Hailing from Switzerland, the sparse soundscapes of Sonar are not to be taken lightly. As an indication of the intention behind their music, their bassist Christian Kuntner tunes the strings of his guitar to tritones, the dissonant “devil’s interval” that would get medieval composers stoned if they included it in a composition. This combined with careful, mathematical drumming by Manuel Pasquinell and the slow-build guitar dances Bernhard Wagner and Stephan Thelen compose all merge into tenuous and dramatic musical movements that recall the air of a political thriller or spy film. With song names like “Triptych,” “Vertical Time,” and “Shadow Play,” it’s evident from the start you will probably find very few love songs in their catalogue-and that’s okay, because they’re masters of the music they make.
The band follows a rigid minimalist ethic that allows no effects or computer processing of their music except for some reverb or delay here or there, an exploration of the idea that tight creative restrictions can facilitate creativity. In Sonar songs, the groove is the central element that moves the music forward, and the band exemplifies the axiom that in music, the notes you don’t play and the spaces you leave are as important as those you do play.
"Had MC Escher made music instead of drawing his famously impossible and perplexing perspectives, it would sound like Sonar.” (Sid Smith, Prog Magazine)
"A really fascinating blend of art-rock, groove-based minimalism and abstract mathematical theory, all woven together to great effect.” (John Schaefer, host of New Sounds)