musical Box - MB

When David Torn checked out Sonar’s mu­sic, he was immediately taken by their sparse, in­ter­lock­ing com­po­si­tions. And af­ter ar­rang­ing to pro­duce Vor­tex, with the no­tion of mak­ing a few cameo ap­pear­ances, he ended up play­ing on ev­ery track. Sonar’s mu­sic is built from min­i­mal el­e­ments in a sim­i­lar way to the dove­tail­ing gui­tar pat­terns of 80s King Crim­son, and also the math rock of 90s bands like Don Ca­ballero and Trans Am. But whereas those groups could overcomplicate mat­ters, Sonar’s gui­tarists Stephan The­len and Bern­hard Wag­ner op­er­ate as one in­stru­ment, reg­u­larly shift­ing their em­pha­sis as if sur­vey­ing each piece from dif­fer­ent an­gles. Bassist Chris­tian Kunt­ner of­fers sub­tle punc­tu­a­tion, while drum­mer Manuel Pasquinelli is con­stantly in­ven­tive with­out grandstanding. Mean­while, Torn hov­ers in and out of the space they cre­ate. On Mono­lith, clipped gui­tar notes build up to an al­most funky mo­men­tum. Torn’s notes bloom into a vast panorama on Waves And Par­ti­cles, while on Part 44, Pasquinelli’s high-hats and Sonar’s gui­tarists cre­ate a per­pet­ual-mo­tion groove, invit­ing Torn to weigh in with a fe­ro­cious solo.

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