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Zurich based Sonar stands for Sonic Architecture and was formed by Stephan Thelen, one of the first generation groove-minimalists in Switzerland, and a former pupil of Robert Fripp.
The group, completed by Bernard Wagner on guitar, Christian Kuntner on electric bass guitar and drummer Manuel Pasquinelli, create an adventurous music and take influences from King Crimson and Steve Reich.
The instantly recognizable sound of Sonar is partly due to the special tuning of the guitars and the bass guitar to tritones (C / F# / C / F# / C / F#).
A large proportion of the music is played using only the natural harmonics of these two notes, thereby creating a harmonically ambiguous musical microcosmos that the group calls "tritone harmonics".
Their music is played live without any loops or sequencers and the equipment is consciously held minimal: 2 guitars, 1 bass, 3 small amps, 1 compact drumset. Practically no effects such as delays or distortion are used to keep the music as radically clear, concise and direct as possible. Because of this clarity and the use of 'smart beats' (complex, polyrhythmic grooves and rhythms), they create trance-inducing atmospheres and idiosyncratic soundscapes. The band does not considers itself a 'groove-chamber orchestra' and the collective approach is the main concern.
"With the guitars and bass tuned in tritones, there's a semi-dissonant, challenging quality to the constellations of plucked harmonics that chime in orbit around each other." - From the CD's liner notes by Sid Smith (BBC Music, Prog Magazine).
1. Tromsae¸ (11.02)
2. Slow Shift (08.02)
3. Structure 3.7 (05.01)
4. Tritone Harmonics (00.39)
5. Steel Cathedral (08.50)
6. Moebius Loop (11.35)
7. Moebius Coda (04.00)
8. Sonic Blue (04.17)
9. A Flaw Of Nature (08.18)
Stephan Thelen, Guitar
Bernhard Wagner, Guitar
Christian Kuntner, Bass Guitar
Manuel Pasquinelli, Drums
Liner Notes by Sid Smith (BBC Music, Prog Magazine)
Recorded by Christoph Utzinger August 2011 in Berne CH
Mixing and add. recordings September-October 2011 at Reptile Refuge Warth CH
Mastered by Andi Pupato in December 2011
Produced by SONAR
All compositions by Stephan Thelen except "Steel Cathedral" by Thelen/Wagner
Cover Image "Magic Square" by Mayo Bucher, www.mayobucher.com
Photos by Filip Dingerkus (Band), Mayo Bucher (Hardbracke) and Stephan Thelen.
Publishing by Ronin Rhythm Productions