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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Markus Reuter featuring Sonar and Tobias Reber: Falling for Ascension

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Billed as a minimalist groove band, the Swiss musicians performing under the moniker Sonar recently collaborated with experimental guitar hero David Torn on the widely heralded, Sonar with David Torn (Rare Noise, 2018). And here, they merge their unique craft with one of the reigning touch style guitar pioneers, Markus Reuter along with his partner from Stick Men and active King Crimson member, Tony Levin (Chapman Stick) and Security Project, ex-King Crimson WARR guitarist Trey Gunn. Here, Reuter and live ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonar with David Torn: Vortex

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It might be all too simple to explain away Sonar, the Swiss twin-guitar/bass/drums quartet now in its eighth year together, through a series of touchstones. King Crimson, by way of that band's co-founder/guitarist Robert Fripp's Guitar Craft? Check. The influence of Nik Bartsch and Don Li's innovative meshing of Steve Reich-ian minimalism with deceptively complicated polyrhythmic and isorhythmic rock/funk grooves, where as much as can be is made of as little as possible? Double Check. Guitarist and primary composer Stephan ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonar with David Torn: Vortex

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Swiss art rock/minimalist band Sonar have always had a way with a groove, combining repeating patterns (frequently in mixed meters) into a hypnotic blend. In this they have a lot in common with Steve Reich's Musicians (in the new-music world) and fellow Swiss Nik Bärtsch's Ronin (in the jazz world). Sonar has always sounded like a rock band, but somewhat restrained. With American guitarist/looper David Torn as producer and collaborator it has found its id: music with a rougher, more ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonar: Black Light

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By virtue of its experimental and often convoluted definition, progressive jazz seems to require an increasingly larger umbrella. Under that broadly encompassing category, the Switzerland- based quartet SONAR is a noteworthy and unconventional standout. Black Light is their fourth release (but only the second to be made widely available) and for those who have followed the artistic development of the group it is all the more revelatory an experience. SONAR has nuanced the more percussive tone of Static Motion (Cuneiform ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonar: Static Motion

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At a time when more recordings are released than ever before, it's rare to find a group that not just changes the way music is made, but the way it's defined. That description could easily fit Swiss pianist Nik Bartsch and his longstanding group Ronin, its Ritual Groove Music jettisoning overt virtuosity and conventional form for ultra-disciplined structural constructs and a deeper kind of interaction amongst its members. The same can be said, however, for Sonar, whose A Flaw of ...