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Sonar

Besides being passionate musicians, SONAR’s four members Stephan Thelen (guitar), Bernhard Wagner (guitar), Christian Kuntner (electric bass) and Manuel Pasquinelli (drums) have backgrounds as diverse as performance art, software engineering, and mathematics, all adding to the eclectic mix of influences that make up this truly unique band. The group SONAR was born in 2010. The two Zürich-based guitarists Stephan and Bernhard met one evening when Stephan was playing and Bernhard was in the audience. They immediately found that they shared many common interests, so it wasn’t long before they started playing together. They key idea for the musical concept came, when Stephan remembered that he once tuned his guitar in tritones in order to perform a piece that otherwise would have been technically impossible to play

Tranceportation (Volume 1)

Label: RareNoiseRecords
Released: 2019
Track listing: Labyrinth; Partitions; Red Sky; Tunnel Drive.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Sonar With David Torn: Tranceportation (Volume 1)

Read "Tranceportation (Volume 1)" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The Swiss band Sonar released Vortex (RareNoiseRecords) in 2018, bringing American avant-garde guitarist David Torn along for the ride. The addition of a third guitar to Sonar's two guitar / bass / drums lineup was a crunchy, hypnotic, funk-grooving, hard-driving multi-layered success. A follow-up of sorts, Tranceportation (Volume 1) brings more of the same, and then ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar Remixes and Extra Tracks

Read "Fractal Guitar Remixes and Extra Tracks" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Swiss guitarist-composer Stephan Thelen (leader of the band Sonar) released his first solo album Fractal Guitar (Moonjune Records, 2019) to great acclaim. This remix album offers a dramatic new look at four of the original five tracks--only “Radiant Day" is skipped--as well as adding three new tracks from Thelen and two collaborators. The remix ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Sonar's The Bill Laswell Mix Translations To Be Released On Limited Edition 12-inch Vinyl Ep On 7d Media

Sonar's The Bill Laswell Mix Translations To Be Released On Limited Edition 12-inch Vinyl Ep On 7d Media

The Swiss quartet Sonar has quickly gained international reputation for creating a unique blend of forward-thinking instrumental music imbued with power, tension and emotional identity. 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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Sonar: Live At Moods

Read "Live At Moods" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Recorded Live at Moods jazz club in Zürich (Switzerland) in May 2018, this set reconnects guitar electronics visionary David Torn with the band Sonar. Torn played with Sonar on their previous album Vortex, and this live set picks up three tunes ("Waves and Particles," “Red Shift" and “Lookface!") from that earlier collaboration. How does ...

Put It Where You Want It (But Find It Where You Put It)

Read "Put It Where You Want It (But Find It Where You Put It)" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Hip Spanic All-Stars Old-School Revolution Self-Produced 2018 If you think that Old School Revolution sounds both familiar and new, you're right. In the late 2000s, bassist and singer Happy Sanchez, saxophonist Norbert Stachel (Tower of Power), percussionist Karl Perazzo (a longstanding member of Santana), ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar

Read "Fractal Guitar" reviewed by John Kelman

For his Moonjune Records debut, Stephan Thelen, USA-born/Swiss guitarist and primary composer for the post-minimalist/post-progressive band Sonar, challenges some of the foundational premises of a group that has, over almost the last decade, garnered increasing critical and popular acclaim. As informed by Robert Fripp and the guitarist's work with (and beyond) King Crimson as it is ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar

Read "Fractal Guitar" reviewed by John Ephland

A guitar lover's delight, the Swiss Stephan Thelen's Fractal Guitar reeks of the many splendid effects the instrument can bellow, belch, intimate, cry out and sing. And all within the narrow yet liberating, pattern-based corridors Thelen's ofttimes arhythmic funkfest conjures. With nods to David Torn, Robert Fripp, Glenn Branca and even Nik Bartsch, the aesthetic creates ...


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