Sonar was formed by King Crimson-inspired Swiss guitarists Stephan Thelen,
formerly of duo Pedaltone (2005), and Bernhard Wagner with
bassist Christian Kuntner and drummer Manuel Pasquinelli
and debuted on
Live At Bazillus (Reptile, 2012) and
A Flaw of Nature (Ronin Rhythm, 2012), followed by the
EP Skeleton Groove (2012).
A Flaw of Nature contains lengthy, brainy jams
notable for suspenseful atmospheres and hypnotic repetition
A Flaw of Nature,
Static Motion (Cuneiform, 2014) is still maniacally anchored in
hypnotic Sonic Youth-ian repetition, starting with the cold and robotic
Static Motion and perhaps peaking with the
neo-classical geometry of Continuum.
In order to transcend itself, this method has to employ superhuman subtlety and
dramatic finesse, as they do in Shadow Play.
A metaphysical dimension seems to permeate
the threatening drones and pulsing rumbles of the nine-minute Triptych ,
rise to a Michael Nyman-esque frenzy only to
decay into a slowing tapping dance, and the
psychedelic indolence of the
twelve-minute Vertical Time, that
drifts through empty intergalactic space before sinking into a swamp of
clock-like ticking that slowly fades away.
To be fair,
the shorter and less ambitious Tranceportation and Zero Tolerance boast more
dynamics via riffing and counterpoint.
The quarter's Black Light (Cuneiform, 2015) included
Orbit 5.7 (8:38),
Angular Momentum (9:26) and
Critical Mass (10:35).
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